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Spicy Orange Rum Sauce


Remember the stray kitty I found? He’s doing well.  He’s got the sniffles, but it looks like my sister will be able to take him so he will have a good home.

In food related news, I made a yummy orange sauce that is perfect for dipping meats or as a sauce on vegetables!  I bought a pack of fried shrimp for the boyfriend a while back.  He ate half of it but used all the sauce that came with it so I tried to recreate the sauce when he ate the other half.  It came out really well, so I made it again to share with you all.

It’s spicy, but that can be changed by altering the amount of red pepper flakes and chili powder in it to make it a sweeter orange sauce.  A little bit of this sauce adds a lot of flavor so you don’t need to pile it on to taste it.  This is good because it keeps the calories lower and makes veggies taste better!  Isn’t that what everyone’s looking for?  Something yummy and healthy?

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 tbsp apricot jam

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tsp sugar

1/4 cup spiced rum

1 tsp spicy brown mustard

1/2 tsp  chili flakes

1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Splash of tequila

Splash coconut rum

Prep time: 15 minutes

Servings: Makes 1/2 a cup of sauce (2 servings)

Cooking Instructions:

Combine the jam, orange juice, sugar, rum, mustard, and spices in a small sauce pan over medium heat.  While stirring, heat until the sauce begins to simmer.  Reduce heat to medium low and continue to stir until sauce thickens.  When the sauce is the desired thickness, add the tequila and coconut rum.  Continue to stir until the sauce reaches the desired thickness again.  Enjoy!

Spicy Tuna Melt


I found a stray kitty this weekend.  I was sitting on my porch (in Arizona this is acceptable in December) and he came up to me and started petting himself on my legs.  I pet him back and noticed he was horribly skinny.  I got some food and he purred and…well…. I live with three kitties now.  His name is Ripley and he’s adorable.  I took him to the vet and they say he’s about 8 months old.

Having an extra kitten around means we go through cat food a lot faster (especially since I’m trying to get the new kitty to gain weight).  We ran out of wet cat food so I used a half of a can of tuna instead.  I don’t like to waste food, so I tried to figure out something to make with the left over half of tuna.  Since I’m not a huge fan of tuna, I made a tuna melt for my boyfriend and he said it was really good.  He likes things a little spicy so I tried to make add a little spice to it.  He said that it was good, but not that spicy so I have the recipe with changes to make it a real spicy tuna melt.

This sandwich is flavorful and makes a nice lunch.  At  less than 400 calories with lots of protein and a few veggies, this sandwich is also healthy for you.  Enjoy!

Recipe

Printable Version

Ingredients:

2 slices pumpernickel bread

1 tbsp olive oil or butter

1/2 can of tuna

1/2 tbsp chipotle mayo

1/2 tsp spicy brown mustard

dash of chili powder or hot sauce*

1/2 tsp balsamic vinegar

3 slices of roma tomatoes

2 slices pepperjack cheese

*I have not tried this, but I think that it would add a nice kick to this sandwich

Active time: 15 minutes

Inactive time: 0 minutes

Servings:  Makes 1 sandwich

Cooking instructions:

Combine the tuna, mayo, mustard, vinegar, and whatever spice(s) you want in a bowl and mix.  Lightly oil or butter one side of each slice of bread.  Place one piece in the a small frying pan. Put the cheese on the bread.  Top with the tomato slices, then the cheese, and finally the tuna mixture.  Turn the heat on medium and wait.  Flip once the cheese begins to get nice and gooey and the bread begins to darken.  The sandwich is done with the other side of the bread is also beginning to darken.  Slice in half and serve.  Don’t forget to go for second helpings!

Immune Boosting Ginger Carrot Soup


I wasn’t really sure what to call this soup.  It’s mostly carrots, but just carrot soup sounds boring.  I thought about calling it Spicy-Ginger-Onion-Garlic-Carrot-Soup, but I thought that was too long.

Anyway, I made soup!  The boyfriend is sick and since I’m  vegetarian, I went hunting for a chicken soup alternative.  I’ve heard (but I have no idea if it’s true) that ginger, garlic, and onions are all supposed to be good for you if you’re sick.  Add a big helping of Vitamin C from the carrots, and I think this soup qualifies as an immune-booster soup.  The bonus is that it tastes about 50 million times better than cherry cough syrup.  This soup is delicious and will feel great on a sore throat.  Also, I just realized this recipe is vegan.  It’s so yummy that I didn’t even realize it.

Another bonus is that I got to whip out my immersion blender that I got from my mom this weekend.  One of the best parts of moving out is that you get so much stuff when you go to visit.  I returned with a Gamecube (Super Smash Bros., anyone?), a pasta roller (I’ll let you guess what my next recipe will be), an immersion blender, and a bunch of other random hand-me-downs.  Thanks, Mom!

If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can still make this recipe.  Just pour the soup into a regular blender and puree it until it’s smooth.  You’ll get the same results except you’ll lose whatever you spill.  I know I’d probably spill about half of it.  I hope you all are more coordinated than I am.

