Tag Archives: how to

Stove-Top Island Spice Popcorn with Coconut Oil and Turmeric

Pook's Pantry - Island Spice Popcorn

Popcorn.  It’s a movie theater staple and it is practically mandatory snacking for movie nights at home.  Heck, it’s even dinner sometimes.  While I’m not knocking butter and salt, I like to dress mine up a bit more.  I open the spice cabinet and put together concoctions that would make Harry Potter’s head spin. Popcorn doesn’t have to be Plain Jane,  it can be “Revved Up Rita” and this popcorn definitely turns it up a notch. 

We are old school in this house.  Popcorn is made on the stove.  We get out the big pot, pour the kernels in with a little oil and “shake, shake, shake” while we peer through the glass lid waiting for the magic to happen.  Freshly popped corn tastes so much better than the microwave kind.  It’s really not a hassle and it takes about 5 minutes longer than the bag.  You can use this seasoning on any popcorn, whatever your preferred popping method.  

Continue reading

Loquat Cardamom Jam

Loquat Cardamom Jam | Pook's Pantry
Loquat jam is sweet and tart, slightly floral and absolutely delicious.   Loquats are more commonly referred to as “Japanese plum” and they are high in pectin, which makes them ideal for jams.   

Three months after I moved to Florida, I went to visit my aunt and uncle who live here part of the year.  My Aunt Ramona made loquat jam and asked if I would like to try it.  Of course I replied with a resounding “YES”, as I am never one to refuse food.

Continue reading

Healthy Homemade Banana Pumpkin Dog Treats

Pumpkin Banana Dog Treats - Pook's Pantry
My dog is spoiled, but I’m guessing yours is too.  Healthy, homemade banana pumpkin dog treats are quick and easy to make, plus they only have four ingredients!  For less than $5, you can make approximately 100 treats, which is a much better deal than store bought.

Our pets are like family.   We do everything we can for them, right?  Which is why I make treats for her instead of buying them when I have the time.   Sugar has always had a very sensitive stomach and sometimes store bought foods/treats have given her tummy issues.   For example, when she was a puppy I went through NINE different dog foods before I found one that didn’t make her sick.  Eventually, the vet suggested that I cook vegetables for her and mix them with her dog food.  Sugar has been on this diet for a few years now with no issues, so I’m quite happy.  She eats what we eat most of the time, so it’s not really any extra work.  Chicken, broccoli, cucumbers, sweet potatoes, apples, bananas, etc.  She eats better than some of my friends!

Continue reading

Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter Vegetable Soup l Pook's PantryThis post is sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes. As always, all opinions are my own.

It’s winter.  That means comfort food.  But, we’re also trying to eat a little healthier too, right? We’re making an effort to eat more vegetables because we want to get more bang for our buck in the nutrition department.  I’ve got you covered.  This soup is nearly fat free, it’s low in calories and contains a ton of vitamins, minerals and fiber.  While you are cozied up in the house, it’s the perfect time to put on a pot of this hearty winter vegetable soup.

Continue reading

Crash & Burn Potatoes

Crash & Burn Potatoes l Pook's Pantry
This post is sponsored by Idaho® Potatoes. All opinions are my own.

If you are looking for a new way to serve potatoes, this is it!  I made these a few days ago with the intention of saving them for dinner that night.  I have news for you, they didn’t survive the afternoon.  We ate a few and then we ate more.   We even ate them cold because they were delicious.  Normally, the phrase “crash & burn” has a negative connotation to it, but not in this case. These little spuds are smashed (flattened) and roasted until super crispy then bathed in a spicy cinnamon malt vinegar sauce.  Hence, the name Crash & Burn Potatoes.

Continue reading

Summer Berry Smash

Summer Berry Smash

Has this ever happened to you?  You buy a watermelon, a huge watermelon (because it’s finally in season and you’ve been craving it since October), and then you realize you are going out of town in a few days?   I’m not naming any names,  but you (I) know who you (me, again) are…

Not one to let food go to waste, this was no exception.   Watermelon, meet blender.

It’s summer, people!  What do we need?!  Drinks!!!  When do we need them?!  RIGHT NOW!!!  
A libation that screams summer.  A drink that makes us think of lazy days, floating in the pool or feeling the sand between our toes.  One that  we have at backyard bbqs with friends and neighbors, watching the sun drop as the firepit glows with bright orange flames dancing around skewered, melty marshmallows.  This is that drink.

Continue reading

Arugula, Butternut & White Bean Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

butternut arugula salad

A few months ago, we were in Vancouver for our honeymoon. Whenever we tell people that we spent our honeymoon in Vancouver, it goes one of two ways: If they’ve never been, they automatically ask “Why Vancouver?” and for those that have been, it’s usually a smile and a sigh. They get it. There’s a reason I had to tell you a bit of backstory… I planned for MONTHS for this trip. Every single detail, including activities and eating. Ok, it was mostly eating… One of the “must do” activities was biking the perimeter of Stanley Park.  The weather did not cooperate with us and it rained almost every single day of our trip.  

Continue reading

Soba Noodles and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Soba Noodles with Stir Fried Vegetables - Pook's Pantry

Soba noodles with stir-fried vegetables is a quick, easy and delicious healthy option for meatless Monday, or any day of the week.  Soba noodles cook in a only a few minutes, the veggies get a quick sauté and dinner is done.  From fridge to fork in less than 20 minutes – faster if you prep vegetable the night before.

It’s another New Year and once again, after the gluttony that was Thanksgiving and Christmas overindulgence, it’s time to rein it back in.  One way that we have decided to do that around here is sticking to a “meatless Monday”. 

While we were whooping it up in Vancouver a few months ago, we had a warm soba noodle appetizer at our favorite sushi restaurant.  It was loaded with seafood and unbelievably delicious.  I wanted to have something reminiscent of that salad, but suitable for a vegetarian dinner.   The only restriction I gave myself (aside from the seafood) was that I had to use what I had in the kitchen.    It wasn’t like there was a “rule” in play…  I just didn’t feel like going to store.  Out of sheer laziness, deliciousness was born!

Continue reading

Cranberry-Orange Upside Down Cake

 

cranberry orange.jpg

I love desserts, this is not a secret.  Some people like over the top, more is better, super rich desserts.  These are not for me.   We were recently doing a cake tasting and the chocolate cake was so rich that I could only eat one bite.  Literally.  I don’t mean, “Oh, I couldn’t possibly…”  I mean it was so sweet that I could not eat more than a single bite.  Who wants ONE BITE of cake?!  Needless to say, some changes were made.  I need something to counter the sugar. It could be something tart like lemon or cranberry, salt to balance out the sweet or even something as simple as almost unsweetened whipped cream.   Unless it’s little pink piglets frolicking with puppies and baby monkeys in a field of wildflowers, I can’t handle that much sweetness.

Continue reading

Mango Lime Quinoa

Mango Lime Quinoa

Welcome to the first installment of “Client Food Fridays”.  Every other Friday, I’m going to share recipes I cook for clients in hopes that you can expand your weekly repertoire and incorporate some new dishes into the rotation.  We all fall into cooking ruts, ALL of us.  It’s so easy to make the same things over and over because we can do it by rote memory.   And let’s be honest, sometimes that’s exactly what we need after an exceptionally long week.   But then, there are those days when we are feeling good and we are totally in the mood to try something new (whether or not anyone else in our house is on board is not an issue… picky eaters, beware.  we’re coming for you).

Continue reading