Monthly Archives: December 2012

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Saudi Arabian Black Lemon Roasted Chicken

I first heard about this recipe from my mom who had been talking about this “great chicken recipe that uses black lemons.”  I had never made Saudi Arabian food before so I was looking forward to trying out a new dish.  The recipe uses black lemons which is different from preserved lemons which I make pretty often.  The black lemons are actually limes that are dried and turned black.  They taste sour and citrusy, but the fact they are dried gives them a slightly smoky, fermented taste.  The black lemons are used to flavor the dish like a bay leaf but aren’t really eaten (though they do soften up after cooking so I suppose you could eat them).  The recipe is simple and takes roughly about 30 minutes to prepare.  I loved how the black lemons flavored the chicken, tomatoes and onions.  The chicken is served with rice and garnished with sauteed slivered almonds, golden raisins, onions and seasoned with cinnamon.  All of the ingredients worked so well together and I have a feeling I will be exploring other ways to use that tasty almond and raisin garnish.

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Salted Caramel Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

As far as decadent Holiday cookies go this recipe ranks pretty far up there in the decadence and the deliciousness! I am a big fan of salted caramel and combining it inside of a cookie sounded too good to be true.  The cookie’s name makes it sound more complicated than it is and the recipe is really simple and doesn’t take long to throw together.  These cookies remind me a little of chocolate lava cake especially when eaten soon after they’re taken out of the oven. The gooey caramel oozes out of the center and mixes with the outer chocolate cookie layer.   The cookie just looks festive and almost snow covered from the powdered sugar on top.

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Lemon Meringue Pie with A Graham Cracker Crust

Lemon Meringue Pie is a great option for a lighter dessert for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  Lemon Meringue Pie is a two layer pie of lemony filling and light whipped meringue.  It is a perfect balance of tart and sweet.  The flavors definitely awaken the taste buds after a heavy holiday meal.  I had never made Lemon Meringue pie but I had made meringue cookies before so I was familiar with half of the equation of this pie.  The process of making the filling was also very similar to making vanilla custard for Vanilla Custard Pie.  I had never tried this pie before so I did not know what to expect.  I loved the tartness of the pie along with the fluffy, almost caramelized texture of the meringue.

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Roasted Winter Vegetable and Ricotta Pizza

This recipe is a perfect and easy pizza for cold winter nights! The roasted vegetables are a mix of red potatoes, butternut squash, onions and carrots baked in the oven until tender. The mozzarella and ricotta go very well with the veggies. The vegetables are seasoned simply with fresh rosemary and garlic. I like to pre-bake the pizza dough crust before adding any of the other ingredients just to ensure that the crust is cooked through and not too soggy. I really liked how all the veggies worked so well together so I will definitely be having this again sometime!

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Classic Beef Chili

I guess I always overlooked beef chili a bit. This is probably because I didn’t care much for ground beef for a long time. Lately I have been enjoying this chili recipe because it is so simple and tasty. It gets points for the amount of ingredients (you can count them on one hand.) That is definitely not the norm for chilies which can require up to 20 ingredients! This chili should be cooked on a heavy bottomed saute pan where it slow cooks for about an hour. I like the taste of grass-fed ground beef so I use it for this recipe.  The amount of hot sauce to add into the chili is really up to personal tastes. I like it on the spicy side so I add approximately 1/4 cup.  I topped the chili with sharp cheddar and it can be served on top of rice or with corn bread.

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