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Bang! Bang! He Shot Me Down Chili

21 Jul

I went shooting for the first time with my dear husband a few years ago. I had a particularly stressful day at work, so he picked me up and took me to the shooting range. Talk about therapeutic! I won’t tell you where I ended up shooting that poor paper guy, but better him than the real guy who I was annoyed with, right?

What kills me about this ad is the copy, “You may only need it once in your lifetime; buy now so you will have it at that time”. Who can argue with that logic??

This is my chili recipe and it is pretty bangin’, if I do say so myself. I always have requests for seconds. What I love about chili is that it is very forgiving – you can leave out spices, add more, or whatever you like according to your taste. So I give you this loose guideline, but by all means, change it up according to your preferences!

Ingredients
•       6 fake bacon strips, cooked and chopped
•       1 1/2 pounds fake ground beef
•       1 large onion, thinly sliced
•       3 minced garlic cloves
•       1 tbs olive oil
•       2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
•       1 (14.5 ounce) can pureed tomatoes, undrained
•       1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
•       4 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
•       1 1/2 teaspoons salt
•       1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
•       1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
•       1/8 teaspoon rubbed sage
•       Monterey Jack cheese (or cheese substitute)

Directions
1.      In a large saucepan, cook bacon remove and place on paper towels.
2.      Cook “beef”, garlic, and onion in olive oil. Remove from the heat;
add the remaining ingredients.
3.      Stir in bacon; mix well.
4.      Transfer to greased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish. Cover and
bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 minutes
longer or until thick and bubbly. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake
another 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
5.      Serve with tortilla chips and your favorite sour cream substitute

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Naughty Girl Peanut Butter Dream Bars

21 Jul

I named this recipe in honor of the accompanying picture, actually. I love this ad; if you don’t get the food, or coffee in this situation, just perfect for your husband, he will bend you over his knee and spank you. Well that’s as good an excuse as any that I can think of to continually ruin dinner. My husband gives some pretty good spankings. But I digress.

This recipe is so simple, that it is actually pretty hard to not get it right. So your best bet to attract said spanking would be to make the bars, dish one up, and then “accidentally” trip on your way to serving it to your honey, so that it falls on the floor and gets ruined. You will of course have another one ready to serve him or her, post-spanking, so everyone wins.

Enjoy!

2 cups confectioners’ sugar
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. margarine, melted
2 cups (12 oz.) milk chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips,
melted
9×13 inch baking pan

Mix confectioners’ sugar, graham crackers, peanut butter and butter in medium bowl until well blended. Scrape into ungreased baking pan and
press into even layer.

Next, melt your chocolate chips in a double boiler. If you are like me and don’t have one, fill a pot with water, and then “float” a heat-proof container (like a glass bowl) in the water, big enough that it sticks out of the pan and doesn’t completely submerge in water. Put your chocolate chips in the bowl and turn the heat to medium-high and wait for them to melt. Spread melted chocolate over top.
Refrigerate at least 2 hours until chocolate is firm. Let
stand 10-20 minutes at room temperature before cutting into
bars.

Malaysian hawker meal

19 Jul

I am so in love with my husband. I know that sounds sappy, but what can I say? He’s my best friend in the whole world and brings never-ending joy to my life. I have never, ever, been one of those women who had the life dream of getting a husband, being a housewife, staying at home raising 2.5 children, etc. But my husband brings out the wifey in me, and I love every second of it. It is probably because he doesn’t expect it of me, and truly appreciates everything that I do for him. When I cook him a big meal, he’s right there in the kitchen with me, helping where he can, pouring me wine, asking what he can do. When we are done with the meal, he is praising me, thanking me, and even doing the dishes! How could I not want to cook for him?

My honey grew up in various parts of the world, one of those places being Malaysia. Whenever he speaks of the food in Malaysia, he speaks fondly of buying food from these street vendors that sold bowls of cheap, but good, food for just a couple of bucks. I hadn’t thought much of it until one sunny day, not too long ago.

I had gone for a walk around the neighborhood, and was stopped by this amazing smell coming from one of the houses. You know those smells that are familiar to you, and instantly transport you back to another time in your life? Well, this food smelled like Malaysian food. And I instantly remembered how I used to be best friends with a girl who was from Malaysia when I was in 6th grade. I used to eat at her house all the time, and her mom cooked wonderful Malaysian foods. And the smell from this house smelled just like my friend’s house. Up until that point, whenever my husband mentioned food from Malaysia, it hadn’t even occurred to me that I had also eaten Malaysian food! But that smell brought me back in an instant.

I immediately began researching recipes. For starters, I researched food made from those food vendors that my honey was always talking about. I found out that those vendor spaces are called “hawker stalls”. So I started researching “hawker stall recipes”. I found one for chicken that sounded amazing, but it was meant for those that were selling their food, and  cooking in large quantities, so I had to seriously whittle down the portions. Next I found a fried rice recipe to accompany the chicken. So below, I give you my vegetarian  “Malaysian Hawker Meal” recipe

Chicken Satay:
INGREDIENTS:
4 veggie chicken cuts (cut small)
1/2 tablespoons of coriander seeds*
1/4 tablespoons of cumin seeds*
1/4 tablespoons of fennel seeds*
2 shallots*
1/4 stalks of lemon grass, root trimmed*
1 whole candlenut nuts(buah keras)*
1/4 tablespoons of turmeric powder
1/2 tablespoons of sugar
1/2 tablespoons of honey
Salt to taste
How to:
In a blender or food processor, grind the asterisk (*) ingredients above into fine paste*. Marinade chicken overnight with the paste together with turmeric powder, sugar, honey and salt. Finally, thread chicken onto bamboo skewers and ready to grill for about 5 to 6 minutes or until golden brown and tender.

* IMPORTANT NOTE: There are two things you should know about blending the marinade ingredients. 1) it is a thick yellow paste that STAINS. So I advise against doing it in anything plastic, rubber, or equally porous, and, 2) it STINGS. The eyes. Both my honey and I were tearing up the entire time. If you are luckier than I am, and have a kitchen fan, use it! Open windows, where goggles, whatever you have to do. This stuff is potent. Once you are finished blending it, and the chicken is marinating, you should be fine.

Nasi Goreng or Fried Rice
INGREDIENTS:
3 cups of boiled rice
2 full spoons of butter
1 egg (optional)
2 springs onion (finely sliced and separate bottom and upper part)
1 clove of shallot (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
2 star anise
Salt to taste
HOW TO:
Heat butter on a frying pan and fry shallot and garlic until fragrant. Then bottom part of spring onions and star anise. Continue to fry for about 2 minutes. Add rice and stir to mix. Make a hole in the middle and add egg into it. Again, stir to mix. Finally add the upper part of spring onions and some salt to taste. Continue to stir until all ingredients are thoroughly mixed.