Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato  |  Lemon & Mocha

Normally when I see a recipe I am just drooling over it takes me months, even years, to finally get around to making it. Then when I finally make it months later I eventually get around to posting it on Lemon & Mocha. Not this time, my friends!

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato  |  Lemon & Mocha

I saw this glorious Thai stuffed sweet potato one week, made it the next week then made it again to photograph the week after. Now here it is on Lemon & Mocha. Unbelievable!

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato  |  Lemon & Mocha

The reasons I made it so fast are the same two reasons you should make it this week:  1. The minute I saw it my peanut sauce loving self was instantly obsessed with the idea and I knew I had to have it and, 2. Reading the recipe I couldn’t believe how easy it was.

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato  |  Lemon & Mocha

A third reason was also that I’m always looking for healthy vegetarian meals since Matt and I try to go meatless a couple nights a week. The flavor of the creamy sweet potato with the tender broccoli, crisp scallions and sweet edamame smothered in this peanut sauce is divine. It was so divine in fact that I ate it three nights in a row!

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato  |  Lemon & Mocha

So get adventurous with your dinner this week and make this Thai stuffed sweet potato.

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
for the sweet potatoes
  • 4-6 sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets and steamed
  • 1 cup cooked edamame beans
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped peanuts
  • Salt and pepper
for the peanut sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½” piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Directions
for the sweet potatoes
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Pierce the potatoes 4-6 times with a fork and place on a baking sheet lined with tin foil. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the potato.
  2. Let the potatoes cool slightly before handling then cut a slit in the top of each one. Stuff with the broccoli and edamame then drizzle generously with the peanut sauce. Garnish with the chopped scallions and peanuts. Serve hot.
for the peanut sauce
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. If you would prefer a thicker consistency add more peanut butter then remix. If you would prefer a thinner consistency add more coconut milk then remix.

Recipe from Shared Appetite.

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Growing up we never ate Chinese food in my house. I’m not sure why considering how delicious sesame chicken and crab rangoons taste. Thai food, on the other hand, was a regular staple in our house.

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Whether we would get takeout or go to a nearby thai restaurant we always ordered the chicken satay with peanut sauce. Everything on a stick tastes better because it’s more fun to eat, but this dish is more than that. The combination of sweet, sour and savory makes each bite delightful and peanut sauce is incredibly addictive. Let’s be honest, we’re all just in it for the peanut sauce.

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chicken satay is one restaurant takeout that you can definitely bring to your own kitchen. I’ve made it a few times and always had excellent results.

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

As far as pad thai goes I am currently leaving that dish to the experts after a few failed attempts involving accidentally purchasing an incorrect ingredient at an Asian market. Matt and I will never know what that pink-gray paste was we ate that night… But I digress! This dish is foolproof, tasty and doesn’t involve any ingredients that might lead you astray.

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

The peanut sauce, the most important part, combines coconut milk to add some creaminess and fresh ginger to provide an elevated flavor. Play around with the ratio of coconut milk to peanut butter to get your preferred flavor and consistency.

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce  |  Lemon & Mocha

Coconut Lime Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce
 
Yield: 6 servings
Ingredients
for the chicken satay
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½” piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon lime zest
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon rice vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced into thin strips
for the peanut sauce
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • ½ cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½” piece of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 ½ teaspoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Directions
for the chicken satay
  1. Combine all the ingredients except the chicken in a large mixing bowl with a whisk. Add the chicken strips and toss until well coated. Cover and refrigerate to allow the chicken to marinate for at least 1 hour or overnight.
  2. Heat the grill or grill pan over high heat. Evenly thread the chicken strips with skewers. If using wooden skewers soak them in water first.
  3. Grill the chicken for 4-5 minutes on each side then reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for a 1-2 more minutes per side or until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees F. Serve with the peanut sauce.
for the peanut sauce
  1. Combine all the ingredients in a blender or small food processor until smooth. Taste and adjust seasoning accordingly. If you would prefer a thicker consistency add more peanut butter then remix. If you would prefer a thinner consistency add more coconut milk then remix.

Satay adapted from Steamy Kitchen.
Peanut sauce slightly adapted from Shared Appetite
.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I made french toast for the first time in the form of my Nutella stuffed french toast with vanilla pecan butter, it opened up a new door of possibilities for me. As is typical of my list-loving self I sat down and excitedly scribbled a whole page of french toast ideas. Any type of slightly sweet bread or sturdy cake out there was jotted down along with complimentary toppings and sauce ideas.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

One such idea was banana bread french toast with caramelized bananas. I’m not the first to think of this genius idea, but I was eager to make it nonetheless. Some overly ripened bananas provided me with the perfect opportunity.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

After my banana bread was made and cooled completely overnight I cut it into 1” thick slices. After dipping in the egg mixture and cooking in my frying pan I caramelized some banana slices in butter and brown sugar.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

The end result was magnificent: a delicious excuse to eat dessert for breakfast. Not that you need an excuse, but if you do now you have one.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas  |  Lemon & Mocha

I made my banana bread with walnuts for some added texture, but you could always toast some walnuts to place on top of the finished french toast.

