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Dina’s Diner

  • Chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are different than other pumpkin cookies you have made, they are not cakey and yes they are chewy.

    Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are some of my favorite cookies.  These are even better than traditional cookies because they are chewy!!! If you are not a Pumpkin CCC lover because they are cakey, these cookies are for you!  The combination of spices and pumpkin mixed together with the right leavening agents make a Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookie.

    There is nothing like October to give way for all things pumpkin.  In my opinion, it does not end with Halloween.  Pumpkin flavored food is just gaining speed in October.  It ramps up in November with Pumpkin Pie and all sorts of other variations on this amazing seasonal flavor.  Everyone in my family is so excited when pumpkin pies start arriving in a very large box store that we frequent often.  It means it is Fall!

    Chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are different than other pumpkin cookies you have made, they are not cakey and yes they are chewy.

    How To Make Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


    1.  Preheat oven to 350°.  Always when making cookies, you need to cream the fat and sugars together.  It really makes a huge difference in your cookies.  These cookies have a combination of shortening and butter.  Each of the fats do different things in the cookies.  If you want chewy cookies, you need both.

    Mix these two fats together and then add the sugar.  Use your mixer and cream the fat and the sugar together for four minutes.  It really helps me to set a timer.  I am always amazed how different the dough looks after creaming it for this amount of time.

    Read below for the best shortening measuring hack.

    2.  Here is my hack for measuring shortening.  There is an easy way to measure shortening without making a mess and getting grease everywhere.  I like to fill a 2 cup liquid measuring cup with water to the 1 1/2 cup line.  Then I take a scoop of shortening and eyeball it for 1/2 cup and then put that scoop in the water.  When you push down on the shortening to submerge it in the water, you want the waterline to be at two cups, 1 1/2 cups of water plus 1/2 cup of shortening makes 2 cups.  Add a little more shortening if it is not quite to the line and take a little off if it is too high.

    3.  Add the egg.  Some people love cracking eggs on the side of the bowl.  I find this always gets shells in my dough.  Through the years I have learned to hit the egg on a flat surface, like a counter top.  I always break the eggs into a separate bowl before putting it in the dough.  If by chance I have some shells, this allows me to get the shells out before I add them to the dough.

    4.  Put all the dry ingredients in a bowl.  You might be wondering about the measurements because this recipe calls for baking powder and baking soda.  The mixture of these two leavening agents is what makes these cookies chewy.  Trust me!  I promise you will love the cookies if you follow the recipe.  This includes adding the cinnamon and nutmeg.  I am not usually a nutmeg lover, but it makes the perfect combination of flavors in this recipe.


    The combination of baking soda and powder is the secret ingredient for these cookies.

    5. There are 2 teaspoons of baking powder and one teaspoon of soda.  The combination of these leavening agents make the cookies chewy.  You will get cakey cookies without them.

    6.  Mix everything together with your mixer.  Right before the dry ingredients are all the way mixed in, drop in the chocolate chips.  Keep a few out so you can put them on the cookies when they come out of the oven for garnish.

    7.  Grease three cookie trays, and then drop the cookie dough into large round mounds.  Three across the top and four down the side.  This makes a dozen on each pan.  With room in between the cookies, you get perfectly round cookies instead of cookies that have crashed into each other.

    8.  Cook for 11 – 13 minutes.  We all know that every oven cooks a little different.  I have two ovens and one oven cooks hotter than the other.  In my oven, I cooked the cookies for 13 minutes.

    Here are a few of my favorite products when making Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
    Chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are different than other pumpkin cookies you have made, they are not cakey and yes they are chewy.

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Chewy pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are different than other pumpkin cookies you have made, they are not cakey and yes they are chewy.

    Chewy Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 12 mins
    Cook Time 13 mins
    Total Time 25 mins
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 15

    Ingredients
      

    • 1/2 Cup Shortening
    • 1/2 Cup Butter
    • 2 Cups Sugar
    • 1 Egg
    • 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree
    • 1 tsp. Vanilla
    • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
    • 2 tsp Baking Powder
    • 1 tsp. Soda
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
    • 1 tsp. Nutmeg
    • 1 1/2 Cups Milk Chocolate Chips

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat oven to 350°.
    • Cream shorting, butter and sugar for 4 minutes.
    • Add egg and mix in well.
    • Then add pumpkin puree and vanilla.
    • Put all dry ingredients in a bowl and mix.
    • Gradually add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture.
    • When the dry ingredients are almost mixed in, add the chocolate chips and mix with a spoon.
    • Grease cookie trays and place 12 cookies on each.
    • Bake for 11-13 minutes.
    Keyword Chocolate, Cookies, Pumpkin,
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Pumpkin Spice Bars are a taste of pumpkin pie with only half the work.  Yummy crust made from a box cake mix and then traditional pumpkin pie filling with a crumble nut topping.

    These Pumpkin Spice Bars are delicious!  These little gems taste just like pumpkin pie without all the work.  The bottom layer is a cake mix.  The center has all the ingredients of a pumpkin pie and the topping is a little of the bottom mixed with some nuts.  With a dollop of whipped cream garnished with cinnamon sugar, these little babies are ready for any dessert tray or party.

    With October upon us, it is time for all things pumpkin.  I have so many wonderful recipes to share with you this month.  Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies are a favorite, Pumpkin Bread and Pumpkin Crumble Muffins with a cream cheese filling are all in the works for my blog this month.  If you are anything like me, October is busy already and it is only the second day!

    Pumpkin Spice Bars are a taste of pumpkin pie with only half the work.  Yummy crust made from a box cake mix and then traditional pumpkin pie filling with a crumble nut topping.

     How To Make Pumpkin Spice Bars

    1.  The best thing about these Pumpkin Spice Bars is how easy they are.  They have three parts, crust, filling and crumble topping. Each one is simple and quick.  Start by preheating the oven to 350°.

    2.  For the crust, you need to place a yellow or spice cake mix into a bowl.  I used a yellow cake mix because I do not like an over abundance of spice flavor, but if you love lots of spice, be my guest. Add the melted butter and eggs and then mix with a spoon.  When completely mixed, it should look like dough. Reserve a cup of the crust for the crumble topping.

    Reserve a cup of the crust for the top.

    3.  Grease a 9 X 13 pan and use your hands to push the rest of the crust dough evenly over the bottom of the pan.  One of my favorite hacks is using a piece of plastic wrap to help even everything out.  I use my hands to push the dough around into the corners. Then I use the plastic wrap to even out the crust as best I can. This second step really evens everything out.

    4.  The filling is made with pumpkin puree, sugar, eggs, evaporated milk and pumpkin pie spice.  All the exact ingredients used to make a pumpkin pie.  Beat the eggs until light and yellow.  Add the pumpkin puree, sugar and spice.  Mix well.  Pour the evaporated milk into the mixture and use your beaters to create a smooth filling.  Pour over the crust.

    5.  Put the reserved cup of crust in a bowl.  You want to make sure your butter is somewhat softened at this point. Cut the butter into small chunks. Add the nuts, sugar and chunks of butter to the reserved crust.  Mix well with your hands or a pastry blender.  Then sprinkle evenly on top.

