Friday, April 29, 2011

Creamy Curry Sauce Mix

My second favourite thing to make with leftover roasted chicken is a chicken pasta casserole with creamy curry sauce.

Creamy curry sauce mix

½ cup powdered milk
¼ cup flour
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder

What else you’ll need

¼ cup butter
2 cups cold water

Combine mix with water and stir until dissolved. Melt butter in pan and add mixture, stirring until thick.

To make the casserole you need

1 pound cooked pasta
2 cups leftover cooked chicken
2-4 cups frozen or diced fresh vegetables

Add pasta, chicken and vegetables to sauce and cook until heated. If you want you can put it in a casserole dish and broil for 6 minutes to give the top a crispier taste, but it's pretty good just mixed together as is too.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Lemon Pepper Chicken Rub Mix

Although I tend to use the same spice rub every time I roast a chicken, just because I’m lazy, we like it so much and we don’t get sick of it, the enormous popularity of the first rub has prompted me to try a new recipe so I could post about it.

Lemon pepper chicken rub mix (single use)

2 tablespoons dried lemon peel
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon dried thyme

Use one mix for each whole chicken or 4 chicken pieces.

I used a spoon to put the mixture on the chicken but had to rub some of it on myself as this mix is a bit more crumbly than the other one.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

I served mine with steamed asparagus and roasted sweet potato chunks.

I used the leftover bits of chicken to make the next recipe… to be continued….

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bacon and Chive Dip Mix

I don’t know what it is about men and vegetables, but I’m always trying to find ways to get my husband to eat more of them. I think dip was invented for that very purpose. We had some family over on Sunday so I made some bacon and chive dip mix for them.

Bacon and Chive Dip Mix

Single Use

2 tablespoons bacon bits
1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
1 tablespoon dried chives
2 teaspoons bouillon mix
¼ teaspoon dried garlic flakes

Big Batch (makes 4 uses)

½ cup bacon bits
¼ cup dried onion flakes
¼ cup dried chives
3 tablespoons bouillon mix
1 teaspoon dried garlic flakes

What else you’ll need

1 500 ml tub (2 cups) of sour cream or yogurt

Combine ¼ cup of mix with sour cream or yogurt and let it sit in a covered container in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavors infuse before serving.

I served it with baby carrots because they involve the least amount of work. You can make the dip light by using low fat or fat free sour cream or yogurt, but we used full fat because we’re not trying to lose weight. Fat is tasty.

The best part about this dip is that when our guests went home and I was too lazy to cook a real meal I made some baked potatoes and we used the leftover dip to top them.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Salsa Mix

The problem with fresh cilantro is that they sell it in such huge bunches, but you only really need a small amount of it. After making pho for company last weekend and using just a few sprigs for garnish, I was left with a buttload of cilantro threatening to go bad in my fridge.

Then I thought of it! I would dry the rest out and make a salsa mix!

I lay it out on some cookie sheets and left them for a few days until the cilantro was dry and crumbly, then I crushed it into a salad bowl and used it to make my mix.

Mild Salsa Mix

To make medium and hot salsa use the amount of dried chili flakes mentioned in parentheses.

Single Use

2 tablespoons dried cilantro
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
¼ teaspoon red chili flakes (1/2 teaspoon for medium, 1 teaspoon for hot)
¼ teaspoon dried garlic flakes
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Big Batch (makes 6 uses)

¾ cup dried cilantro
¼ cup dried onion flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons red chili flakes (1 tablespoon for medium, 2 tablespoons for hot)
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons dried garlic flakes

Combine 3 tablespoons of mix with every 2 cups of canned or fresh diced tomatoes.

I used fresh chopped tomatoes because they were on sale this week. Once I mixed in the seasonings I let it sit in a covered bowl in the fridge for a couple hours before company came over to let the flavors really infuse.

I served it with tortilla chips but it would also be great with fajitas, burritos or tacos.

Now I’m usually notoriously critical of my own cooking, especially the first time creations that haven’t been ‘perfected’ but OH MY GOD this was the best salsa I have ever eaten in my life. I literally ignored our company and sat there for 2 hours in a trance eating this salsa. I had to make another batch so I could keep eating more. If you don’t believe me, try it for yourself…

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brownie Mix

The best part about a homemade baking mix is that you can still tell people “I made it from scratch” because technically it’s true. When your kid tells you at 7 pm that they need something for the bake sale the next day you don’t have time to mess around, but if you have a batch of mix already in the cupboard you can make it fast and still look like supermom.

