Thursday, March 19, 2009

Red-Spice Steak Fajitas

This recipe is based of off the similarly titled Fajita recipe in Rachael Ray's March 2009 magazine, but I've made a ton of changes to the original, so I thought I'd document. Jim and I have always loved fajitas, it was the very first thing he cooked for me when we started dating, but this is a nice update to the grocery store packets. Jim and I love the fantastic colors and the incredibly fresh taste. We've already made this one twice in the last two weeks, and we see another repeat in the near future.

  • 6 medium flour tortillas
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoons, each, salt and pepper
  • 1 1/2 pounds skirt steak
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 bell peppers, cut into strips (we love the color a red and an orange pepper give).
  • 1 onion, cut into strips (we usually use a sweet onion)
  • 1 cup cilantro sprigs
  • 1/2 cup chives, chopped
  • Marinate the skirt steak at least an hour to tenderize. I don't tend to measure marinades, but I used apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, cumin, salt and pepper, garlic powder, and dehydrated onions.
  • Wrap tortillas in foil; place in the oven and heat to 300 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the chili powder, cayenne, cumin and salt and pepper. Reserve 1/2 teaspoon of the mixture and rub the remainder into the steak.
  • Heat a skillet over medium heat with 1 tablespoon oil. Saute the onions and reserved spice mix until they begin to soften, add peppers.
  • At the same time, heat a grill pan over medium-high heat with 1 tablespoon oil. Cook the steak, 3 minutes on each side for medium. Let rest for five minutes, then thinly slice against the grain.
  • Add the steak and any juices, the cilantro, and chives to the onion pepper mixture and toss. Serve with the warmed tortillas.

Indian Chicken Curry

Jim has been traveling to a small town in North Carolina every week since September, so when he comes home on the weekends he's always craving spicy ethnic foods, but I'm trying to make sure we both eat healthier than what's available from the local joints and that Jim gets to eat something home cooked. I've adapted this recipe to take advantage of the lower fat products on the market and still keep the great flavor. We serve it over a bit of basmati rice with a wedge of lemon (I love the bright flavor a splash of lemon juice provides, but Jim's not a fan, so we'll let you make your own choice). Yes, it seems like an intimidating list of ingredients at first, but it actually comes together quite quickly, and the house smells amazing while it's simmering.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 1/2 teaspoon white sugar
  • salt to taste
  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup plain yogurt -- We like to use low fat greek yogurt.
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk -- We like to use the low fat coconut milk.
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute onion until lightly browned. Stir in garlic, curry powder, cinnamon, paprika, bay leaf, ginger, sugar and salt. Continue stirring for 2 minutes. Add chicken pieces, tomato paste, yogurt, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf, and stir in cayenne pepper. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Paprika Spice Blend

This one is also a favorite from our Christmas Baskets, it makes a ton and it's good on everything, pork, chicken, burgers, even fish. Use about a tablespoon of spice mix per pound of meat used.


  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder


1. Combine all ingredients; store in an airtight container.

Indian Spiced Nuts

One of the favorite recipes from my Christmas Basket gifts, these flew out of the serving bowl, no matter who it was served to!


  • 1 (11.5-ounce) container lightly salted mixed nuts (such as Planters)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper


1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, and toss well to coat. Spread nut mixture in a single layer on a jelly-roll pan lined with parchment paper. Bake at 325° for 25 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring twice during cooking time. Cool.

Sorry it's been so long!

Sorry to all of our blog followers, we know it's been a long time since we've posted. It's been a very busy few months. I've been hard at work on lots of projects since Jim's been traveling every week for work. To begin with, I created my Christmas baskets, which included lots of canned goodies like pomegranate jelly and mixed berry and strawberry jam and chocolate raspberry sauce. As I perfect my canning technique I'll be sure to post some of my canning experiments.

Also, and perhaps more important, we got a new kitten! Sherman joined our family shortly after Christmas and we've been spending significantly more time playing feather taunt than cooking, and to tell the truth, we don't mind in the slightest!

Also, I've been working on some sewing projects, including the purse below. Will post details on how I put it together shortly!