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Wednesday, March 23, 2016


Pesto is one of the easiest things to make and it makes such a delicious meal!  Of course, the trick here in Luanda is actually finding basil in the grocery store.  When I DO find it, I buy a bunch and make this pesto sauce.  You can serve it over baked chicken or mix it with pasta, or have it on toast or just eat it straight from the jar (no judgement here).  There are only five ingredients and it takes just a couple minutes to prepare.

2 cups basil leaves
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup good olive oil
1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts (you can substitute walnuts or pecans if you prefer)

Place everything in the food processor except the oil.  Pulse a few minutes until everything is chopped well. With the processor running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Continue to process a few more seconds. And that's it.  You're done!  I'll be posting my chicken pesto pasta recipe in the next few days, so watch for it :)

Spicy Potato Curry

It was one of those days.  I had no meat thawed for dinner and no real plan on what to cook. Luckily, I had some potatoes that needed to be cook soon anyways, so this is what I threw together.  It was delicious! I had  leftovers twice the next day (lunch and dinner). It is spicy so if you don’t enjoy the heat, either reduce the cayenne or leave it out altogether.

6 medium potatoes, cubed
Vegetable oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper (less if you don’t like spicy)
4 teaspoons curry powder
4 teaspoons garam masala
2 teapsoons salt
¾ cup cauliflower, cut in bite sized pieces
14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
15 oz can garbanzo beans, drained
½ cup frozen peas
14 oz can coconut milk

Bring large pot of salted water to boil then add potatoes.  Simmer until tender (15-20 minutes). Drain thoroughly.

Over medium heat, place oil in a large pot.  Add onions and garlic and saute until onion is transuclent. Add seasonings and stir and cook for about 2 minutes. Add cauliflower and cook 2-3 minutes. Add tomatoes, garbanzo beans, peas, potatoes and coconut milk.  Bring to a simmer and allow to cook 10 minutes.

Great over basmati rice or with some delicious naan or both!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup

Here is a simple recipe for a condensed cream of chicken soup to use in recipes.  It's so easy and takes about 10 minutes to prepare.  It makes 3 cups so if you don't need all of it, you can freeze the rest of it.

This is especially helpful here in Angola, where you can't find this soup. This can be a problem because it's found in so many quick-cooking casserole recipes that we all need to make sometimes when we are having one of those crazy busy nights where we barely have time to breath.

Here is your super easy, 10 minute condensed cream of chicken soup recipe:

2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
3/4 cup flour
1 tablespoon seasoning mix of your choice (I used a mix of seasoning salt and garlic powder)

Bring chicken broth and 1/2 cup milk to a boil.  Mix remaining ingredients together and whisk until smooth.  Reduce chicken broth/milk to low. Add the milk/flour mixture and whisk for about 5 minutes or until thickened.

For the seasonings, you don't have to use a prepared seasoning salt.  You can use whatever you like and/or have on hand (onion powder, garlic powder, tarragon, rosemary, etc).  

Simple, easy, and fast!

Cape Town, South Africa

I am so late getting this post up!  My excuse is that I had hundreds of pictures to sort through to try to give you the best idea of our lovely family vacation in Cape Town.  Just looking at these pictures again makes me want to hop on a plane and head down to this magnificent city and take in the beautiful views and enjoy a lovely glass of shiraz.

This trip was filled with great sites and lasting memories.  We experienced gorgeous views at Cape of Good Hope and Cape Point, we visited with the penguins at Boulders Beach, we spent a few days at a vineyard and had some amazing dinners and wine and we learned some great lessons at Robben Island. We also had some great outdoor time with runs through the vineyard, hikes in the mountains, and a few outdoor chess games.

Cape of Good Hope


Penguins at Boulders Beach

Robben Island


All recipes are on Petitchef