Tag Archives: spicy

Senegalese peanut-y chicken

Oooof, it snowed. A. Lot. On the second day of spring even. It’s gorgeous and white and clean and perfect for snowball fights, but it’s snow. It’s not so much that I mind the snow, but the day before this storm, I was wandering around outside with chickens sans coat. Basking in the sun, listening to the birds, watching the chickens fight over bread crusts, a lovely spring afternoon. And now we’re surrounded by snow. Well, ok, just excuse me a moment while I dream of warmer climes and the spring to come.

Since I’ve got spring on the brain, I decided it was time for a little blog spring cleaning. I’m cleaning and trying some new things out here. And it’s looking pretty snazzy if I do say so myself (aren’t I the modest one today?).

But let’s get back to that dream of warmer climes. This Senegalese peanut-y chicken transports me right back to my study abroad days. Similar to mafe poulet, it leaves out the sweet potatoes and cabbage. Mafe poulet was my absolute favorite dish while in Senegal, I could not get enough. But now, I (and you!) can make it right in my own kitchen. Peanuts, chicken, a little heat, and a pop of cilantro. It’s a winning combination in my book.


Senegalese peanuty chicken

Senegalese peanut-y chicken

Adapted from The Best Casserole Cookbook Ever by Beatrice Ojakangas

2 teaspoons coconut oil
1 small onion, roughly chopped
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
¼ -½ tsp of cayenne pepper, depending on spice preference
1 ½ – 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 4 chicken breasts)
1 tomato, chopped
Chopped cilantro for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium low heat. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in chicken broth, peanut butter, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Set aside.

Trim and rinse the chicken pieces. Pat dry with paper towel. Place chicken in baking dish.

Spread the sauce evenly over chicken. Bake chicken for 45 minutes covered. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped tomato. Return, uncovered, to oven for an additional 5 minutes.

Remove from oven and garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve with rice or couscous.


Peanut green curry

People have been asking what I miss most about Minneapolis. Honestly, it’s only been a month, and everything here is so new, there’s not a lot to miss besides the people. Now, if you were to ask what food from Minneapolis it is that I’ve been craving, well, that’s easy. It’s Sawatdee’s jalapeno cream cheese puffs. And if you just happen to choose the right Sawatdee, you can get jalapeno cream cheese puffs and sushi. Win!

The cream cheese puffs are delicious, but simple in flavor. It’s the execution that’s difficult. Thinking about these tasty puffs, got me on a whole Thai food craving. Lucky for me, curry is super easy in execution.

So most authentic curries call for fish sauce, and that’s fine. Me, I don’t really keep it around because curry is one of the few things I make that calls for fish sauce. Lucky for me, I don’t have to be authentic, just tasty. And this hits tasty right on the nose.

For this curry, I shied away from the usual proteins and used chicken and apple sausage. The sweet and savory of the sausage plays nice with the sweet and spice of the curry. Like any good curry, you can use whichever proteins and vegetables you have on hand. Though I used carrots and onions, I think green peppers and eggplant, or potatoes and carrots would work nicely. Regardless, of the vegetables and protein, I highly recommend serving the curry with wilted spinach. The spinach and peanut sauce complement each other wonderfully.


Peanut green curry

1 Tbsp coconut (or vegetable) oilPeanut green curry
½ Tbsp garlic
1 ½ Tbsp grated ginger
3 Tbsp green curry paste
½ cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp brown sugar
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 cans (15 oz) coconut milk
Protein of choice and/or vegetables:
I used ½ cup sliced carrots, ½ red onion and 1 cup sliced chicken sausage with apple

Heat coconut oil over medium heat, add garlic and ginger and cook until fragrant. Add vegetables and cook over medium low heat for five minutes. Add curry paste to vegetables and stir. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer over low, stirring occasionally until sauce has thickened.

Serve with wilted spinach and rice or rice noodles.

Spicy cheesy chicken rolls

Well my little kiddies, this post shall be a shorter one. You see we’re having our very first overnight guest tonight, and naturally that has thrown me into a bit of a tizzy. Never mind, that it’s family, and they’ve certainly seen my living spaces at their cleanest and then again at their most disorganized. Nope, as usual, I may have created some slightly unreasonable expectation of perfection for myself. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m super excited, but naturally want to put my best foot forward.

As you read more and more, you may find that these high expectations are a sort of  theme I seem to have. On the one hand, it ensures that this gal sets her sights high and aims for the sky, on the other hand, it may mean occasional moments of stress. I say “occasional” with a slight grin, because if you know me well, you know that it may happen slightly more often than that.

It’s one of the reasons that living up here is so good for me. I’m reminded to stop and look around me, to take time to breathe and be in the moment. I don’t always have to be doing something. In fact, it’s when I’m messing around outside that some of the coolest moments happen. Take for example, this rad picture of a birds nest. That’s just outside my bedroom window. Here’s hoping they come back next spring and regale us with song!


Ok, after the nature interlude, back to the recipes. I really am excited to have a dinner guest. And dinner won’t disappoint. This recipe may look complicated, but I promise it’s not. It’ll look like you spent ages slaving in the kitchen, but this comes together in a flash! You should be serving it to your next dinner guests. Pair it with a salad or light vegetable and some cornbread. That cornbread is a must. You’re going to want something with some slight toothiness to cut the richness of the chicken. A note, I used the 1 ¼ lb package of boneless, skinless breasts, which generally means three chicken breasts.

Spicy cheesy chicken rollsSpicy cheesy chicken roll ups

1 ¼ lb package boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp finely chopped hot pepper (I used Anaheim peppers)
2 Tbsp finely chopped onions
1 tsp Mexican seasoning. As a girl who loves her Penzey’s, I used Arizona Dreaming
⅓ cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 oz cream cheese, slightly softened
A good shake or two of your fave hot sauce

Preheat oven to 350. Start by mixing pepper, onion, seasoning, and cream cheese together. Set aside.

Each chicken breast will be pounded flat to about 2 times the original size. The easiest way to do this is to sandwich the chicken between two large pieces of plastic wrap. Pound the chicken flat using a meat mallet, rolling pin, or even the bottom of a sturdy saucepan. Do this for each chicken breast.

Divide cream cheese mixture evenly and spread on each chicken breast. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese, reserving a pinch to sprinkle on top of each chicken roll. Carefully roll up each piece of chicken and place seam side down in a greased pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

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