Friday, October 14, 2011

Tomato-Avocado salad

*Cherry Tomatoes
*Onions (optional)
*Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

*Cut cucumbers, cherry tomatos, Avocado, onions
*Cook onions in brown Vinegar till soft
*Add onions to the cucumber, cherry tomatoes, avocado mix
*Pour Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing over the top to liking. 
{note: wait to put dressing over the top till right before you serve it}

Friday, October 7, 2011

Makana's Kitchen tip

1. Flash freezing. Flash freezing — the process of spacing items out on a tray, freezing them until they are firm and then storing them in more space-efficient freezer bags — is the single most revolutionizing concept I have adapted into my cooking repertoire, because it allows us to freeze uncooked dumplingsgnocchibiscuitsscones and even scooped cookies without them become one doughy mass.source
I LOVE flash freezing. It keeps everything nice and individual. Here is a good tutorial with pictures too.

2. with love, ziplock.
When chicken goes on sale or is on clearance, it is usually for the fresh kind. Not frozen. After spending a LONG time defrosting a WHOLE pack, I realized it would be so much easier to just put them in individual baggies when I get home with them in the first place. I label them by type and quantity and marinade. This allows me to make a variety of dishes. (this goes for anything I end up getting a lot of. Cheese, meat, breads)

and your chicken tip for the day via Racheal Ray: DO NOT MICROWAVE your chicken to thaw it out. It makes for really dry chicken.  AND bone in chicken is not only usually cheaper but also a lot moister.
Since I haven't been able to eat meat for a while, I realized the times when I have been able to it is due to the fact of how moist and flavorful the meat is. 

3. Meal Planning.
Obvious right? Since working I have seen a HUGE difference in how I feel about cooking dinner when I have a plan vs not having a plan. Shandra blog is a good resource for someone who does it for you or you can download/make one yourself. Do I stick to it always. no way. But it makes my head feel better knowing I at least have a plan

4. Don't have meat at every meal.=BRANCH OUT
Not really a tip here. Just a way to get outside of the box of the normal hum-drum cooking I fall into. That's one reason I enjoy this blog so much is that these recipes that you add have been tried and true and good enough to put up. This place is also a good resource for ideas. We used to work together in the bakery at BYUH. With that said, we also have really simple meals. That is something I had to adjust to recently. I like dinners to be big and filling and lots of options. One option is worlds better than none.

...welp, thats all I got. Not many tips. But these have really made a difference for us.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

BJ Brewhouse Avocado Egg rolls

Friend: Want to join us for a birthday dinner tonight?
Me: Sure! BJ brewhouse?
(and this is where I realize that it is probably rude to suggest a dinner place to someone else for THEIR birthday)
Luckily, they wanted to try something new. And I sure do LOVE BJ's. We go probably ONCE a year and I wish I could go once a month. Why? Mostly for the Avocado Egg Rolls. And then I found this...
... now I can get fat and die happy

The original recipe is found here but I made a few changes per the reviews


egg rolls

dipping sauce


  1. 1 Stir together vinegar, tamarind, honey, and saffron in a microwave safe bowl, and microwave for 1 minute.
  2. 2 Stir until tamarind is dissolved.
  3. 3 In a blender, Puree tamarind mixture, cashews, 2/3 cup cilantro, garlic, onions, sugar, pepper, and cumin.
  4. 4 Pour mixture into a bowl and stir in oil.
  5. 5 Refrigerate until ready to use.
  6. 6 Gently stir together avocado, tomatoes, onion, 1/2 teaspoon cilantro, and salt.
  7. 7 Distribute filling evenly onto center of each egg roll wrapper.
  8. 8 Position a wrapper so that a corner is pointing toward you; fold the bottom corner up, 1/4 of the way over the filling.
  9. 9 Brush remaining corners and edges of the wrapper with egg, roll up from side to side, fold top corner over all and press to seal.
  10. 10 Repeat with remaining wrappers.
  11. 11 Continue by deep-frying the egg rolls in 375 degree oil for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.
  12. 12 Drain on brown paper bags.
  13. 13 Slice egg rolls diagonally across middle and serve with prepared dipping sauce!
  14. 14 ENJOY!