Banana Bread French Toast with Caramelized Bananas
 
Yield: 2 servings
Ingredients
for the french toast
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg, divided
  • Cooking spray or 1 tablespoon butter
  • 4 slices thick cut banana bread
for the caramelized bananas
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 banana, sliced into coins
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
Directions
for the french toast
  1. In a shallow bowl large enough to fit the slices of bread beat the eggs with a fork or whisk.
  2. Add the milk, vanilla, ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon and ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg then mix or whisk to combine.
  3. Heat a griddle or skillet over medium heat and coat with cooking spray or the tablespoon of butter.
  4. Lay two of the slices of banana bread flat in the egg mixture and let sit for 1 minute. Flip the slices and let sit for another minute. Pick up the slices and let all the excess egg mixture drip off. If there is a lot of excess egg mixture that won’t drip off push off with the fork or whisk.
  5. Place on the heated griddle or skillet. Let cook for 4 minutes, or until brown, then flip. Cook the other side of r 4 minutes, or until brown. Remove from the heat and top with the caramelized bananas.
  6. Repeat with the remaining serving.
for the caramelized bananas
  1. Melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the banana slices and brown sugar. Carefully stir to coat. Continue to cook the banana slices until softened and coated in the syrup, about 5 minutes.

Watermelon & Feta Salad

Watermelon & Feta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Can you believe summer is already almost over? Not to remind you or anything, but it’s August! Where does the time go? I don’t have nearly enough time to cook all the dishes I would like to, so it’s very rare when there’s a dish I go back to again and again. This watermelon salad is one of those dishes.

Watermelon & Feta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Simple as it seems, this watermelon salad with feta and a citrus mint vinaigrette was my favorite recipe I discovered all last summer. Everyone I made it for requested the recipe. It is refreshing, healthy and has a surprisingly delightful flavor profile.

Watermelon & Feta Salad  |  Lemon & MochaI remember looking at the list of ingredients on the Food Network website and thinking, “this is going to be interesting…” But it all works and comes together in a seriously tasty way.

Watermelon & Feta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

The vinaigrette consists of lemon and orange juices, minced shallots, honey for some sweetness and to brighten the salad some fresh mint. Of course some olive oil, salt and pepper are added to the mix. The little cubes of watermelon soak up just the right amount of the dressing and the feta adds some saltiness to balance the dish.

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Eat this as a snack, appetizer or side dish along with your summer meals.

Watermelon & Feta Salad  |  Lemon & Mocha

Watermelon & Feta Salad
 
Yield: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup lemon juice, about 2 lemons
  • 1 large shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ seedless watermelon, rind removed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 6 ounces crumbled feta cheese
  • 3-4 large fresh mint leaves, julienned
Directions
  1. In a large measuring cup or small bowl whisk together the orange juice, lemon juice, shallot, honey, salt and pepper. While continuing to whisk carefully pour in the olive oil. Continue whisking until combined well.
  2. Place the watermelon in a large serving bowl, top with the feta and mint, then top with enough of the vinaigrette to coat the watermelon. Gently toss. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed then serve immediately.
Notes
Do not combine the vinaigrette with the watermelon until right before serving.

Recipe slightly adapted from The Food Network.

Orange-Vanilla Frozen Custard

Orange-Vanilla Frozen Custard  |  Lemon & Mocha

Every summer my dad’s family gets together on the Delaware shore. I am always of course most excited to see all my family that I love so much. Followed by that, however, is having the tasty bites that I can only get down on the shore and associate with my many summers spent there. I read somewhere that food memories are some of your strongest memories. I read it, so it must be true.

Orange-Vanilla Frozen Custard  |  Lemon & Mocha

I could fill up multiple months of blog posts with my family summer vacation food memories. Among the few standouts include eating dinner on the beach, my cousin and I obsessing over Dippin’ Dots, digging into a big cup of salty Thrasher’s french fries, waiting in huge lines for some Candy Kitchen Fudge, crunching away on a few precious pieces of Martin’s fried chicken, wondering how the tub of Fisher’s caramel popcorn is already so low, tons of cousins sharing the few fresh crabs we caught coated with Old Bay seasoning, and of course ordering midday Dairy Queen treats. Ok, I guess that was a bit more than a few, but I have difficulty controlling my food excitement sometimes all the time.

Orange-Vanilla Frozen Custard  |  Lemon & Mocha

However, I saved one of the best for last:  Kohr Bros Creamsicle Frozen Custard in a cake cone. There is nothing more refreshing than an ice cream at the beach and this orange and vanilla swirl custard is creamy and light. Frozen custard differs from ice cream in that it contains a higher egg yolk percentage leading to its creamier texture.

Orange-Vanilla Frozen Custard  |  Lemon & Mocha

Now this is my favorite homemade ice cream I have made. Although I’m sure my strong associations with it make it taste just that much sweeter. What are your favorite family vacation food memories?

Orange-Vanilla Frozen Custard
 
Yield: 1 quart
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
  • 4 teaspoons grated orange zest
Directions
  1. Place a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together ½ cup of the milk and cornstarch until smooth.
  3. In a medium saucepan whisk together the eggs, sugar and salt. Once combined whisk in the cornstarch mixture and the remaining cup of milk. Whisk until smooth. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook the mixture while stirring until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 8 minutes. Make sure the mixture never reaches a boil. Remove from the heat and pour through the fine mesh strainer into the large bowl.
  4. Place the large bowl in an ice bath. Slowly add the cream and continue to stir while sitting in the ice bath until cool.
  5. Once cool, remove from the ice bath, stir in the vanilla, orange juice concentrate and orange zest, then cover and chill in the fridge until cold.
  6. Freeze in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.

Recipe from June 2011 issue of Food Network Magazine.