Friday, September 24, 2010

Post Frequency

I know I hardly update this blog enough, but since I've recently been hired (and am currently in training) at Market District, which is basically an amusement park for foodies, this will change. I have to admit, the Kitchen Ninja has been having a recipe block (as well as an energy block things are crazy at the Ninja House). Look forward to more updates in the coming weeks and months as I start to get my footing underneath me again. In the meantime, check out and stock up on Kitchen Ninja gear. Also, scroll down and check out the blog on pantry staples. These are essential to any fully functioning kitchen. I'll talk to you guys soon and Happy Cooking!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Mexican Food is my favorite go to!

Everyone has a go to meal, for some its sammies, for others some sort of pasta dish, and for others its pizza. My go to, Mexican food. Now I have no illusions that there is one flavor profile to encompass the cuisine of an entire country. However, Mexican restraunts do all seem to be consistent in their flavor profile across a range of dishes. The difference is the addition/omission of a couple of ingredients. I also love how you don't have to be even remotely careful with your food, its just as good if everything is thrown in a giant pile or wrapped in a tortilla. That being said, the seasoning basics for (my favorite dish) fajitas and frozen veggie combos make this dish easier than pie to throw together in a few minutes because they're easy items to stock.

If you're feeling adventurous, cut your meat in strips. If you're counting on using this as a go to throw together, then keep some beef tips, strips, or chicken tips on hand. Throw the meat in a skillet to begin cooking. Once its mostly cooked through begin adding your spices. Here's where it gets a bit weird for those of you who need exact're going to have to play around with it some. There is no magic combination of exact measurements that will give you the flavor you associate with Mexican food. The key ingredient, however, is cumin. I love cumin, so rich in flavor it dominates Mexican food and will give you that fresh from the taquiera flavor. In addition to cumin, garlic powder, oregano (dried), s&p, and some chili powder. Adjust to taste, but a 1/2 a teaspoon to a teaspoon of each will probably do ya. If you like it, throw in some dried cilantro. Then you need an acid, I prefer tequila if I have it, otherwise, I use apple cider vinegar (gives the perfect flavor). Then put in your frozen onions and peppers (as many as you can stand!), cover and allow to simmer. Once your veggies are soft and the onions are translucent your meat should be cooked through. Serve it up with warm whole wheat tortillas and brown rice for a more healthful version and/or corn salsa. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy.

In our house, we always have colby jack cheese and salsa on hand, since we eat this so much. The thing I really love about this flavor combo is it can compensate for cheap cuts of meat that are otherwise difficult to pull off, so this can be a budget saver as well! Try it with ground turkey or chicken thighs and substitute onions/peppers for diced tomatoes and green chiles for a poultry taco, or better yet, throw in some sliced or pulled pork! Next time pork shoulder is on sale grab one, cook it in the crock pot all day then split in half. One half combine with your favorite barbque sauce for pulled pork sandwiches and the other half make carnitas using this combination of spices (just hold off on the vinegar/tequila).

The point is, its a versatile flavor profile, that with some innovation can turn a boring, difficult meat into a delicious taco or fajita! Watching carbs? Throw your meat mixture over a bed of lettuce and top with your favorite salsa for a taco salad!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Homemade Peanut Butter Dog Treats

These treats make my dogs drool over the thought of them. They're simple, wholesome, and healthy-what more could you want out of a treat for your loyal pup? The husband calls them Mamma's Biscuits because our dog Jordi literally goes crazy and will do anything in his repertoire of tricks in order to get one! An added bonus, these treats are human grade! (its not too far off of a peanut butter cookie)

First of all the ingredients are very few (only 4 in fact):

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup of milk
1 cup of your dog's favorite peanut butter

Preheat oven to 375

Mix your dry ingredients separately so that the baking powder is well incorporated into the mixture.

Mix together your milk and peanut butter until smooth, then gradually add in flour mixture until it's all incorporated.

