Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)

About the only thing that Ben and I miss about living in the metro Atlanta area are the great restaurants and specialty food markets that we went to to all time. We really miss our favorite Thai restaurants, but it’s not as easy for us to head to Atlanta for dinner now that we have a 9 month old.  So we have decided to start making our favorite Thai dishes at home. We started with Tom Kha Gai, which is a Thai coconut chicken soup. I have a cookbook  full of 30 minute recipes that I love and it has never let me down. This recipe was no different. It was delicious and used ingredients that you can get at any supermarket.  I’m sure there are many more authentic recipes for this soup but we thought this tasted great and it only takes 30 minutes to prepare!
Tom Kha Gai (Thai Coconut Chicken Soup)
serves 6
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons fish sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
salt and ground black pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger
3-4 teaspoons red curry paste (depending on how spicy you like it)
1 small head bok choy, greens sliced thin and stalks chopped medium- keep the greens and stalks separate 
2 (14 ounce) cans light coconut milk (don’t substitute for regular coconut milk- it will be too rich)
8 ounces sliced white mushrooms
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  1. Bring broth, fish sauce, and brown sugar to boil, covered, in large saucepan and set aside.
  2. Using paper towels, pat chicken dry and season with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add chicken and cook until light brown on both sides, around 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to plate.
  3. Leaving oil in Dutch oven, add ginger, curry paste, and 1/2 tsp salt and cook over medium heat around 1 minute.
  4. Turn heat down to low and stir in hot broth mixture (be careful- it will boil up) and scrape up any brown bits from bottom of Dutch oven. Add bok choy stalks and browned chicken and cook covered until chicken is cooked through, around 10 minutes. Remove chicken and transfer to plate.
  5. Increase heat to medium-high and stir in coconut milk and mushrooms, cooking until mushrooms are slightly soft, around 5 minutes.
  6. While mushrooms are softening, shred chicken into small pieces. Stir in bok choy greens and cook until wilted, around 1 minute. Take the soup off the heat and add shredded chicken and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper if needed and top with cilantro leaves prior to serving.
I hope you like it as much as we did! Next we will attempt Massaman Curry, Shrimp Pad Thai (the recipe book has a recipe for this) and Thai Iced Tea.
Happy Cooking!

Chorizo, Potato and Kale Soup

Ben and I have been buying the majority of our fruits, vegetables, and meats at the local CSA, Farmers Fresh CSA, in Carrollton, GA. This week we purchased kale and chorizo sausage, among other things. Wanting to create something new, I modified my favorite potato soup recipe to complement the kale and chorizo. I have to say that we were pleasantly surprised with the results. Below is the recipe for my Chorizo, Potato and Kale Soup. Let me know what you think!
Chorizo, Potato and Kale Soup
2 Mexican chorizo sausage links, casings removed (about ½ lb)
4-5 medium potatoes, peeled and diced into ¼ inch chunks
1 medium onion, diced
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large bunch kale, washed several times, stems removed, and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons AP flour
freshly ground black pepper
olive oil
5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1/3 cup half and half
  1. Place peeled and chopped potatoes in medium sized pot, cover with cold water, and bring to boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, add one teaspoon of salt and cook potatoes until fork tender, about 10-15 minutes. Drain into colander.
  2. Meanwhile, heat large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed large pot to medium heat. Cook chorizo sausage until cooked, crumbled and browned, 5-7 minutes. Once chorizo is fully cooked, remove to paper towel-covered plate to drain. Leave any oil rendered from sausage in the pan.
  3. Add olive oil, if needed, for a total of 2 tablespoons oil in pot. Add onions and cook until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, and pepper and stir to combine, about 1 minute. Add broth and bring to boil over medium high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium and add kale, stir to wilt, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  4. Add potatoes to pot and cook an additional 5 minutes, until kale is tender. Add chorizo to soup and stir to combine, allowing flavors to blend, about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Remove soup pot from heat and stir in half and half and add additional salt and pepper as desired to season.

    I forgot to take pictures while cooking and eating as the soup was that good. I’ll make sure to take pictures next time 🙂 

    Also, keep your fingers crossed for us that we get the house in Bowdon that we really want. It is on 10 acres and will get us one step closer to the life that we truly want to live. 


Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

Meighan and I were watching some old episodes of GardenFork and saw one on slow cooker pulled pork that looked good and were inspired to try our own version. It turned out great so I thought I’d share it:

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 lbs pork shoulder (we used Boston Butt)
  • 2-3 tbsp Cajun seasoning or homemade dry rub
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke


  1. Cut the pork shoulder into large pieces, leaving the fat on.
  2. Rub the Cajun seasoning or dry rub into the pork, generously covering all the meat.
  3. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork and brown on all sides then transfer to the slow cooker.
  4. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook for a few minutes until the onion starts to turn translucent and tender. Pour the water in the skillet to deglaze the pan and pour the onions, garlic, and water into the slow cooker.
  5. Stir in the liquid smoke to the slow cooker mixture.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours then turn to low and continue to cook for at least 5 more hours. The pork should fall apart when pulled with a fork.
  7. Remove from the slow cooker, separate and discard the fat, shred the meat by pulling apart with two forks, and return to the slow cooker to mix in your favorite barbecue sauce.

We used Sticky Fingers Memphis Original barbecue sauce and served on toasted sesame seed buns with coleslaw on the side.

Blueberry Muffins

So, here is a little background to this post: Ben has a distant relative named Lou who owns 300+ acres in Ranburne, Alabama. On part of his land he grows tons of blueberry bushes. One weekend while Ben and his dad were playing on the tractor, Ben’s mom Jenny, his sister Kathryn, his grandmother Honey, and I all went and picked about 4 gallons worth of blueberries. We divided the blueberries and I was left with a huge bag full. I gave my mom and sister-in-law some of the blueberries, but I was still left with a lot of blueberries. I froze some of them and kept some in the refrigerator. Not knowing what to do with all these blueberries, I decided to make blueberry muffins. I made the first batch over the 4th of July weekend while Ben and I were staying with my parents in Carrollton. This batch tasted great but they stuck to the pan. I did not have a nonstick pan so I guess that is why they stuck. I also used fresh blueberries from the refrigerator for the first batch.

After my first attempt, I decided to tweak the recipe a little and I made them again this morning. They again tasted great and did not stick to the pan! With this batch, I used a nonstick pan and the blueberries that I previously froze.

Below is the recipe for my blueberry muffins.

Blueberry Muffins

makes 12 regular-sized muffins


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2  teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, separated
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder (make sure it is not expired)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using a hand mixer. Mix in the eggs one at a time, beating well with each addition, then stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together 2 cups flour, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Put blueberries in small bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon AP flour. This helps prevent blueberries from settling to bottom of batter.
  4. Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. I found that an ice cream scoop is the perfect size.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Once out of oven, let muffins cool in pan for about 5-10 minutes. Using a butter knife, loosen muffins from around the side of pan. Turn pan upside down onto a cooling rack and muffins should come out easily onto rack.