Posts tagged ‘spices’

Curry and smoked paprika popcorn

Popcorn is always an easy satisfying tabula rasa waiting for you to fill in the blanks, and I have a large spice rack. Not to mention a whole world of sweet popcorn treats to explore.

Here I seasoned half with curry powder and the other half with smoked paprika. It’s separately seasoned (so there are yellow and red kernels) then tossed together with sea salt. You can also heat some butter/ghee (or Earth Balance, olive oil etc.), toast up some cumin seeds, dried chilies, and curry and pour over popcorn for a more intense curry flavor. Next time I want to try garam masala, salt, and sugar.



April 14, 2008 at 5:24 pm Leave a comment

40 minute simple as anything curry

Ryan’s 40 minute simple as anything curry

  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp finely minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper (adjust accordingly)
  • 1 can (14oz) coconut milk
  • 1-2 medium potatoes, cubed 3/4 in
  • Either 2 chicken thighs, strip-cut or 3/4 lb tofu, lightly fried
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Raisins, chutney, etc.
1. Sautee shallot, garlic, ginger in olive oil for about 10 minutes on low heat
2. Increase heat to med and add meat; brown (about 10 more minutes)
3. Add coconut milk, plus 1/5 the can in water (to rinse out the awesome)
4. Bring to simmer, then add potatoes and spices
5. Simmer until potatoes are soft, add salt to taste
6. Serve with white rice and raisins or chutney

with chicken and spring onion instead of shallot

By Ryan an IT analyst living in Houston who enjoys a good meal, both preparation and consumption. $43,000 away from being a professional chef, he dabbles and learns from reverse engineering popular dishes and drinks. Owns a ridiculously stocked bar. Is currently planning a wedding with fiancée (when you pay for it, you better know where the money is going), enjoys ghost hunting, travel, and spending way too long on the Internets.

April 9, 2008 at 8:05 pm 1 comment

Banana Muffins


When I crave muffins it’s usually blueberry but I had just bought a lot of raisins.

In the past I’ve had bad experiences with muffin liners, but I decided to give them another try and it turned out perfect. The wrapper came off with ease, the top was crispy and the center moist. They went faster than usual; I hoped I would have some left for breakfast.

Spiced Banana Raisin Oatmeal Muffins

  • 1 banana
  • 3/4 cup sugar +1 tsp molasses (or 1 cup dark brown sugar)*
  • 1/2 cup organic shortening (or butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup hazelnut flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • dash of cloves
  • dash of cardamom

*I tend to add molasses to sugar in baking instead of buying brown sugar. Packaged brown sugar always turns into an unusable brick in a few weeks.

Preheat oven to 350°. Break up the banana into large chunks, add sugar and molasses, mix briefly. Then add shortening, mix till completely smooth, and then add eggs one at a time till incorporated. Then mix in spices, oats, and raisins; followed by the rest of the dry ingredients. Grease or line your muffin pan and fill to 1/4 inch below the rim. I made only 10 muffins that way; if you distribute less per cup you can make 12 smaller ones. Bake for 25mins, check with a skewer.


and then there were none…


March 7, 2008 at 9:52 pm 5 comments

Tea in my cookie

(clockwise from the top; vanilla bean, ginger, black tea, cardamom, and black peppercorn)

During the month of December with freezing temps and holiday cheer, I had a great excuse to bake batches and batches of cookies. I tend to make cookies on the spur of the moment and with whatever I have lying around. My pantry always has almond and hazelnut flour on hand (great deals on packs 4 from Bob’s Red Mill on And due to certain events, I now have dozens of vanilla beans (I’m not complaining). I’m usually drinking green tea all day (everyday); but I do keep some black tea around. And my spice rack is always well stocked. All these factors combined made Vanilla Chai Cookies. I also made an almond sugar cookie, but the chai was the clear favorite during Christmas. The smell of warm vanilla and spices is still comforting for these mid winter days.

The idea of putting tea leaves into the cookies came from my favorite tea house, but that’s a whole other story for another time.


Vanilla Chai Cookies


  • a 2 inch piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 whole vanilla bean /or 1 tbsp of vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh coarse ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp of ground cloves
  • 3 cardamom pods /or 1/2 tsp of ground cardamom
  • 2 tsp of good quality whole black tea leaves


  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup of organic shortening(but u can use 1 stick of butter)
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 1/2 cup of hazelnut(or almond) flour /or 1 1/4 cup of raw hazelnuts(or raw almonds) ground finely in food processor*
  • 2 cup regular white flour
  • 1 1/2 cup brown sugar(light or dark)
  • 1 to 4 tbsp of water(to bind)

In the food processor, throw in all the spices (and tea) + sugar, pulse then blend till the vanilla and ginger r incorporated.
Next add in all the butter, blend till it’s all incorporated.
Add the hazelnut flour and blend.
Add in the egg and blend.
Add in all the flour and pulse, adding some of the water, the dough should ball up.
Get out some plastic wrap and split the dough into 2 pieces.
Form it into 2 logs, wrap and twist up the ends. Maybe doubling the plastic wrap in case it doesn’t cover the ends. Each log should be roughly about 2 x 1.5 x 10inches.
Put it in the freezer for 15-20mins. When it comes out it should be firm enough to slice up into quarter inch pieces. If it’s too hard, leave it out for a few minutes. You can use one log and save the other in the freezer for quite a while.
Preheat oven to 350; place cookies on parchment lined cookie sheet. They might expand up to 50%, so space them out accordingly. Baking time should be about 10-13mins, keep an eye and nose on it; the smell is a good indicator for doneness. If the dough was warmed by the time it goes into the oven, it could be done under 10min. If it’s a wider log or thicker slices it might take up to 15mins or more.

* If you just don’t have or want nuts in it, use an additional 1 1/4 cup of regular flour + 1 tbsp of shortening/butter + 1/2 tsp of baking powder.

To make them more festive I dipped them in white chocolate and sprinkled with pink sugar.

dipped lina-sm.gif -L

January 17, 2008 at 8:09 pm Leave a comment

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