Knead the dough until you you're happy with its texture (this is an oily/dry dough, its never very smooth but it is workable). Roll the dough out until its a 1/4 inch thick and cut into your favorite shapes. Bake it for 16-20 minutes, times will vary based on size of your biscuits and the intensity of your oven. These can burn easily, so use the lowest time and give it extra time as needed. As a variation, mix in some honey for a sweeter flavor.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Three Cheese Lasagna and Italian Bread

As the title states, thats what's for dinner tonight (to quote my favorite tv cook). Additionally, there's no meat in this dinner and the bread is homemade. I did have my bread machine mix up the dough, saves you some time because you can do other things during that hour and half. Then its just as simple as shaping, proofing, prepping and baking! If the way it smells is any indication, this is going to be awesome! The lasagna, will also be homemade (save for the pasta, which will be no boil). I prefer to make my own tomato sauce when making lasagna. While this is obviously not a vegan dish, it does qualify as vegetarian, but will satisfy the meat eaters in the family too. Its important to scale back meat quantity. The average American woman only needs approximately 5.5 oz of meat/bean proteins a day-I guarantee you get more than that! If anyone wants either of these recipes, comment. If there's enough interest, I'll post it on Kitchen Ninja's facebook page and on here.

pro tip: when mixing together a cheese mixture for any baked pasta dish, mix in at least egg to help hold the dish together.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Fettuccine Alfredo

Tonight I made a new twist on chicken fettuccine alfredo. First of all, to reduce the pasta guilt, use spinach fettuccine, this significantly increases your nutritional value. Secondly add a vegetable, green peas work nicely with this dish. Just throw a box of frozen peas in the last few seconds of boiling your pasta (they overcook easy). Additionally, to ease and quicken cooking, I cut boneless skinless chicken breast into approximately 1 inch pieces that I then very (emphasis on very) lightly bread with a mixture of bread crumbs, oregano, basil, s&p, and garlic. Then sauté pieces until cooked through, throw everything together in the big noodle pot with your favorite alfredo sauce. Very Yummy!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Honey Wheat Bread

Wow has it ever been awhile since I posted one of these fancy things.....I guess its been my renewed interest in blogs (specifically reading Pearmama's World) that has encouraged me to get back on my Kitchen Ninja blog and start the bloggins again. I know I'm making up words, but thats what I do, I'm a housewife who cooks and makes up things like words and dishes. One thing I made recently was a homemade loaf for the ABM of Honey Wheat bread for a friend's birthday. Unfortunately, I am as yet unaware of how it came out, though fairly confident its tasty, and awaiting the birthday boy's judgement. I think tonight, to go with my turkey spaghetti sauce, I may make a homemade loaf of italian bread if I can pull it off....this shall be an adventure. I'll post a follow up soon!

1 1/8 cups warm water -- (110 degrees)
3 tablespoons honey
1/3 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour
1 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast

Add ingredients according to the manufacturer's directions to your bread
machine. Use the wheat bread cycle and light color setting.

This recipe yields a 1 pound loaf.

expert note, when looking up a bread machine recipe make your google search something like this: Honey Wheat Bread ABM....ABM helps you pare down your results to just bread machine recipes

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Bison Burgers and Steak

Well, the title says it all...bison burgers and steak are what was for dinner last night, along with some grilled eggplant and portabella mushrooms. It was sheer awesomeness from a grill. While we here at the Kitchen Ninja house try to restrict red meat consumption to once a week, when we do eat red meat, its gonna be worth it. I didn't use chimichurri for the steaks, it was getting late and we were getting hungry, so I used a steak seasoning blend that I rubbed into the steaks. For the bison burgers, they have such a wonderful flavor, you don't wanna cover it up. Mixing the ground meat with some Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, salt and pepper is more than enough for some moist delicious bison burgers! That mix is good for all ground burgers really.

With it being Memorial Day weekend, its officially summer, so drag out those grills! Just about anything can be grilled up in a jiffy. Veggies are good on the grill too. If you're vegetarian, then ground up some eggplant, onion, zucchini and garlic in the food processor and shape into patties, or use big beefy portabellas as a hamburger patty. That charcoal flavor is summer to me, gotta love the grill! Of course, the Kitchen Ninja is charcoal ONLY! No gas grills around here!

