How Did We Miss This in South Dakota?!

We’re in South Dakota tonight for this week’s stateside meal adventure. As we mentioned in a previous post, the Mount Rushmore State was one of Miss A’s favorite places to visit this past summer – and now it just might be her favorite cooking destination too. The South Dakota Peach Kuchen has been a hit on our breakfast plates this week and tonight South Dakota’s official state food, Fry Bread, was also a big winner.

South Dakota Fry Bread can be served as a main dish with taco toppings or as a dessert/snack with cinnamon and sugar. Of course we tested both options! Our taco toppings are courtesy of Laura at Manna & Quail who posted her Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos recipe last night. Thank you Laura! This recipe truly saved us a ton of time tonight (Seriously dinner was done and cleaned up by ten after six!), and it was just the healthy topping we needed.

We prepared the slow cooker recipe around 11 a.m. this morning and then went about our day. At around 1 p.m. we began to thaw the frozen dinner rolls in a greased muffin tin.

Once thawed, about 3-5 hours later, roll the dough into 6-inch circles. Now they are ready to fry or place on the griddle. We fried six of the dough circles in oil in a heavy skillet and cooked the remaining six on a greased griddle. Since the griddle makes this a much healthier meal, we figured that we’d test out the taste difference between the two cooking methods. If frying the dough, once the circles are golden brown, remove and drain on paper towels. For either methods it’s helpful to keep the cooked fry bread warm in the oven while cooking the remaining dough. Now, that’s it! They are ready to serve.

The taco toppings were perfect for the fry bread and truthfully we couldn’t tell a difference between the fried ones and those that were cooked on the griddle. They were equally delicious. Dad, Mr. N and I all helped ourselves to seconds and Miss A devoured her first serving.

As for the dessert, we have another winner on our hands. The cinnamon sugar was delicious and a nice contrast to the taco toppings. The fried version, however, was better this time.

Tonight’s dinner comes highly recommended. It’s very easy, very fast and very tasty. And if you opt to use the griddle, it’s also healthy. Tonight got 3 spoons all around. Maybe even a 4 from Miss A who was chanting, “I need more sugar! I need more sugar!”

Print this recipe: South Dakota Fry Bread

It’s Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Spring…in Russia

Last week we celebrated spring Russian style with the traditional recipe from Shrovetide, Blini. Then, yesterday we woke up and wondered if we weren’t in Russia – snow covering the ground in April?! It somehow seemed fitting to be cooking up yet another dish from the country that’s home to Siberia. This time we chose a healthy version of a traditional Russian dish – Chicken Kiev.

We began by mixing melted butter with freshly chopped dill, garlic, salt and pepper. We then refrigerated the mix for an hour. In the meantime, the kids got to use a meat mallet again (yes, we finally bought a real one!) to pound the chicken breasts to a quarter of an inch thickness.

They take their pounding very seriously! Continue reading

Overcoming Some Fears

This weekend has been a whirlwind! We left town Thursday night for St. Louis. Dad had a conference to attend on Friday and Mr. N, Miss A and I were tagging along to enjoy a little change of scenery and visit the City Museum. The weekend wasn’t without its challenges – Miss A caught a cold, the conference hotel left a little to be desired and the wi-fi didn’t work (gasp!).  That said, we did squeak out some good times – dinner with an old friend, a visit to Union Station, lots of pillow fights, giggles and a few winery stops.

But my favorite part of the weekend, by far, was the three hours Mr. N and I spent at the City Museum. With Miss A under the weather, she and Dad stayed back at the hotel. Fortunately at 2-1/2 years old hotels are still a major novelty – elevators, fluffy bedding, escalators – it’s a virtual kids museum in its own right. As for Mr. N and I, we kept busy climbing through tunnels, shooting out slides, caving, crawling in cages suspended high above the ground, and descending 10-story slides! As a sufferer of a fear of heights and a claustrophobic, this was both a death-defying and positively exhilarating experience for me. It was a thrill to overcome some mild fears and truly explore with the wonder of a child again. Needless to say Mr. N had the time of his life, and often tried stuff first to make sure it was safe for me! So, if you ever visit St. Louis – it’s a definite must-see for children and adults alike.

So that brings us to this evening. Continue reading

Aloha! Our Epic Cooking Journey to Hawaii

Last week Mr. N took us to Indiana for our  mid-week stateside adventure. This week it was Miss A’s turn and she went for a more exotic destination – Hawaii! She’s been quite fascinated with the state after learning that mom, dad and Mr. N were there before she was born and that we’re trying to plan for a trip there again next year (fingers crossed!). The first choices for our dinner were obvious – a Tropical Fruit Salad and the nonalcoholic version of the Lava Flow. Mr. N and I indulged quite frequently in this delicious little drink on our last trip to the Big Island, and he was very excited to try them at home. As for our main course, after a little digging through internet recipes we decided to try the Manapua. Coincidentally the manapua recipe was brought to the Hawaiian Islands by the Chinese – so it’s a good fit for our international theme this week too.  Continue reading

Good Fortune and Chopsticks

Now that everyone has had a chance to select a location, it’s Mr. N’s turn again and this time he’s taking us to China. Both he and Miss A enjoy Chinese food – especially with Nana and Papa who often take them out for Chinese. So for Mr. N’s first recipe selection we’re going with Kung Pao Chicken served over jasmine rice. This promised to be a quick and tasty meal – just what we needed before heading out to a St. Baldrick’s fundraiser (excellent cause by the way).

Miss A was responsible for measuring and pouring tonight. She began with the sesame oil for the stir fry. Mr. N in the meantime got to try out the potato peeler on some fresh ginger. He seemed a bit nervous at first, but quickly got the hang of it. Dad took care of cutting the chicken and I tended to cooking the initial ingredients at the stove.  Continue reading

We win some and lose some….

…and we sure are having fun! Tonight was our second foray with Greek cooking, and it was probably the most fun we’ve had yet. We opted for the Kotopitta me Feta (Chicken and Feta Pie) recipe using a homemade Whole Wheat Phyllo Dough. As we’re all big fans of feta and chicken, we were really looking forward to this meal.

Our adventure began early this afternoon with our phyllo. The phyllo gave us all the opportunity to do something we love – Mr. N got to make a pool of oil and water in the flour mix (he spends hours making holes and filling them with water on the beach), Miss A got to smash and flip the dough (much how she does with her play dough), Dad got to make a mess with the flour, and I just get such satisfaction out of a good a pie crust.  Continue reading