Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Apple Slice "Nachos"


My Apple Slice "Nachos" have fresh slices of tart Granny Smith apples drizzled with peanut butter and chocolate and then sprinkled with chopped peanuts, sweetened coconut and dried cranberries.   It's a perfect snack food to enjoy any time or even as a dessert.

My kids crave a fun and delicious snack to enjoy when they come home from school.  I am always trying to get them to eat more fruit so these Apple Slice "Nachos" are one snack that this Mom and kids can happily agree on as a daily snack.  

We make these nachos together as a family, so my little "Chefs in the Kitchen" love that they get to help make them.  I usually cut and soak the apples in some salted water so they don't brown before picking the kids up at school.  Now, I used Granny Smith apples because I love them for their tartness, but you can use your favorite apple variety instead.   When the kids come home, they wash their hands and dry off the apples on some paper towels first.  Then they get the chocolate and peanut butter heated in the microwave. The kids love doing this part and since there are two things that need to be heated up, I give them each a bowl to work on.  I then chop the roasted peanuts and get the other toppings ready so we are all set to make these fun apple slice nachos.

The kids love drizzling the peanut butter and melted chocolate over all the sliced apples.  Then they simply top the "nachos" with their favorite toppings.  The hardest part is to let the nachos sit for about 5 minutes to let the peanut butter and chocolate set.  I usually get them to empty their lunch boxes at this time so that keeps them occupied.  When the nachos have set,  we happily dive in and enjoy each bite.  I may not be a kid, but I am a big kid at heart and I love these apple nachos so much.  My husband also enjoys them so we are always sure to save a few slices of "nachos" for him to enjoy when he comes home.      

2 large Granny Smith apples cored and sliced into medium size wedges
2 tsp regular table salt
5-6 cups water (make one cup warm)
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter 
1/4 cup chocolate chips (milk or semi-sweet)
handful of chopped roasted and salted peanuts
handful of sweetened flake coconut (found in baking aisle) 
handful of dried craisins (dried cranberries) or raisins

Note: These are our usual toppings of choice, but you can use mini marshmallows, white chocolate, other types of nuts or nut butters, colorful sprinkles etc.... These "nachos" can be customized to your taste.

Step 1:  Set up the salted water bowl by placing salt in a bowl and adding 1 cup of warm water to dissolve the salt. Then follow up with the cold water.  Next slice apples into wedges, removing the core and placing into the salted water.  If kids are helping, a parent or adult needs to do this part since a knife is used.   Allow apples to sit in water for 5 minutes.  Then place the apples on a paper towels and blot to remove any water from the surface of the apples before proceeding.

Step 2: Arrange apple wedges in a single layer on a plate or cutting board.  Tip: I like to line my cutting board with a piece of wax paper for easy clean up.  Then in a microwave safe bowl heat peanut butter for 20-30 seconds and stir well.  Use a spoon to drizzle over apple slices.

Step 3: Next microwave the chocolate chips in 30 seconds increments in a microwave safe bowl, always stirring well to get heated chips moved around.  Careful not to burn chocolate.  Once chocolate starts to melt, switch to 10-15 second increments. Once chocolate is fully melted, use a fork to drizzle chocolate over apple slices.  Then sprinkle toppings as desired.  Allow nachos to sit for at least 5 minutes to set up.  Then dig in and enjoy. 



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Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles


Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles are just what we need to cool off during these hot days!  The weather is hitting the 100 degree mark these days and the humidity makes it feel even worse.   I love finding tasty ways to cool off and these popsicles are fun and tasty.

The kids and I made these watermelon pops one afternoon and we loved how they turned out.  They are just so darn cute!  We could not wait to try them and had our first pops right after breakfast.  It was already hitting 85 degrees so we needed them.  

We made our pops without any sugar or simple syrup.  Our watermelon was perfectly sweet enough and I loved the tartness the kiwi gave the "rind".   Now, if you have a less than sweet watermelon or you just love a sugary treat, add some simple syrup.

We will be eating a lot more popsicles in the upcoming days.  The temperatures are staying hot, hot, hot so we are staying close to the freezer!

Watermelon Kiwi Popsicles

5-6 cups seedless watermelon chunks
3 large kiwis
chocolate chips as needed (optional)
Simple Syrup to taste (optional)

Simple Syrup:
1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Special equipment:
popsicle molds
popsicle sticks

Step1:  Cut watermelon into chunks and blend in blender until smooth.  Taste puree, if it is not sweet enough for your desired taste, pour in some simple syrup and blend.     To make the simple syrup, just add the sugar and water into a pot and boil until sugar dissolves and the syrup thickens.

Step 2: Then pour watermelon puree into popsicle molds and leave about 1/2 inch from the top.  Drop a few chocolate chips for the "seeds".  Place in the freezer and freeze for one hour so the watermelon has become slushy, but not frozen yet.

