Nothing reminds me of the holidays more than spiced cookies. For this special Secret Recipe Club Cookie Carnival round-up for the winter, I was paired up with Cindy from Hun… What’s for Dinner?, a stay at home to 2 children. It was pretty much a no brainer when I saw her recipe for Ginger Molasses Cookies, a perfect way to take the edge off on a chilly day. My favorite way to eat these cookies are after they’ve been warmed over the a cup of tea — soft and chewy center with crispier outer edges.
These cookies bake uniformly and are pretty to look at with the crackly tops. Since we like our cookies on the softer side, we baked them for only 10 minutes and set them to cool on parchment paper. The molasses in these cookies keeps them soft for days after baking. My husband baked these for me one evening and I brought them into work 4 or 5 days later and they were still very soft and flavorful. This is also the first cookie I’ve heard of that used oil instead of butter; how these would bake into cookies seemed like a mystery to me.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired up with Sally from Bewitching Kitchen. Sally is a super smart and fit biochemist transplant from Brazil by way of California, Paris, and now Manhattan. There are many recipes on Sally’s site, including Carrot Orzo, Farfalle with Kale Pesto, Biscoff Oatmeal Cookies, Speculaas, Pumpkin Espresso Loaf, Nutella Drop Cookies, Snickerdoodles with a Twist, Butterscotch Brownies, Pumpkin Shrimp Curry, Sabu’s Spicy Coconut Chicken, Lemony Chicken Curry, Bon Bon Chicken, and Clay Pot Pork. I could tell through my recipe selection that I was really in the mood for curry, so I chose Green Curry Pork Tenderloin. Instead of buying green curry paste for this recipe I used the yellow curry paste I had in the pantry.
This was a very good recipe that tasted great. It did take a little while to get all of the recipe components prepared and we still needed to make a supplemental side to go with the protein. The pork was cooked perfectly and went great with the sauce. The marinade was easy to make, though we substituted the reduced sodium soy sauce with regular soy sauce diluted with water. We don’t have a grill in our building so we roasted it in the oven and finished with the broiler. I must admit that I was intimidated when it came time to make our own curry sauce, but it came together pretty easily. The sauce was quite mild so we would up the heat next time, especially since this recipe made tons of extra sauce.
The best thing about this dish were the candied nuts on top. We couldn’t find pumpkin seeds so replaced them with shelled pistachios. The nuts were quite addictive and we used the leftovers to top a salad the next day.
For October’s Secret Recipe Club, I was paired up with Nora from Natural Noshing. Nora is about the same age as me and has “a passion for nutrition and eating natural, real food — nothing too fussy, over-processed or complicated.” The fact that she avoids gluten and limits her sugar intake seemed a bit daunting at first (I am, after all, a carb-avore that loves sweets), but my worries went away when I started perusing her recipes.
Between Almond Joy / Mounds Pancakes, Chicken Vindaloo, Fire Roasted Chicken Enchiladas with Squash and Red Peppers, Kickin Cashew Chicken, Red Thai Tofu Curry, Pineapple Upside Down Cake for One, and Spicy Kabocha Soup, I’ve bookmarked quite a few recipes to try out later.
One of our comfort foods during while were were dating was Kung Pao Tofu from a local Chinese restaurant. Because of this, it wasn’t hard for my husband to decide on this dish as his SRC pick. Not only did he pick this dish, but he also made it for us one day while we were working from home together.
This recipe won’t solve your craving for Chinese take-out style because it is much lighter and less greasy. It tastes fresher, especially with the crunch of the red bell peppers. Since the dish is relatively easy and quick to make, next time I’d like to try boosting up the spice as well as swapping the chicken for tofu.
For this month’s Secret Recipe Club I got to take a mini trip around the world with Tara’s Multicultural Table. Tara actually has a similar background to me, including Filipino, Japanese, German, and the Southern United States. Her passion for different cultures through food is apparent through her delicious blog. Looking through her recipe index was painful — there were so many things that I wanted to make, how could I choose between Northern Thai Curry, Mango Cinnamon Basil Smoothie, Afghani Kebab with Gravy, Macarons with Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling, Yaki Udon, Cong You Bing (Scallion Pancakes), or Sichuan Wontons in Chili Sauce.
My decision was made instantly easier when I spotted her recipe for Curried Vegetable Noodles.
One of our favorite dishes to get when we order takeout or visit the local dim sum restaurant is Singaporean Curry Noodles. It has the perfect level of spiciness (flavor, not heat) and the little nuggets of meat and vegetables break up the monotony of the noodles. I was a bit lazy and used some stir fry vegetables and packaged sauce from Trader Joe’s, but I counter-acted that laziness by topping the noodles with some home-grown Thai Basil.
To make it closer to the takeout version, throw some chicken, pork, or shrimp in with the noodles. Or, as my fiancé suggested, the addition of some egg would add a nice amount of protein.
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Waffles are one of my favorite things to eat. I always order them over pancakes or French Toast when I’m at breakfast or brunch. The reason is that I can’t make them at home. I don’t have a waffle iron, let alone a waffle recipe or mix.
That’s why I was excited for this month’s Secret Recipe Club pair-up with Rebekah from Making Miracles. Rebekah had not one, but two recipes for waffles! I chose to go with her “Classic Waffles” because Not only does this recipe whip up in a jiffy, but it is a tried and true “Family Favorite” from Rebekah’s family.
This recipe also gave me an excuse to use my parents’ “Circus Waffle Iron” to make some mini-waffles. Because of that, I halved the recipe and still was able to get around 12 mini waffles from it.
Check out Making Miracles for more about Rebekah’s family, food, and memories and the Secret Recipe Linkup below to so who else participated in this month’s reveal.