    6.  Put the pan in a 350° oven for 60 minutes.  I know 60 minutes sounds like a long time, but remember you are making pumpkin pie!  If you are worried, check at 50 minutes.  I like the crumble topping to be a golden brown. You might like a lighter topping, but the filling will be set at 50 minutes.

    7.   I like to serve these Pumpkin Spice Bars cold.  Any pan I want to cool, I place on a cooling rack and wait until I can place my hand safely on the bottom of the pan.  At this point, I put whatever I have made in the refrigerator covered with plastic wrap.

    8.  Cool completely or serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.  The bars in this photo were cooled over night before slicing.

    Here are some of my favorite products when making Pumpkin Spice Bars.
    Pumpkin Spice Bars are a taste of pumpkin pie with only half the work.  Yummy crust made from a box cake mix and then traditional pumpkin pie filling with a crumble nut topping.

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Pumpkin Spice Bars

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 15 mins
    Total Time 1 hr 15 mins
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 12

    Ingredients
      

    Crust

    • 1 Yellow Cake Mix
    • 1/2 Cup Butter
    • 1 Egg

    Pumpkin Filling

    • 30 oz. Pumpkin Puree Large Can
    • 1 Cup Sugar
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 1/2 tsp. Pumpkin Pie Spice
    • 2/3 Cup Evaporated Milk

    Crumble Topping

    • 1 Cup Reserved Crust
    • 1/4 Cup Sugar
    • 1/4 Cup Butter
    • 3/4 Cup Peans

    Instructions
     

    Crust

    • Melt the butter and beat the egg. 
    • Empty cake mix into a bowl.
    • Then add the butter and eggs to the dry cake mix.
    • Mix ingredients.  Reserve 1 cup of crust for topping.
    • Place the left over crust ingredients to the bottom of a greased 9 x 13 pan.
    • Use your hands to spread evenly across the bottom of the pan.
    • Preheat oven to 350°.

    Filling

    • Beat eggs in a bowl.
    • Add pumpkin puree, sugar and spices to the eggs.
    • Mix well.
    • Add the evaporated milk to pumpkin mixture.  Mix well.
    • Pour this over the crust.

    Crumble Topping

    • Cut the butter into small pieces.
    • Mix sugar, butter, pecans and reserved crust with your hands or a pastry blender.
    • Sprinkle evenly on top of the filling.
    • Bake at 350° for 60 minutes.
    • Serve warm or cool with whipped cream or ice cream.
    Keyword Nuts, Pumpkin,
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Onions, garlic and tomatoes cooked until the perfect consistency.  Then add salt, pepper and basil.  Takes about 45 minutes.  The best marinara sauce you will ever make.

    Last week, I was asked to demonstrate how to make Pasta Carbonara and Pesto Cavatappi on the television show, KSL Studio 5.  Two other sauces that were featured during the week were Tomato Pomodoro (Marinara Sauce) and Alfredo Sauce.  Today I am posting my own take on Marinara Sauce (Tomato Pomodoro).  Next post, will be my Alfredo sauce. I wanted to see if I could make them my own.  After working on these recipes all day, I made both for a family party last night.  They were a big hit!  Everyone asked for the recipes, so I decided to share them with you, too!

    Marinara Sauce or Tomato Pomodoro is a simple tomato sauce often referred to as the Mother Sauce.  So many Italian recipes call for some kind of tomato based sauce, lasagna, spaghetti, and many others.  You can add meat or cheese to it, or basically anything.  You can put it on pasta, over meat or vegetables.  Any way you serve it, it is so delicious!

    Onions, garlic and tomatoes cooked until the perfect consistency.  Then add salt, pepper and basil.  Takes about 45 minutes.  The best marinara sauce you will ever make.

    How To Make Marinara Sauce (Tomato Pomodoro)

    1.  Chop an onion into small pieces.  Due to the fact I have so many people in my family who do not like onions, in this recipe, I chose to use my food processor.  This way, the pieces are very small and when they cook, no one can ever tell there is an onion in the sauce.  

    I have found many people do not like onions because of the texture.  The crunch is the thing they don’t like, not the flavor.  So my response is to make the onions so small, they never know there in the sauce.  At the end of this recipe, you put everything in a blender, but starting with small pieces, insures you will not have any onion haters complaining.

    2.  Cut the top and bottom of the onion off.  Take off the outer layers of skin.  Sometimes there is a little bit of brown paper looking pieces on the next layer of skin.  Cut these off, as well, but use the rest of the skin.  I hate to waste the whole layer of skin when there might just be an inch or two of brown papery skin .  If you leave this on, you will be able to taste it, so make sure you cut it off.

    Sometimes there are paper layers inside the onion.  The whole thing is not bad because you see this.  Just pull out the bad parts and use all the good parts.  Onions are cheap, so if this weirds you out, go ahead and throw the whole thing away and start with a new onion.  There are no guarantees the new onion won’t have some crepey, papery skin inside too.

    3.  Cut the onion in half.  Take each half and cut it into smaller chunks.  Put all of this in the food processor.  Pulse the machine  several times until everything is small.  Use a spatular to wipe down the sides and pulse again.
    Be careful not to make onion water.  I have done this before, and that means you have pulsed too much.

    4. Take off the skin of the garlic cloves and cut off the brown part that was attached to the bulb.  I use the very smallest side of a box grater to grate the garlic.  You can use your knife and mince it too.  Sometimes, I feel like mincing the garlic and other times, I use the grater.  Following are the pros and cons to both.

    Pro tip for grating garlic – it is fast, quick and makes very small pieces.  Con tip for grating garlic –  it doesn’t use all the garlic and leaves a portion you cannot grate. It sometimes is hard to get it out of the grater.
    Pro tip for mincing garlic – it uses all the garlic and is easy to transfer.Con tip for mincing garlic – it takes longer, but sometimes I am in the mood for a longer prep time.

    5.  Heat the olive oil in a large pan.  This recipe makes about 8 cups of sauce.  This is enough to feed 8-10 people.  You want to make this in a large pan or cut the recipe in half.

    6.  Add the onion to the heated olive oil.  Cook for 2 minutes before adding the garlic, stirring occasionally.    Onions can handle the heat better, but garlic can burn and turn bitter.  By cooking the onions first, you reduce the temperature of the pan and make it perfect to add the garlic.  Have the cans of tomatoes open so you can pour them in after heating the garlic for a minute or so.

      Wipe off the tops of your cans before using!

    7.  While researching online, I found an article compiling things insiders know about different industries.  One of the things I thought was so interesting was a statement that said, “Please people, wipe off the tops of your can goods.  Please do it!”  It intrigued me!  What does this person know that I do not know.  From this point on, I have wiped the tops off all canned goods before I use them.  So, I am passing this piece of information on to you, my loyal followers.

    8.  Wipe off the lids of the cans of tomatoes and add this to the sautéed onion and garlic.  San Marzano tomatoes are the canned tomatoes of choice for me for any Italian dish I am making.  I find them at Walmart.  This is a particular type of tomato as well as a brand.  They have a distinct taste and make this sauce so much better.  