Brownie Mix (makes about 6 batches)

6 cups sugar
3 cups flour
2 cups cocoa powder
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder

What else you’ll need

½ cup butter
2 eggs or egg substitutes
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Mix softened butter, eggs and vanilla extract in a bowl until smooth. We use applesauce instead of eggs because my daughter and I can’t eat eggs.

Combine 2 cups of mix with wet ingredients and stir until smooth. Spread into a greased square glass baking pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30 minutes.

If you can manage, let them cool before cutting them. Then in the word's of my daughter's big blue hero.... om nom nom nom nom nom nom....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beer Batter Mix

When you become a parent, staying up past 9 pm becomes nearly impossible. We don’t go out much these days, and being allergic to alcohol I’m not too upset about it. But I do miss the pub food….

There is something deeply satisfying about a big plate of deep fried fatty snacks. They aren’t something you should eat (or even want to eat) on a regular basis, but when you do they taste oh so good. This weekend we had people over (the grown up compromise to going out), so I tried to bring the pub to us with a plate of my beer battered zucchini sticks.

Beer Batter Mix (single use)

1 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon pepper

What else you’ll need

1 can or bottle of beer, root beer or cola
Sliced zucchini sticks or onions sliced in rings

Mix dry ingredients and then stir in beer or soda until a thick paste is formed. I used some weird looking non-alcoholic beer I found at the grocery store.

Coat veggies in batter.

Then fry in a pan or deep fryer on medium high.

I made a huge pile of them and they all got eaten. I was full for days.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Beef Vindaloo Mix

I have a friend who raves about Vindaloo, but being a lightweight when it comes to hot spices I’ve never been able to order it. But the good thing about making your own is you can put as much or little spice as you want, so I’m finally able to taste the flavor of Vindaloo without burning my intestines.

Beef Vindaloo Mix

3 tablespoons coriander powder
3 tablespoons cumin powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon ginger powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 ½ teaspoons cloves
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne

What else you’ll need

1 pound beef cut in cubes
3 peeled and chopped potatoes
14 oz can of tomatoes

Combine 3 tablespoons of mix beef, spices and all other ingredients in the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

I served mine with rice and cauliflower. I found it heavy on the cumin but I really don't like cumin so that could be why. Jason and Sera really seemed to enjoy it. You be the judge. Or just put less cumin...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dough Enhancer Mix

Do you ever wonder why your homemade whole wheat bread tastes so heavy and gross when the stuff at the store is so light and fluffy? It’s dough enhancer!

I knew it was time for me to bake some bread when I realized my folly in purchasing 20 kg of whole wheat flour just because ‘it was a good deal’. The Ukrainian in me is always doing stupid things like that. Whole wheat flour is good for you, but it only lasts 6 months in your cupboards, and one can only make so many pancakes!

Dough enhancer mix

¼ cup lecithin granules
1 tablespoon ascorbic acid
1 tablespoon ginger powder

Use one teaspoon of mix for every 2 pound loaf of bread baked. A 2 pound loaf is one baked with about 4 cups of flour.

Basic whole wheat bread recipe

4 cups whole wheat flour
1 ½ cups water
2 tablespoons sugar
1 ½ teaspoons salt
1 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon dough enhancer

I mixed my dough (in the bread maker, because I’m lazy) and then divided it into two and put it in 2 greased baking dishes to rise for a couple hours.

I baked the loaves for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees, until they were golden brown. They didn't last long!!!!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teriyaki sauce mix

When I lived in Seattle there seemed to be a teriyaki take out shop on every corner. I remember that for four dollars I could get a huge container of teriyaki chicken, rice and even a bit of salad sometimes. It probably wasn’t the healthiest meal, but it was delicious!

Now I’m married to a man who is big on teriyaki chicken, so I’ve worked on creating the perfect teriyaki recipe!

Teriyaki Sauce Mix

1/3 cup brown sugar
3 teaspoons dried garlic flakes
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
2 teaspoons dried chives
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon sesame seeds

What else you’ll need

1 pound boneless skinless chicken, beef, pork or tofu
3 tablespoons soy sauce

Combine 2 tablespoons of mix with soy sauce in a bowl and stir well. Add meat/tofu cubes and stir well until everything is coated in sauce. Marinade for 2 hours and then stir fry on medium high heat until meat/tofu is cooked.

I served mine with steamed rice and baby carrots. Everyone gobbled it right up.