In honor of Memorial Day, I'd like to thank those men and women in the service. My cousin is currently serving in Afghanistan, and I have a friend who's husband is overseas as well. In this time of uncertainty, I'm glad we have the men and women in uniform backing us up! My grandfather served during the very end of WWII and the Vietnam War, he survived to come home to his family, but many of his colleages didn't. That's what Memorial Day is for, remembering those fallen in past and current wars. Thank you, soldiers, for your sacrifice, thank you!

Monday, May 17, 2010

I know I don't update this nearly enough, but sometimes even the Kitchen Ninja gets bored! However, I must say I did make some very yummy dark chocolate and peanut granola bars (they went very fast). Today I'm trying my hand at peanut and blueberry granola bars and will be attempting to make another batch of dog treats as well. I feel guilty not having made the treats in a while, my dogs love them so much its ridiculous! Since I spent all night Saturday cleaning house, perhaps today will be cooking and working on the cookbook. Wish me luck on that endeavor, and I hope to have a new post available soon!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Ok folks...DH and I went to Panama for the wedding of a family friend and while we were there we got to enjoy some very tasty local flavors. By far our favorite was the steak we had at a wonderful little chain restaurant called Leños y Carbon. This grill had some of the best steak I have ever eaten! The meat cuts were fantastic, and the marinade was a new flavor for me that tasted like heaven! The basic recipe is simple, and you can adjust it to taste, but I would recommend going heavy on the flavors and in your marinating style.

8 cloves of garlic, minced (heres where those little hand graters make your life much easier)
a bunch of cilantro or parsley (I like cilantro, but it tends to be a very polarizing herb)
3/4 a cup of olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar

Make sure your herb is clean, dry and then very finely chopped-use the food processor if you have to, then whisk in your other ingredients. Add in a couple of pinches of dried oregano and plenty of salt and pepper and even some red onion if you like. My first preperation could have used more garlic and salt (both of which I skimped on for safety. The salt helps tenderize your meat so be liberal with it. Marinade your favorite cut of beef, pork, or chicken in this delectable green sauce! If you want, make it a red sauce by adding tomato and red pepper, give it a kick with jalapeño, whatever your heart desires! I plan on experimenting with it a bit by adding thyme and lemon for pork (instead of the oregano and vinegar). The most important ingredients in the sauce are the herb, oil, and garlic, the rest is fluffing to taste. Prep this in bulk ahead of time, because the longer it sits, the better it gets, and once you've worked out your favorite version you'll use it again and again!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

cookbook struggles

I'm struggling with my efforts on the cookbook. I have managed to find about 30 recipes in my regular repertoire, but every time I ask the facebook fans for requests, they go unanswered. I am serious about writing this book, but I want it to contain things people actually wanna know how to make. I can't expect to sell a book if I can't give the people what they want.

I intend on including a sections on helpful tips and tools of the trade so to speak. I also want to take some old favorites and give them a new twist, dress them up for enterainment, etc. If anyone out there is actually reading this thing, than please feel free to request a recipe type, genre, specific ingredient you are unsure of what to do with or would like a new look at an old favorite-let me know and it'll probably make it into the book!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Kitchen Essentials

There are a few things that I absolutely must have in my kitchen/fridge/pantry

a hand grater (i.e. microplane)
pastry scraper for moving lots of chopped vegetables at once
a good knife
a knife sharpening tool

boneless chicken (your favorite cut)
bone in pork chops
and ground beef
some sort of fresh vegetable

in my pantry:
stock in a box
biscuit mix
a large variety of spices (most important chili powder, cumin, s&p)
cider vinegar

with these items all menus are possible!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Just Getting Started

Hi Blogger World, I am The Kitchen Ninja (or Samurai as I am also referred to). I am a homemaker who got the Kitchen Ninja moniker from friends after years of cooking deliciousness up for them, my husband concurs with the moniker. I hope to use this as a forum to discuss recipes, cooking techniques, resolve the electric vs gas debate, and a number of other things!