    9.  Heat everything on high and get the contents of the pot boiling.  As the tomatoes begin to cook, they will soften.  Use a wooden spoon to pop them and break them up.  You will be using the blender later on, to puree this into a luscious sauce.   You want the tomatoes to gradually release their flavor as they cook to bring the thei best flavor.

    10.  Simmer the sauce with the lid off for 30 minutes.  You want the liquid to evaporate.  This will cause the sauce to thicken naturally.  Stir occasionally to distribute all the flavors evenly through the cooking time.
    Many marinara sauces use tomato paste to thicken the sauce.  You do not need it in this recipe because you simmer the dish with the lid off.

    11.  Add the salt and pepper at the end of the 30 minutes.  Chop the the basil and add that too.   Basil is so fragrant and a wonderful addition to any dish.  You will need to make a chiffonade*. This means you lay the basil leaves on top of each other and roll them up like a cigar.  You want to roll it as tightly as you can.  Then cut across the leaves, or cigar shape, which makes these beautiful long ribbons or strips of basil.  Add these to your sauce.

    Cook another 15 minutes so all the flavors can marry.  

    12.  Continue to simmer the sauce for another 15 minutes.  This will help the salt, pepper and basil mix with the tomatoes, onions and garlic.  

    13.  After simmering the tomato pomodoro sauce, use a large measuring cup and scoop the hot sauce into the blender.  You can also use an emulsion blender if you like.  I added my sauce to a blender and had to do it in two batches.  Get another bowl ready to put the first batch in.

    Blend the sauce until it is smooth, about 30-40 seconds.  Watch out for the heat rising and making the lid blow off.  I have learned from past experience to not fill the container to the top.  The lid on my blender has two parts.  A large black ring with a smaller clear lid inside.  I always crack the clear part of the lid so the steam has somewhere to go.  This prevents a blowout!

    Continue until all the sauce has been blended.  At this point, it is ready to serve.  If you are serving it on pasta you will be delighted how wonderful this tomato pomodoro sauce tastes!

    Onions, garlic and tomatoes cooked until the perfect consistency.  Then add salt, pepper and basil.  Takes about 45 minutes.  The best marinara sauce you will ever make.

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Onions, garlic and tomatoes cooked until the perfect consistency. Then add salt, pepper and basil. Takes about 45 minutes. The best marinara sauce you will ever make.

    Tomato Pomodoro (Marinara Sauce)

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 45 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Italian
    Servings 8

    Equipment

    • 1 Blender

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
    • 1 Large Onion
    • 3 Cloves Garlic
    • 3 28 oz. Canned Tomatoes San Marzano
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • 1/2 tsp. Pepper
    • 7 Leaves Fresh Basil

    Instructions
     

    • Chop onion and garlic.
    • Heat olive oil in a fry pan.
    • Sauté onions for 2 minutes before adding the garlic.
    • Cook the onions and garlic for another minute.
    • Add whole tomatoes.  Get everything boiling.
    • Once everything is heated through, use a wooden spoon to push open the whole tomatoes.
    • Turn heat down and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid off.
    • Add the salt and pepper.
    • Stack the basil leaves and make a chiffonade*. 
    • Add the basil and simmer for another 15 minutes.
    • Spoon the entire mixture into a blender and blend until smooth.  You can also use an emulsion blender.
    • If serving the sauce over pasta, cook it while the tomato pomodoro sauce is simmering for 30 minutes. After using the blender, the sauce is ready to serve.
    Keyword Basil, Garlic, Onions, Sauce, Tomatoes
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Cavatappi pasta cooked and then tossed in cooked tomatoes cooked with chicken broth, cream and pesto. top with parmesan cheese.  Delicious!

    Pesto Cavatappi is my daughter’s favorite dish at Noodles & Co.  She has been begging me to make this dish for a while.  When I was asked to demonstrate making pesto on KSL Studio 5, she asked me again to make Pesto Cavatappi.  It is delicious and quick to make.  If you are looking for an easy dinner that everyone will love, you have to try Pesto Cavatappi (Noodles & Co., copycat) !

    Pesto Cavatappi (Noodles & Co. copycat) is pasta coated with a sauce made from tomatoes, chicken broth, cream and then pesto is added.  Once you have poured the sauce over the pasta, garnish with parmesan cheese.  Add roasted chicken if you are looking for a heartier meal.  It was so satisfying when my daughter took her first bite and said, “Mom you nailed it!” 

    Cavatappi pasta cooked and then tossed in cooked tomatoes cooked with chicken broth, cream and pesto. top with parmesan cheese.  Delicious!

    How To Make Pesto Cavatappi (Noodles & Co. copycat)

    1.  Get a large pot of water boiling.  When you boil water with a lid on the pan, it keeps the heat in and makes the water boil much faster.  If you are looking for a fun science experiment, use a timer when boiling water in the exact same pan with and without a lid. I always use a lid.   

    2.  Make the pesto.  Buy a fresh basil plant and pick all the leaves from the plant.  I usually purchase mine at a local grocery store in the produce section.  Try to snap the leave off without getting any of the stem. There is about 2 cups of basil leaves on the plants I buy. That is just what this recipe calls for.

    Put all the basil leaves and pine nuts in a food processor.  Pulse several times until they are finely chopped.  Now, add the grated parmesan and minced garlic and pulse until well chopped.  

    The nice thing about making your own pesto is you can regulate the amount of garlic and parmesan cheese.  If you like your pesto cheesier, add more.  Garlic not your favorite condiment, add less or leave it out.

    Put the olive oil in some kind of dish with a spout.  This will help you get the olive oil through the hole in the lid of the food processor.  Pour a thin stream of oil while the food processor is going.  You do NOT want to pour the oil in all at once.

    3.  Put the pasta in the boiling water and set the timer for 11 minutes. 

    4.  Make the tomato sauce.  Dice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.  I cut the top of the tomatoes off and then slice them in half.  Cut one direction and then turn the cutting board on quarter of a turn and cut the other direction.  
    Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large fry pan and then add the diced tomatoes.  Cook until soft about 2-4 minutes.  Add the chicken broth and heavy cream.  Once this begins to boil, lower the heat and simmer for 2-4 minutes or until it begins to thicken up.  When the pasta is done, add the pesto to the tomato mixture and heat through.

    5.  When the pasta is done, drain it and put it in a large bowl.  

    6.  Pour the pesto-tomato sauce over the cooked pasta.  Add parmesan cheese and toss until all the pasta is well coated.

    7.  If you want to have a heartier dish, heat some cooked, shredded chicken.  Add to the top of your pasta or put the chicken in the bowl before you pour on the sauce.  Either way, you will love it!

    Cavatappi pasta cooked and then tossed in cooked tomatoes cooked with chicken broth, cream and pesto. top with parmesan cheese.  Delicious!
    Cavatappi pasta cooked and then tossed in cooked tomatoes cooked with chicken broth, cream and pesto. top with parmesan cheese. Delicious!