Recipe:

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

about 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh ginger

2 to 3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1/2 tbsp chives

1/2 tbsp crushed red pepper

1/2 tbsp thyme

1/4 tsp paprika

1 lbs carrots, pealed and chopped into 1″ pieces

4 cups (2 cans) vegetable stock

 

Active time: 10 minutes

Inactive time: 20 minutes

Total: 30 minutes

 

Serving Size: 4 portions

 

Cooking Instructions:

Soup is pretty easy to make.  Heat the olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat.  Add the onions, red pepper, garlic, ginger, chives, crushed red pepper, thyme, and paprika (what a list!).   Saute until the onions turn a light brown color (about 5 to 10 minutes).

Add the vegetable stock and carrots and bring to a bowl.  Cover and reduce to a simmer.  Let simmer for about 20 minutes or until the carrots are soft and easily pierced with a fork.

If you have an immersion blender, use it now to blend the soup.  I left some chunks just because I like a little texture in my soup.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour the soup into a blender or food processor and blend until it’s your desired chunkiness.

Garnish with crackers and/or extra chives.  Serve after it’s cooled so you don’t burn your tongue like I did.  As always, don’t be afraid to go for second helpings!

 

Twice Baked Butternut Squash


Ok.  New goal:  Put up a post every week on Tuesday evening.  I read somewhere that Wednesday morning is when the most people are on the internet.  I don’t know if it’s true, but it posting before Wednesday seems like a good goal.  Especially since I totally abandoned this blog for about two weeks.  I can’t really expect to gain loyal readers if I abandon them now can I?  For any potentially loyal readers, I apologize.  I won’t do it again.  I don’t even have a good excuse for why I didn’t post.  My family was in town for a week (we went to the Grand Canyon!) and then the other week the things I made were not very good.  I’m going to start making drafts before I post online so that even if I don’t have time that week, I can still post.  I think it’ll work well…I think.

In other news, it’s fall.  This means there are a flurry of pumpkin and butternut squash recipes.  I thought I’d try one to see how it went.  It turned out awesome.  Since butternut squash doesn’t have a low GI, this recipe is not the best for diabetics.  However, this recipe does have very few calories per serving.  You can check it out in the nutrition facts.  Now, on to the recipe!

Recipe:

(Makes 8 side dishes or 4 main courses)

1 medium to large butternut squash

2 tbsp olive oil

1 red onion

1 green pepper (optional)

2 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp ground ginger

1/2 cup lowfat cream cheese

1 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

1 tbsp melted butter

1/4 cup chopped pecans

1.  The goal of this first part is to end up with butternut squash mash.  I’ll explain how I did it and then how I think it could be done.  First preheat the oven to 425°F.  Next, cut the squash in half and scoop out the seeds and guts.  Place the squash cut side up on a baking tray and cover with aluminum foil.  Bake until the flesh is soft and you can easily insert a fork (about an hour depending on the size of the squash).  When the squash is done, remove from oven and let cool.  Once the squash is cool enough to handle, scrap out the flesh into a large bowl and mash it up.

I think that a better way to do this would be to peel the squash before placing it in the oven and then cutting it into 1″ cubes.  This would reduce the baking time and also allow you to immediately mash the squash when it comes out of the oven.  Also, I’m impatient and burnt myself because I didn’t let the squash cool enough.  However you want to do it, you want to end up with butternut squash mash.

2.  While the squash is in the oven or while it is cool, heat the olive oil in a skillet.  Once hot, add the chopped red onion, the chopped green pepper, the thyme, and the ginger.  Stir occasionally and cook until the onion and pepper begin to brown.  Add to the large bowl with the butternut squash mash.

3.  Add the cream cheese and the parmesan cheese to the bowl and mix all the ingredients together until uniform.  Spoon the mixture into oven safe dishes.  I made mine in 4-3.5 oz ramekins.  You could also put all of the mixture into one large baking dish (probably a 9×9 glass casserole dish) for a family style dish.  Add the bread crumbs and chopped pecans to the melted butter and mix.  Spoon the mixture over the top of the mixture in the dishes as evenly as you can.

4.  Place the dish(es) in the oven at 425°F for 25 minutes until the tops begin to brown.  Remove from oven.  Let cool and then enjoy and don’t hesitate when going for second helpings!

Nutrition Facts:

Also, here’s a picture with my kitty (Rhombus) in it.  It’s blurry, but I ♥ my kitty so I’m posting it anyway.

Introduction


Hello future readers of Holly’s Helpings!  I’m sure that there will be many of you just dying to know what I was like back in the beginning of the sensation that is now a world renowned food blog.

Just joking.

I hope that there are at least some future readers and that this turns out to be a decent food blog.  We’ll see what happens.

So, here’s a little about me.  I currently live in Arizona.  I live with my boyfriend, his kitty (Recker), and my kitty (Rhombus).  My kitty is the most adorable kitty ever.  Everyone says that.  I’m just the only one that’s not lying.  You can see for yourself:

Holly's adorable kitty

Cute, right?  Well, I’m going to go try to make this food blog look awesome now. Experimenting on days off is fun!  I hope you future readers of Holly’s Helpings enjoy this first post.  Thanks for reading!

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