Red Thai Chicken Curry

I am a “reformed picky eater.”

There was a while (like my first fifteen years) where it seemed as though I wouldn’t ever eat anything except plain pasta and fruit. But slowly – SLOWLY – I began to  try new foods and let my taste buds branch out. The day I ordered my first sushi roll was monumental.

Then my brother – who, as a child, would only eat white, starchy food or chicken nuggets – decided to go to culinary school. And everything changed! The kitchen became our family gathering place; our experimental taste lab.

Now, we are constantly sending each other recipes and saving interesting ones to all cook together over holidays. It’s a family affair.

But one cuisine I hadn’t really attempted to cook yet was Thai food. I was thrilled when I found a simple, healthy curry recipe from EatLiveRun!

Since I recently moved, I had to venture out on this Thai adventure without the help of my mom or brother. Of course, I can’t complain – Ryan assisted with some chopping and the recipe is really easy once you have all of that prep done. The only alteration I would make in the future would be to thicken the broth. And we served it over quinoa, but I actually think rice would be better.

Enjoy this delicious, warm winter dish!

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Thai Red Curry Chicken

Via EatLiveRun

serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 3 cups coconut milk, light or regular
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 4 tbsp red curry paste
  • 2 baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1″ knob ginger, grated *You can also use roughly 1 T of ginger paste
  • 1 cup chopped snow peas
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and sliced into 1/4″ thick pieces
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cooked rice or quinoa for serving

Directions:

Heat the coconut oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over medium high heat. When hot, add the ginger and saute until fragrant — 2 minutes.

Add the chicken and sear until not quite cooked through. Then, add the curry paste. Mix the ginger, chicken and curry paste together and continue to saute over high heat for another two minutes.

Pour in the coconut milk and water, then add the bok choy, bell pepper, chopped snow peas and sweet potatoes. Bring curry to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer. Stir in the fish sauce, salt, lime juice and sugar. Continue simmering over medium/low heat until veggies are soft. This will take about 10 minutes.

Serve curry over rice or quinoa!

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

I can’t lie – there was a period of a couple weeks where the grand extent of my cooking was browning ground turkey for tacos and opening a bag of pre-shredded cheese.

Now, don’t get me wrong – tacos are one of my favorite foods – but the point is that I was seriously slacking on making headway in terms of trying new recipes and expanding my culinary abilities. It was just so cold here, and work was so busy, then I was out of town… ok, ok enough with the excuses. Luckily, I’ve snapped back into action! I have quite a few recipes ready to share, from these sweet holiday cupcakes to a tasty Thai curry.

I may even dare to say that this is my best food photography yet (?) Remember, I am a total beginner when it comes to the visual side of things. I can write for days, but when it comes to taking/finding a picture to go in an article? Meltdowns have occurred.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Anyway, I made these chocolate cupcakes with peppermint buttercream frosting for an early holiday party, and they were a big hit! After some searching on Pinterest, I decided against the super fancy, mine-will-never-look-like-this reindeer/present/elf cupcake designs. I’ve found simplicity is usually better. As always, I made mine mini cupcakes. I love tiny desserts in general, and they’re perfect for the party scene when people want to try different treats and not commit to one giant cake.

Also, I have a short-for-time secret: You could totally use a chocolate cake mix, and just make the homemade frosting to go on top (And still channel the decorating spirit of Martha Stewart). It’s typically the frosting that gives away the store-bought taste ; )

Chocolate Cupcakes with Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

Martha’s Easy One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes

Makes 36 to 48 cupcakes (or more mini)

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for pans
  • 1 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin cups with paper liner. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add buttermilk, vegetable oil, and 1 1/2 cups warm water; whisk to combine. Add eggs and vanilla extract and whisk until smooth.

Divide batter among muffin cups (filling each about 2/3 full) and bake until a toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool in pans on wire racks, 5 minutes, then transfer cupcakes to racks and let cool completely. Frost with the frosting below, then sprinkle with crushed peppermint.

Peppermint Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 T vanilla extract*
  • 1 t skim milk
  • 2-4 cups of powdered sugar, depending on desired thickness
  • 6 candy canes, crushed

Mix all ingredients together, adding one cup of powdered sugar at a time. Generously sprinkle the crushed candy cane pieces on top of the cupcakes after frosting.

*You can also sub peppermint extract for vanilla if you want it more minty!

Soft & Sweet Sugar Cookies

If I was ever to write a love letter to food, this would be it: ode to a sugar cookie. I mean, butter and sugar? Yes please – with frosting on top.

You just can’t go wrong with the classic sugar cookie. This recipe is from an old ’90s Betty Crocker cookbook my mom has – I have yet to find another that beats it! There are only a few simple ingredients (rare today), with little prep and baking time, and it comes together perfectly as an impressive dessert. It’s my classic go-to for any and all occasions, from birthdays and holidays to I-just-need-sugar days.

I included this (admittedly plain) picture to demonstrate the ideal blank slate that is the perfect sugar cookie. The possibilities – in shape, color, décor – are vast, and the taste is always consistent. In order to get that soft, melt-in-your-mouth sweetness, it’s important to take them out of the oven maybe a minute before you think they’re actually ready. I’ve found that this is right when they lose that doughy sheen, and start to look matte (I’m not sure that this is proper chef-speak, but after making them a million times, this is the best way I can describe it!).

Sugar Cookies

Classic Sugar Cookies

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • colored sugars or other decorations

Basic Buttercream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 T vanilla extract
  • 1 t skim milk
  • 2-4 cups of powdered sugar, depending on desired thickness

Yield: 3 doz. cookies

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a medium mixing bowl, combine the flour and salt with a wire whisk. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed. Add the egg and vanilla, and beat until well mixed. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add the flour mixture. Blend on low speed just until combined.
Gather dough into a ball. Flatten the ball into a disk and wrap tightly in a plastic wrap or a plastic bag. Refrigerate 1 hour until firm.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to a 1/4 inch thickness. With cookie cutters, cut dough into desired shapes and place on ungreased cookie sheets.
Bake for 8-10 minutes, being careful not to brown. Immediately transfer cookies with a spatula to a cool, flat surface.

Mix all of the frosting ingredients together, slowly adding powered sugar until you reach the desired thickness. (The measurements are loose on this one!) You can also add a few drops of food coloring. Frost and enjoy!