    Pesto Cavatappi (Noodles & Co. Copycat)

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 10 mins
    Total Time 11 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Italian
    Servings 8

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 lb. Cavatappi Noodles Also known as cellentani
    • 4 Roma Tomatoes
    • 1 Tbsp. Oliva Oil
    • 1 Cup Chicken Broth
    • 1 Cup Heavy Cream
    • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese

    Pesto

    • 2 Cups Basil Leaves
    • 1/3 Cup Pine Nuts
    • 1 Cup Parmesan Cheese
    • 2 Cloves Garlic
    • 1/2 Cup Olive Oil

    Instructions
     

    • Boil water for pasta.  Once boiling add pasta and set timer for 11 minutes.
    • Dice tomatoes into 1/2 inch pieces.  Heat olive oil and then add tomatoes.  Cook for 2-4 minutes until soft and cooked through.
    • Add chicken broth and heavy cream to tomatoes.  Cook over medium heat for 2-4 minutes or until bubbly and thick.  Simmer until pasta is ready.
    • Drain the pasta when done and pour into a large bowl.
    • Add pesto to tomato-cream mixture and heat through.  Pour over cooked pasta and garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh tomatoes.

    Pesto Instructions

    • Put the basil leaves, no stems, in a food processor.  
    • Add the pine nuts and pulse 8-10 times until everything is chopped.
    • Peel and mince the garlic. Add chopped garlic and 1 cup of parmesan cheese.  Pulse 8-10 times until well chopped.
    • Pour the olive oil in a thin stream through the lid of the food processor while the machine is going.  You will need to scrape down the sides several times after all the oil is added and continue to blend for about a minute.
    Keyword Cheese, Pasta, Pesto, Tomatoes
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Pasta carbonara only has five ingredients, spaghetti, bacon, eggs, cheese and  black pepper.  Are you interested yet?

    Pasta Carbonara is an easy, luscious pasta dish.  It comes together quickly and it only has five ingredients; bacon, spaghetti, eggs, Romano cheese and pepper.   I always have these things on hand in my kitchen.  Doesn’t everyone have a pound of bacon sitting in their refrigerator?

    The key to making great pasta carbonara is to have everything ready.  All the instructions are below.  Follow them, and I promise you will have a dinner everyone will love tonight.  This dish is an easy and quick dinner. All the people in my family love pasta carbonara.    Everyone loves it and it is easy and quick, what else can you ask for?

    Pasta carbonara only has five ingredients, spaghetti, bacon, eggs, cheese and  black pepper.  Are you interested yet?

    How to Make Pasta Carbonara

    1.  Get a large pot of water boiling on the stove.  Water will boil faster if you put the lid on.  When you see steam escaping from underneath the lid, you know the water is ready. While you are waiting for the water to boil, cook the bacon and get the eggs ready.

    2.  Cook the bacon.  For pasta carbonara, you want little pieces of bacon.  There are several ways to do this. For this dish, my favorite way is to cut across the strips of bacon so you have very small pieces.  I put all these pieces in a hot frying pan.  It takes about 15 minutes to cook the bacon, stirring occasionally.  Cooking bacon this way renders a lot of fat, which I like.  I can drain off the grease and control how much of it I use on my pasta.

    Be careful you have purchased a pound of bacon.  So many manufacturers are only putting 8 or 12 ounces in a package.  I love bacon, so I always want a full pound when making pasta carbonara.

    3. Salt the boiling water and put the pasta in the water.  Use a spoon to stir the pasta until it sinks in the water.  You want it to fall below the water line.  Set the timer so you do not forget the pasta.  I actually like my pasta a little softer then what the package suggests.  I always add 2 minutes to what the instructions say.  Often I turn off the heat and leave the pasta in the hot water while I am getting everything else ready.

    4.  While the pasta and bacon are cooking beat the eggs and add the grated Romano cheese in a small bowl.  

    5.  At this point, fill a larger bowl with very hot water.  This bowl will be used to mix everything together.  The hot water is heating up the bowl.  You will dump the water out before mixing all the ingredients together in it. Having a hot bowl allows everything to be at the right temperature to cook the eggs.

    6.  When the pasta is done and the bacon is brown and crispy you are ready to put everything together.  The eggs will cook and make a wonderful, creamy sauce from the heat from the pasta and the bacon.  It is very important the pasta and bacon are hot when you start putting this dish together.  

    7.  Before draining the pasta, mix a little of the hot water with the eggs and parmesan cheese.  The water will temper the eggs and keep them from cooking too fast and turning into scrambled eggs when you add them to the bacon and pasta. 

    8. Dump the hot water out of the large bowl.  Drain the pasta and pour into the warm bowl.  Add the hot bacon and then pour the warm eggs and cheese over everything.  Working quickly use tongs to mix everything together.  At this point, add some hot bacon grease to the pasta if you feel it is too dry.  Keep tossing until the eggs are creamy and cooked. 

    It is traditional to serve pasta carbonara with fresh ground pepper. I do not like the pepper on mine. Please try it without the pepper and then add it to a bite or two. I would love to hear your thoughts after you make this.

    Pasta carbonara only has five ingredients, spaghetti, bacon, eggs, cheese and  black pepper.  Are you interested yet?

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Pasta carbonara has five ingredients, spaghetti, bacon, eggs, Romano cheese and pepper. Are you interested yet?

    Pasta Carbonara

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 5 mins
    Cook Time 15 mins
    Total Time 20 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Italian
    Servings 4

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 lb. Spaghetti
    • 1 lb. Bacon
    • 2 Eggs
    • 2 Egg Yolks
    • 1 Cup Romano Cheese
    • Fresh Ground Pepper

    Instructions
     

    • Boil 4 quarts of water.  Once boiling, add pasta and cook for 10 minutes.
    • Cut the bacon into small pieces and cook in a frying pan until brown and crispy.
    • Beat eggs and add grated Romano cheese.
    • Get a large bowl and fill it with very hot water.  You will dump out the water before using this bowl.  You need it to be warm when you mix everything together.
    • Pour 1/2 cup of pasta water in the bowl with the eggs and cheese to temper them.
    • Drain the hot water from the large bowl.  Add drained, hot pasta, hot bacon and pour warm eggs and parmesan on top.
    • Use tongs to mix everything together.  If you feel the pasta is too dry, add 1/2 cup of hot bacon grease to bring it all together.
    • Garnish with fresh ground pepper and more cheese.
      Pasta carbonara is traditionally served with ground pepper. Personally, I do not like it with pepper. I would suggest trying it without the pepper and then adding it to a bite or two before adding it to the whole dish.
    Keyword Bacon, Cheese, Eggs, Spaghetti
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Chimichangas are a quick, easy dinner that looks like you spent hours making it.  They have shredded beef mixed with sautéed onions and peppers.  Add canned green chilies and green enchilada sauce and then thicken with flour.  Wrap in a flour tortilla and fry in coconut oil. YUM!
    Chimichangas

    Now that you have cooked your No More Dry Roast and you have several pounds of shredded beef, let’s make chimichangas.  These delicious chimichangas are juicy, full of onions, peppers and spices.  They are easy to make and are a perfect, quick dinner for any evening.  I like to add a little lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream and guacamole on the side to finish the dish.  I just happened to have some Creamy Tomatillo Salad Dressing on hand to drizzle over the top of the chimichangas for another layer of flavor.  If you don’t have any roast on hand, you can always make these chimichangas with hamburger, too.

