Happy New Year!

Happy 2015!  Wow, it has been WAY too long since I’ve blogged.  Since July I have made all kinds of delicious foods that I’ve failed to post, probably because I was too interested in consuming the foods soon after cooking or baking….so as many people after the holidays, I need to lose some LBs.  Now, just because I’m “watching it” does not mean I will sacrifice my taste buds, no no no.  Any fad “diet” (ie paleo, gluten free, juice cleanses, etc) are against my religion (my religion is love and happiness).  For me, it’s everything in moderation and I really need to emphasize on the moderation!  You will be seeing less baking posts because that has been my problem area.  Any who, here’s a recap of all my food happenings July – December!

So what have I been up to since July…..well, to start we had our annual McVicker camping trip in July.  This year we decided on Fort Bragg and it was so beautiful and amazing!  I highly recommend camping at Mackerrichter State Park!  An added plus, someone caught some fresh fish and decided to leave it hanging on our campsite…score!  We grilled those suckers up and dug in!  I also made my Campfire Nasi Goreng on this trip.

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Son Devours Fish

Soon after the camping trip my husband and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary in Sonoma.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  On our way up we stopped in Petaluma for the Lagunitas Brew tour….wow was it worth it.  I mean how could it not be…its delicious Lagunitas beer and it was free!  We stayed at the Old Crocker Inn in Cloverdale, hit up some wineries off Dry Creek Road, and stopped at our favorite little restaurant in Geyeserville called Diavola Salumeria.

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Once we got back from Sonoma the kids started school so that consumed much of my time which is part of the reason I haven’t posted in a while.

In November we did manage to get in a pretty kick ass rijastaffel (Dutch Indonesian feast).  We BBQ’d satay, made nasi goreng, kroepoek, cucumber salad….it was amazing!  And of course the people and the company are the most important ingredient 🙂  All the love we put into the food (especially the satay pricking which I did not do but did delegate the task and micromanage lol), the conversations…I just love my family!

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In the beginning of December my Godmother, Mom, and God sisters had a holiday bake day and it was deliciously sinful.  Shots of fernet, too much sugar and carbs, old school Christmas records, it was so fantastic!  This was the first year we did this and I hope we can make it a tradition!

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For Christmas Matt and I hosted our 3rd annual Pho Christmas and I can’t even believe I took NO pictures of the amazingly delicious Pho!  Darn!  However I did snap a pic of my festive white holiday cake topped with candied cranberries and edged with fresh rosemary.

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And finally we have New Years.  We had my cousin and her husband over.  I made classic cheese fondue from a cook book my husbands late grandmother gave me (she used to make fondue every Christmas Eve).  We also had plenty of fernet and champagne!

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Happy 2015!!!

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Ayam Pangang Sulawesi

My Oma has always made a dish she calls “Ayam Pangang” which is translated as Roasted Chicken.  In her recipe the chicken is smothered in sambal oeleck, lemon, onions, etc.  The way I learn to cook Indonesian food is by cooking WITH my Oma as all her recipes are in her head.  I have not cooked this dish with her yet so I tried to find one online and this was the closest I could find.  It is definitely different that what she makes as it is simmered in a coconut marinade and then grilled.  It was absolutely delicious, the whole family enjoyed it and it was a great way to kick off grilling season!  Here is the recipe adapted from Rasa Malaysia:

8 shallots, chopped

5 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 tbsp sambal oeleck (more or less to your liking of spiciness)

1 green pepper, chopped

6 unsalted macadamia nuts

1 knuckle sized piece of ginger, peeled and chopped

4 tbsp peanut oil

2 tsp tumeric

2 stalked lemongrass, cut into 2 inch long pieces

3 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 1/2 cup (one can) coconut milk

pinch of salt and pepper

cut up chicken

Put shallots, garlic, sambal, tumeric, macadamia nuts, green pepper and ginger in a food processer and pulse until you have a smooth paste.

Add the paste to the peanut oil in a large, non stick pan over medium low heat.  The paste should start to sizzle.  Cook about 5 minutes, stirring.  Add the lemongrass and saute about 3 minutes and enjoy the wonderful lemony aroma.  Squeeze in some fresh lime juice.

Add the coconut milk, salt and pepper and stir until all the ingredients come together.  Turn heat up to med high and let the sauce come to a simmer, about 10 minutes.

Wash chicken and prick with fork.  Add the chicken to the simmer sauce and stir a few times, making sure all the chicken is completely doused in the sauce.  Cook until almost done, about 30 minutes, stirring every couple minutes.  Cook on a soft simmer on med low.

After simmering 30 minutes, throw your chicken on the bbq only about 5 min per side, to get those nice grill marks on it.  Now enjoy!  This pairs nicely with Nasi Kuning, a fresh cucumber salad, and a Racer 5!

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