Step 3:  Prepare kiwi by peeling the skin and blending until smooth.  If you prefer the kiwi puree to be sweeter, add some simple syrup and blend.  Once popsicles have set for one hour, top with the kiwi puree.  Insert popsicle sticks and freeze overnight. 

Step 4:  Run warm water around popsicle molds and release frozen popsicles from the molds. Enjoy.


Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Ulundu Vadai with Coconut Chutney

My mother recently came over to help me make one more vadai to feature here on the blog. This savory lentil fritter called Ulundu Vadai is a fun picnic or snack food.   Ulundu Vadai has a much softer texture than the other vadai I showcased earlier.  They also have a very cute doughnut shape and go perfectly with the coconut chutney shown in the picture.  I am also providing the recipe of the coconut chutney in this post because they go so well together.  Of course the chutney is so fabulous I could just eat it with a spoon.  I made so much chutney that I decided to finish it off with some pita chips.  That was really good too. 

 Ingredients for Vadai:
2 cups Urad Dahl (Lentil) soaked
4 green chilies
1 inch fresh ginger
1 pinch of asafoetida (see note)
1 medium onion chopped
2 tsp cumin seeds
15-20 curry leaves
1 tsp red chili flakes or powder
1/2 tsp  black pepper
salt to taste

  1. Asafoetida can be found in Indian Grocery Stores.
  2. You want to also make sure you get the cleaned urad dhal where the outer dark husk has been remove.

Directions for Vadai:

   Soak lentils overnight until softened.  Drain the lentils very well so all the water is gone (allow lentils to sit in colander for 30 minutes to make sure it is well drained).  Then grind in food processor until smooth with salt.  Remove to bowl and allow the dhal to ferment with the salt for 3-4 hours.   Next grind ginger, onion, curry leaves and chilies in food processes until minced, but not too  mushy.   


Then mix the ground lentils with the  ground ginger, curry leaves and onion, as well as salt, asafoetida, black pepper, red chili flakes and cumin seeds. Mix well until all ingredients are combined.

To make the vadai take a ball of dough in your wet hands (wet hands keep dough from sticking to your hands). Make a whole in the center (like a doughnut) and place in the hot oil to fry.  Have oil heated to 350 degrees. Gently drop the vadai into hot oil and they will sink to the bottom of fryer (make sure it does not get stuck to the bottom of pan- if they do that just gently use a frying spoon to release). When vadai floats to the top and is golden brown drain on a paper towel.  Eat alone or with coconut chutney.  Enjoy.


Ingredients for Coconut Chutney:
1 cup dessicated coconut (not sweetened)
1/2 cup coconut milk
Handful curry leaves
4-5chilies (seeded for less heat if desired)
1/2 medium onion
1 Tbs ginger
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp black pepper
lime juice (to taste)
salt (to taste)

Soak dessicated coconut in coconut milk for 30 minutes or longer to soften. In a food processor mince curry leaves, onion, ginger, garlic and chilies.  Then add soaked coconut, lime juice, black pepper and salt and mix all ingredients together in processor until well combined. Serve at room temperature or chilled.




Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Confetti Fried Rice (Vegetarian)


 I usually cook a large pot of brown rice when I make a rice and curry meal.  Sometimes the curries get finished, but we have a lot of left over rice.  Fried rice is perfect dish to make with leftover rice.   This is a wonderful savory fried rice that I make with the vegetables I always have on hand at home. Of course, you can add any vegetable or frozen bag of mix veggies that you have in your fridge/freezer.  That means this dish can be made in so many different ways by what you add to it.  I love getting a brand new dish out of leftovers.  After eating this rice, you will purposely make extra rice just so you can have this the next day. 

4 cups cooked and cooled rice (brown or white)
1 Tbs canola oil
1Tbs butter or margarine
1 (small piece) cinnamon stick
12-15 curry leaves
2-3 green cardamom pods
2-3 cloves
1 onion finely diced
2 large carrots grated
1 red bell pepper finely diced
1-2 green chile finely diced
1 tbs grated ginger
1 tbs grated garlic
red chili flakes (to taste)
1 cup frozen peas

Always remember that you can remove cardamom, cloves or cinnamon sticks before serving dish.  They are not fun to eat directly.  Curry leaves are fine to eat.

Cook rice and have it waiting.  I do recommend the basmati variety because of it's nutty flavor. Heat oil and butter in large frying pan and add cinnamon stick, curry leaves, cardamom pods and cloves for 30-45 seconds.

 Next add onion, garlic and ginger (season with a little salt).  Saute for 2-3 minutes until onions start to soften.  Then add the peppers, chilies and carrots and season with a little salt.  Saute for another 4-5 minutes. 

 Next add the red chili flakes and the frozen peas.  Mix all ingredients together well.  Finally add the cooked rice and incorporate well. Check for salt and season as needed. Serve with salad.  Enjoy.



Copyright: All recipes, content, and images (unless otherwise stated) are the sole property of Kitchen Simmer formerly known as Curry and Comfort. Please do not use without prior written consent. Unauthorized reproduction is strictly prohibited.