    Chimichangas are a quick, easy dinner that looks like you spent hours making it.  They have shredded beef mixed with sautéed onions and peppers.  Add canned green chilies and green enchilada sauce and then thicken with flour.  Wrap in a flour tortilla and fry in coconut oil. YUM!
    Chimichangas

    How To Make Chimichangas

    1.  Slice the onion and pepper into small thin pieces.  Cut the top and bottom off the onion.  Then cut the onion in half from top to bottom.  Pull the outside layer of skin off until there is no more crepe layers on the onion.  Put the flat side down on the cutting board and slice thin layers.  

    For the peppers, slice the top of the pepper off.  The stem should be still in the top layer you just cut off.  Use your fingers to pick out the seed ball inside the pepper.  Cut the pepper in half.  Slice from top to bottom on the pepper to make thin slices.

    Sauté onions and peppers in butter

    2.  Place the onions and pepper strips in 2 tablespoons of melted butter in a fry pan.  Cook these until they are soft and tender.  You will need a deep pan to add all the rest of the ingredients.  I really dislike having to dirty another pan because I did not plan ahead.

    3.  Mix in the flour and spices into the onions and peppers.  Stir for several minutes so the flour can cook.  Add the canned green chilies and green enchilada sauce.  Add the shredded beef and stir until everything gets heated through and has thickened up.

    4. Heat oil in another fry pan.  I always have coconut oil in my house, so that is my oil of choice when frying.    Any oil will work, canola, vegetable, even shortening can be melted and used to fry the chimichangas.  I like the way the coconut oil tastes and how soft it makes the tortilla without feeling drenched in oil.  Get the oil hot and then reduce heat to medium high heat.

    5.  Place a flour tortilla on a cutting board and place 1/2 cup of meat mixture in the tortilla.  Fold in the sides and wrap up the meat like a burrito.  The tighter you can tuck the filling inside the tortilla, the tighter your chimichanga will be.  I often stick the ends back in after I have rolled everything up.  Try to fry the chimichangas as soon as you have them “wrapped up”. Where the tortilla is folded over, place in the oil first.

    Cook the chimichangas in oil until brown.

    Place the chimichangas in the oil and cook until brown.  Flip over and cook the other side.  If you want that brown color all over, turn them on their side and cook until brown and repeat on the other side.

    6.  Use tongs to pull the chimichanga out of the oil and place on a plate.  Garnish with chopped lettuce and tomatoes.  Then add a scoop of sour cream and guacamole.  

    7.  Feel free to add some grated, cheddar or Monterey cheese on top.  

    8. Creamy tomatillo Dressing is another great addition when drizzled over everything. 

    Chimichangas are a quick, easy dinner that looks like you spent hours making it.  They have shredded beef mixed with sautéed onions and peppers.  Add canned green chilies and green enchilada sauce and then thicken with flour.  Wrap in a flour tortilla and fry in coconut oil. YUM!
    Chimichangas
    Chimichangas are a quick, easy dinner that looks like you spent hours making it. They have shredded beef mixed with sautéed onions and peppers. Add canned green chilies and green enchilada sauce and then thicken with flour. Wrap in a flour tortilla and fry in coconut oil. YUM!

    Chimichangas

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 10 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Mexican

    Ingredients
      

    • 3 lbs. Cooked, Shredded Beef
    • 2 Tbsp. Butter
    • 1 Large Onion
    • 1 Yellow or Orange Bell Pepper
    • 4 Tbsp. Flour
    • 1 tsp. Garlic Powder
    • 2 tsp. Salt
    • 1 tsp. Cumin
    • 4 oz. Canned Green Chilies
    • 28 oz. Green Enchilada Sauce
    • 2 Cups Coconut Oil
    • 12 Flour Tortillas, 12 inch
    • 1 Head Romaine Lettuce chopped
    • 2 Tomatoes chopped
    • 1/2 Cup Sour Cream
    • 1/2 Cup Guacamole
    • 1 Cup Cheddar or Monterey Cheese grated

    Instructions
     

    • Slice and cook the onion and pepper in butter.
    • Add the flour and spices and cook for 3 minutes, stirring often.
    • Add green chilies, enchilada sauce and cooked, shredded beef.  Stir until everything is heated and begins to thicken.
    • Heat oil and reduce heat to medium high.
    • Fill one four tortilla with 1/2 cup of meat mixture and wrap like a burrito.
    • Place in the hot oil, flap side down and cook on all sides until brown.
    • Plate the chimichanga and add a side of Romaine lettuce, chopped tomatoes, a scoop of sour cream and guacamole.
    • Optional, Top the chimichanga with grated cheese while hot.
    Keyword Beef, Onions, Peppers, Tortillas
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
  • No More Dry Roast is a slow roasted piece of meat with lots of seasonings to make a very juicy and delicious roast.
    No More Dry Roast

    No More Dry Roast is an easy way to cook a large piece of meat so you can have lots of shredded beef for quesadillas, chimichangas, French dip Sandwiches, nachos . . . or slices of roast with vegetables and potatoes for a beautiful meal.

    This is a an easy recipe, but you have to think about it the day before, that’s what makes this so easy.  You put it in the oven the night before you want to serve it and cook it all night on a very low temperature.  You will not smell it all night and it will be ready to serve the next day around 1:00 pm.

    No More Dry Roast is a slow roasted piece of meat with lots of seasonings to make a very juicy and delicious roast.

    How To Make No More Dry Roast

    1.  The first thing you need to do is buy your roast.  You can use any piece of beef or pork for this recipe, but I always use it when I am buying a cheaper cut of meat like a beef butt roast.  My local grocery store has a marquee advertising what is on sale in their store during the week. When I pass by and see beef butt roast on sale, I think of this recipe.   Usually  my mouth starts to water when I think of making French Dip Sandwiches.

    2.  The key to this recipe is the spices you rub on before cooking it.  You will need salt, Lawry’s Seasoning Salt, ground pepper, garlic powder, Accent and Bon Appetit.  All these spices can be found in the baking aisle.  Accent is the seasoning MSG, so if you are allergic, please leave it out.  Bon Appetit is a mix of celery salt, sugar and onion powder.  After reading all these spices, you can see why this roast tastes so amazing!

    Roast needs to be sealed in the pan. No steam or heat can escape!

    3.  Now the easy part.  Mix the spices together and sprinkle all over the roast.  Make sure you get all the sides covered with spices.  Use your hand to smush it everywhere and in every little part of the roast.  Try and keep the fat cap of the roast on the top.  It doesn’t always work because butt roasts are three sided.

    4.  Now for the most important instruction of this recipe.  The roast needs to be cooked in some kind of pan that can be covered in foil to seal in all the juices and steam while cooking.  I use a large roaster with a lid that fits on top.  For years, I did not have this roaster and still made this in a pan covered in foil.  It works!  I promise.  You just want to make sure the foil covers everything and is wrapped around the sides so all the heat stays inside the pan.

    5.  The night before you want to eat the roast, put it in the covered pan and place in a 250° oven for one hour.  Turn the heat down to 170° and leave in the oven to cook overnight.

