Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Vacation so far

We've had an amazing trip to Oahu and the Big Island so far.  Here's a little glimpse into what we've been up to.  Our first week was amazing spending some fun time with my parents and our second week has been family time.  Little has gotten over her hatred of sand between her toes and spent about an hour in the ocean today.  Middle is a voracious swimmer and I'm amazed at her stamina - ocean, pool, it doesn't seem to matter to her.  Big loves everything about Hawaii and has spent hours looking for geckos, chasing fish, and regaling us with facts about animals.

I used to think that other people would be bored by my vacation photos, but I love living vicariously through my friends and if you don't like it, you can check back here for some regularly scheduled recipes in a week or so!

Until then . . . Hawai'i Vacation 2014 so far . . . 

This may represent more than any picture below, what vacation has meant for our family:  no scheduled activities or to-do lists and not even ONE thing on the calendar this week!

The night we arrived was the most amazing sunset I've ever seen

Swimming with Grammy
Tour of a Kona Coffee farm
Future marine biologist

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Basil Chicken

Summer is flying by!  I can't believe the 4th of July is behind us.  We're taking our big family vacation soon so the blog might be a little quiet (I know I haven't been doing great updating recently anyways) but I hope you and yours are enjoying the warm summer weeks as much as we are!

Here are a few pictures of the girls and some of our fun summer memories so far:
Meeting my new nephew!
A trip to WA to see my BFF and a visit to the Children's Museum in Olympia

Then, a drive to Eugene to see my sister receive her PhD.
Celebrating our little sister's accomplishment!
World of Color with friends
Date night with family at the Hollywood Bowl
Swimming with cousins
4th of July Freedom 5000 in Claremont
Baby girl started walking!  She seems so big all of a sudden.
A few of the recipes I've made recently have been inspired by what's growing in our garden.  The basil and jalapeños in this recipe were garden fresh and we all liked this a lot.  My husband and I (as usual) wanted a little more heat so I probably would use more jalapeño next time but it was nothing a little Sriracha couldn't solve.  The texture went from runny to very thick quickly so keep your eye on it when you mix in the cornstarch & coconut mixture.  

Basil Chicken in Coconut Sauce (4 servings)
from Baked Bree

1 pound chicken breast, cut into pieces
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1 T olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1-2 jalapeños seeded and chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
2 tsp. cornstarch
3 T fresh basil, plus more for serving
1 T fresh ginger, grated
cooked rice for serving

In a small bowl, combine the spices.  Add the chicken pieces and the spices to a large ziplock bag and toss / massage so that the spices cover all of the chicken.  You can let it sit at  room temperature for 30 minutes or do this ahead (I did it in the morning) and let it sit in the refrigerator until you're ready to cook.

Dice the onion, garlic & jalapeños.  Grate the ginger and set aside.  Cook the onions, jalapeño and garlic in a large sauté pan with the olive oil for about 2 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Transfer the mixture to a plate.  Add more olive oil if needed to just coat the pan and cook the chicken until brown on both sides.  If your pan isn't big enough, you can do this in two batches.  Take out of the pan add to the vegetables.  Mix the coconut milk and the cornstarch together.  Add to the pan and cook until it just starts to thicken.  It should come to a bubble but not boil vigorously.

Add the chicken and vegetables back to the pan, adding the ginger and basil.  Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with rice and additional basil.