    6.  The roast will be ready to eat at 1:00 pm the next day.  If you want to eat the roast later in the day, turn the oven off.   Let the roast rest in the oven until you are ready to eat it.  Do not take off any of the foil and don’t peek!

    No More Dry Roast is covered with delicious spices and cooked low and slow overnight.

    No More Dry Roast

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 16 hrs
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine American

    Ingredients
      

    • 3-5 lbs. Beef Butt Roast
    • 5 tsp. Salt
    • 5 tsp. Lawry's Seasoning Salt
    • 1 tsp. Ground Pepper
    • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
    • 1/2 tsp. Bon Appetit
    • 1/4 tsp. Accent

    Instructions
     

    • Mix all spices together in a small bowl.
    • Rub spices over all sides of the roast.
    • Put roast in a roasting dish or a pan that can be covered in foil.
    • Put the lid on the roaster or cover the pan with tin foil.
    • Make sure the foil is snug against the pan and there are no places where the steam can leak out.
    • Place in a 250° oven and cook for 1 hour.
    • Lower the temperature to 170° and cook overnight.
    • The roast is ready to serve, the next day, at 1:00 pm.
    • If you want to serve later in the day, turn the oven off and keep the roast in the warm oven until you are ready to serve it.
    Keyword Beef, Roast,
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Blueberries and peaches mixed with a little flour, sugar and salt and then topped with a brown sugar, butter oatmeal crumble.  Make sure to serve it with premium vanilla ice cream.

    The peaches this year in Utah are so delicious! Sam’s Club has been the store of choice for all my peach purchases this summer.  The yellow peaches have been so high quality, firm, delicious and juicy.  I can’t help myself!  Here is one more peach recipe I have to post before they disappear for the next 10 months.  

    Blueberry peach crisp has a luscious oatmeal, brown sugar and butter crumble on top with blueberries and peaches mixed together for the bottom half of this crisp. There is just a little sugar, flour and salt sprinkled over the fruit and that, is about it.  It takes about 10 minutes to put everything together.  Put it in a pan and then bake for 40 minutes until the topping is crispy and brown with the fruit bubbling up on bottom.  When you make this dessert, make sure you have some premium vanilla ice cream on hand.

     Blueberries and peaches mixed with a little flour, sugar and salt and then topped with a brown sugar, butter oatmeal crumble.  Make sure to serve it with premium vanilla ice cream.

     How To Make Blueberry Peach Crisp

    1.  The thing I like about this dish is you can use absolutely fresh fruit, or some fruit that has seen better days.  Due to the fact you are going to bake the fruit,  some blueberries or peaches that look less that beautiful, will work great in this dessert.

    2.  Peel five large peaches.  You can leave the peels on if you want.  I do not mind eating a peach with the peel on, but I always prefer to peel them when making desserts.  Slice the peaches in half and take out the pit.  I like to put half of the peach flat side down in my hand and slice about five slices.  Then I keep the slices in my hand and make cuts across the peach.  Now I have about 15 chunks of peaches.

    3.  Mix the chunks of peaches with one cup of blueberries in the flour, sugar and salt.  You can add vanilla if you like.  I am a purist.  The clean flavors of peaches and blueberries mixed together without any other flavors is a flavor I really love.

    4.  The crumble is made by putting the brown sugar, oatmeal, flour and cinnamon together in a bowl.  Grate the butter on a box grater so it is in nice little pieces.  Mix this together with all the others ingredients.  Put your hands in there and make sure the butter gets coated with all that crumble goodness.

    Make sure you use rolled oats and not quick oats.  Do you know the difference?  Rolled oats are steamed for a shorter period of time to create bigger, thicker flakes.  Quick oats are steamed for much longer and require a lot more processing before they are chopped into smaller, thinner flakes. 

    If you want to take the flavor up a notch, brown the butter, put it in a container with a lid and place it in the freezer.  Once it is solid, take it out and grate it in the crumble.

    Browning butter takes about 10-15 minutes.  You want to heat the butter until it is foamy, stirring every minute or so. Lower the temperature and cook until you see the yellow of the butter turning an amber color.  You will begin to see brown flakes in the bottom of the saucepan. Now it is ready to pour into heat resistant container. It takes a bout 45 minutes to freeze.

    5.  Pour the fruit into an 8 x 8 pan and then sprinkle the crumble topping.  I like a lot of crisp on top, so if it sounds like too much for you, please reduce by half.  I want to taste oatmeal and brown sugar in every bite. Use your hands to pat down the crumble and get it in every open space.

    6.  Bake for 40 minutes until the fruit is bubbling on the sides of the pan and the crumble is crispy and brown.  Let sit for 5 minutes before serving with premium vanilla ice cream.

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Blueberries and peaches mixed with a little flour, sugar and salt and then topped with a brown sugar, butter oatmeal crumble. Make sure to serve it with premium vanilla ice cream.

    Blueberry Peach Crisp

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 10 mins
    Cook Time 40 mins
    Total Time 50 mins
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American

    Ingredients
      

    • 5 Large Peaches
    • 1 Cup Blueberries
    • 1/2 Cup Flour
    • 1/4 Cup Sugar
    • 1 tsp. Salt

    Crumble Topping

    • 1 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
    • 3/4 Cup Butter
    • 1 Cup Flour
    • 3/4 Cup Brown Sugar
    • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
    • 3 Cups Vanilla Ice Cream

    Instructions
     

    • Preheat oven to 350°.
    • Peel and slice peaches into chunks.
    • Mix chunks of peaches with blueberries with 1/2 c. flour, 1/4 c. sugar and salt.
    • Grate the butter and mix in a bowl with flour, brown sugar, cinnamon and oatmeal.
    • Put the fruit mixture in a greased 8 x 8 pan.
    • Sprinkle on the oatmeal crust and pat down into the fruit.
    • Bake for 40 minutes. Serve with ice cream or pour some heavy cream on top.
    Keyword Blueberries, oatmeal, Peaches
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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  • Delicious massaman Curry has chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions, cilantro, curry and a view other ingredients that make is absolutely irresistible.

    Thai food is one of my all time favorite foods!  There is a cute little restaurant near my house, Spicy Thai.  I have to admit, I might have their number on speed dial.  Actually, it is really any dish with curry in it that is my favorite. 


    Some people hear curry and think spicy.  Delicious massaman curry is not spicy and your whole family will love it. All the ingredients in this dish are things I have on hand in my house, except the massaman curry.  Although, after making this the first time, I now keep massaman curry in my refrigerator all the time.  It lasts a long time.  The curry can be purchased in any grocery store and, for sure, in an Asian grocery store.

    Delicious Massaman Curry has chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions, cilantro, curry and a few other ingredients.  There is a little preparation to chop the vegetables, but once that is done, the dish comes together easily.  It needs to simmer for 15-20 minutes to marry all the flavors.  I promise, if you love curry, you will love this recipe!

    Delicious massaman Curry has chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions, cilantro, curry and a few other ingredients that make it absolutely irresistible.

    How To Make Delicious Massaman Curry

    1. When you buy the chicken for this dish, put it in the freezer over night.  Then in the morning, pull it out and put it in the refrigerator.  When you bring it out to slice, in the evening for dinner, it will be half frozen.  This half frozen chicken allows you to slice it very thin.  You actually are just shaving pieces of chicken as you slice.  These thin slices of chicken cook faster and make it very easy to cut the meat while eating the curry.  I like using a spoon, when I eat this, and I want to be able to cut the meat with my spoon.

    2. Slice the onion very thin.  I cut the tops and bottoms of the onion off.  Then I take off the outer skin layer of onion.  Cut the onion in half and place the flat side on your cutting board.  Curl you fingers up and bring the knife down just in front of your fingers to make very thin slices.  Move your fingers back just a very small amount and make another slice.  These half moon slices of onions are so tasty in this dish.

    3.  Peel the potatoes and the carrots.  I like a lot of veggies in my dish, so if you feel there are too many, adjust the recipe.  Once the potatoes are peeled, I cut them in half lengthwise, put them on the flat side and then make long slices, 1/2 inch wide, and then turn the cutting board a quarter turn and cut the other direction.  It makes perfect little cubes.  Easy to cook and easy to eat.

    Then slice the carrots in round discs.

    Slice the carrots the same way you sliced the onions.  Curl your fingers on top of the carrots and slice through the whole carrot moving your fingers back just a little after each cut to make beautiful round, medallions of carrots.

    4.  Cook the curry paste and turn on the fan.  Curry paste can be stinky, so be prepared to open a few windows. Use a large pot that you might make soup in.  Put the vegetable oil in the pan and heat it.  Add the curry paste to the hot oil.  Stir the paste in the oil while it is cooking for about three minutes.

    Curry paste is made of a lot of spices that need to be cooked.  I equate this process to making a rue.   In a rue, you need to cook the flour in the butter.  In the curry, you are cooking the spices in the oil.  

    5.  Add a can of coconut milk and stir until well blended.  Now add the ginger, lime juice, chopped cilantro, brown sugar, fish sauce and Worcestershire Sauce.  Mix this all together and bring to a boil.

    6.  Add the sliced onions and chicken.  This is the beginning of a beautiful marriage as you marry the flavors of the curry paste and spices with the onions and chicken.    Bring this to a boil, then add another can of coconut milk.  Once it comes to a boil again, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes with the lid on.  Make sure the chicken is all white and cooked through.

    7.  At this point, add the cubed potatoes,  sliced carrots and peanut butter.  Use a large spoon and mix everything together, then bring to a boil.  You might be a little afraid of the peanut butter, but to be honest I can hardly taste it in this dish.  There are a lot of Thai dishes that use ground peanuts. The flavors all meld together to make the most delicious curry.  I think you will miss out if you do not add it.

    Bring everything to a boil and cover.

    8.  Bring everything to a boil and cover.  Reduce the heat to a simmer, keep the lid on, and cook for 15 – 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.  Take the lid off and stir everything together every 3-5 minutes while this is simmering.  Then put the lid back on.

    9.  While the Delicious Massaman Curry is simmering, make a pot of perfect rice.  Perfect rice is 4 cups of water with 2 cups of rice.  Put it in a pan and put the lid on.  Bring it to a boil.  Keep an eye on it so it does not overflow.  You want to turn the heat down as soon as you see steam coming out from under the lid. 

    I turn the heat down to medium and watch the pan for a minute.  Then I turn it down again to the lowest setting on my stovetop.  Set the timer for 20 minutes.  DO NOT PEEK.  The steam is cooking your rice and if you peek, you mess everything up.  

    When the timer goes off, turn the heat off.  Let the rice sit with the lid on for another minute or two.  When you take the lid off, your rice should look like this.  If you see those little holes, you have cooked perfect rice!

    A picture of perfect rice.  Cook 2 cups of rice with 4 cups of water until boiling.  Put the lid turn the heat down and simmer for 20 minutes.

    10.  After the curry has cooked for 15 minutes, add a tablespoon or two of Sriracha sauce.  I take the bottle and squirt a big circle and then spiral inside the circle.  It probably is at least a 1/4 cup.  I do not think it makes it really spicy, just flavorful.  Mix everything together well.  

    Here is a little tip when making dishes with a lot of liquid like curries or soups.  When you have finished cooking everything, turn the heat off and leave the lid on.  Let the pot sit on your stove for an hour as it cools a little, before serving. By sitting for a little while, the flavors combine and this step will take your dish to the next level.

    Delicious massaman Curry has chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions, cilantro, curry and a few other ingredients that make it absolutely irresistible.

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Delicious massaman Curry has chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions, cilantro, curry and a few other ingredients that make it absolutely irresistible.

    Delicious Massaman Curry

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 40 mins
    Cook Time 30 mins
    Total Time 1 hr 10 mins
    Course Main Course
    Cuisine Thai
    Servings 8

    Ingredients
      

    • 1 lb. Chicken Breasts 
    • 6 Med. Potatoes
    • 4 Carrots
    • 1 Large Onion
    • 3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
    • 2 oz. Massaman Curry Paste
    • 2 13 oz. Coconut milk
    • 1/2 tsp. Powdered Ginger
    • 1/2 Bunch Cilantro
    • 2 Tbsp. Brown sugar
    • 2 Tbsp. Fish sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. Lime juice
    • 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
    • 1 Tbsp. Peanut butter
    • 1/4 C. Sriracha Sauce

    Instructions
     

    • Slice slightly frozen chicken into very thin pieces.
    • Cut onions into thin slices.
    • Peel potatoes and carrots.
    • Cube potatoes and slice carrots into rounds
    • Heat the oil and drop in the the curry paste.
    • Cook for 3 minutes, stirring gently.
    • Add one can of coconut milk and mix until well mixed.
    • Add the next six ingredients; ginger, chopped cilantro, brown sugar, fish sauce, lime juice and Worcestershire sauce.
    • Add sliced chicken and onions.  When the chicken has cooked and is white, add another can of coconut milk and the potatoes, carrots and peanut butter.
    • Mix well, bring to a boil then put the lid on and simmer for 15 minutes.
    • Make a pot of perfect rice, recipe above, and serve.
    • When ready to serve, add sriracha sauce and mix well.
    Keyword carrots, chicken, curry, Onions, Potatoes, Rice
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  • Blind pie crust lined with cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar.  Then filled with sliced, fresh peaches and topped with a fresh peach glaze.

    Peaches are everywhere! This means, it’s time to make Fresh Peach Pie.  This pie has a baked pie crust lined with cream cheese mixed with a little powdered sugar.  Then fresh peaches are piled high inside and then topped with a fresh peach glaze.  Sweetened, whipped cream is always a great garnish.

    This fresh peach pie screams FALL to me.  In Utah, where I live, peaches are fresh during the months of August and September.  I start making this pie in August and keep making it until I cannot buy fresh peaches any more.  I just can’t get enough! 

    Your family will love this pie!  Buying peaches at a local fruit stand is always a great idea, but the best peaches I have found, so far this season, are at Sam’s Club.  They are big, sweet and firm which are all the things you need to make a fresh peach pie.  

    Right after college, I worked at Marie Callendar’s as a waitress.  Does anyone remember the fresh strawberry pies they made loaded with huge, red strawberries?  This fresh peach pie is my take on this wonderful dessert. 

    How To Make A Fresh Peach Pie

    1.  Make a blind pie crust.  Blind pie crust just means baking the crust before you fill it.  Making pie crust can be intimidating.  I know a lot of people that buy pre-made pie crusts, but I really believe you can make your own and be successful.  

    2.  The secret to great pie crust is chilling the dough.  Make your pie crust the day before you want to use it.  This is the step I did not know about!  Making pies before Thanksgiving, I would set a day aside and knock out 5-8 pies.  I finally figured out that chilling my pie dough makes it so much easier to roll out the crust. 

    3.  Using very cold butter is crucial.  You cannot use room temperature butter.  My new hack is to use a grater when getting the butter ready to use in my crust.  The pie crust recipe below uses both shortening and butter.  The shortening helps make my blind crust stand up without sagging while baking.  Grated butter creates the right size of fat pieces.  Mix the grated butter into the flour and salt mixture.  Coat each piece of butter with flour and break apart the shortening into small pieces.

    4.  Cut the butter and shortening into the flour and salt.  I like using a pastry blender, but I have used two knives and lately I have been using my hands to break apart the fat into the flour and salt.  What I have learned is, I am not good at making pie crust in my food processor.  I have a tendency to mix it up too much and the fat pieces are too small to hold the crust together.  Stop cutting or breaking the fats apart when they reach the size of small, green peas.  You need  lumps of fat to hold everything together.

    A secret to good pie crust is using your hands.

    5.  The other secret is to use your hands.  All my life, my mom said, “Don’t work the dough too much!”  I wasn’t sure what that meant, but I was fearful it meant, don’t mix it together too much.  I have learned, using your hands to smash the dough together and get it into a ball is, NOT working it too much.  You want the dough to hold together and you have to work the dough to get together.

    6.  Using ice cold water is so important!  Fill a juice glass with whole ice cubes and then fill it with cold water.  Set this aside and use 5 tablespoons of water to bring the flour and fats together.  I like to sprinkle the ice cold water over the whole surface of the flour.  Then I use a wooden spoon to mix it all together.  Once the dough starts clumping on the spoon, I put my hands in and push everything together until it is one ball of dough. 

    7.  At this point, pull the dough apart and form two smaller balls.  You can roll them out into a flat disc or push them down with your hands.  Put them into individual plastic bags and put in the freezer or refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Preheat the oven to 375°.

    8.  Once you are ready to roll out the pie dough, you will find the cold dough is so easy to use.  Roll it a little larger than your pie plate, pick it up and place in the dish. Gently push the dough into the pie dish.  I like to trim the pie dough so it is only 1 inch over the edge of the pie plate.  Roll the raw edges underneath and crimp with a fork or use your hands to make a fluted edge.  Cut a piece of parchment the size of the pie plate and place inside the uncooked dough.  Fill it with 2 cups of uncooked beans and place in the oven for 20 minutes.

    9. After 20 minutes, take the pie out of the oven.   At this point, take the parchment paper with the beans out of the crust.  Use a fork and prick the crust so it will not bubble as you finish baking it.  Put the crust back in the oven and cook for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is a golden brown.

    10.  While the crust is cooling, make the glaze. Peel and slice two peaches.  Place these inside a blender with the sugar, cornstarch, salt and water.  Blend until there are not chunks of peaches left.  Pour this into a small saucepan and heat until it boils and thickens.   Place this into a dish so it can cool.  Cover with plastic wrap so the wrap touches the top of the glaze.  Do not refrigerate.  Once it is cool and everything in the pie is ready, put this in a plastic bag, clip the corner and pour evenly over sliced peaches.

    11. Mix the cream cheese and powdered sugar together.  Beat with a hand mixer and then drop into a plastic bag.  Cut the corner off of the bag and pipe into the cooled crust.  Use the back of a spoon to spread evenly over the crust on the bottom and on the sides.

    The cream cheese layer creates a barrier for the liquid in the peaches. You need total fat cream cheese in order to keep the juices off the crust to keep it from getting soggy.  There will still be some liquid that seeps through after you cut the pie.  So be ready to eat it as soon as you cut a slice.

    12.  Cut the peaches in half and peel.  Slice each half into about five slices.  I used 7 large peaches to fill the  crust.  I laid them side by side until the crust was full. Once the pie is full of peaches, you are ready to put the glaze on.  Pour it into a plastic bag, clip the corner and pour evenly over sliced peaches. Refrigerate until you are ready to serve. 

    The glaze takes about an hour to set.  If you love peaches and cream, whip some heavy cream.  Add a little powdered sugar and then add big dollops of cream all around the outside of the pie.

    Blind pie crust lined with cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar.  Then filled with sliced, fresh peaches and topped with a fresh peach glaze.

    Let me know on Instagram or Pinterest if you make this.
      Post a picture and tag me @dinasdiner.  I want to know how it turns out.

    Blind pie crust lined with cream cheese mixed with powdered sugar. Then filled with sliced, fresh peaches and topped with a fresh peach glaze.

    Fresh Peach Pie

    dinasdiner
    No ratings yet
    Prep Time 1 hr
    Cook Time 30 mins
    Course Dessert
    Cuisine American
    Servings 8

    Ingredients
      

    • 1/2 Cup Shortening
    • 1/2 Cup Butter
    • 2 1/2 Cups Flour
    • 1/2 tsp. Salt
    • 5 Tbsp. Cold Water
    • 8 oz. Cream Cheese
    • 1/4 Cup Powdered Sugar
    • 9 Large Peaches
    • 3/4 Cup Sugar
    • 1/2 Cup Water
    • 2 Tbsp. Cornstarch
    • 2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
    • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
    • 1/3 Cup Powdered Sugar

    Instructions
     

    • Cut shortening and butter into flour and salt.  Sprinkle cold water on top and use your hands to mold into a large ball of dough.  Cut into two smaller balls.  Push into two round discs and put into plastic bags and refrigerate overnight.
    • Roll dough out and push into a pie plate.  Trim edges and roll underneath.  Crimp or flute the edges.  Fill the crust with parchment paper filled with unbaked beans.  Bake at 375° for 20 minutes, take parchment paper and beans out of the crust and prick with a fork.  Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until golden brown.
    • Peel two peaches, slice and add to a blender.  Add the cornstarch, sugar, water, salt and lemon juice.  Puree until smooth.
    • Pour into a saucepan and cook until it boils.  Once it has thickened, pour into a flat dish and cover with plastic wrap until cooled.
    • Beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until smooth.  Place into a plastic bag, cut off the corner and pipe into the cool pie crust.  Use the back of a spoon to spread and smooth over the bottom and sides of the crust.
    • Peel and slice seven large peaches.  Place slices next to each other to cover the bottom.  Keep placing slices on top of each other until all peaches have been used. 
    • Pour the cooled glaze over everything and refrigerate until set, about an hour.
    • Beat heavy cream with powdered sugar until peaks form.  Cut pie and add a dollop of whipped cream onto each slice.
    Keyword Peaches, Pie,, Whipped Cream
    Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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