Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken)

So my hubby Normando or as I call him Normy or Norman, is from Puerto Rico. So the good wifey I am, I wanted to learn how to make the food of his homeland. So I chose Arroz con Pollo (Caribbean Rice with Chicken). Pretty easy dish! So this will be the 2nd time I have made it! I would like to master it and then learn to make more foods from his homeland…

I got the recipe from this book:
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Normy has explained to me when trying to find Puerto Rican recipes that I am to not look online! He told me what I need to know about Puerto Rican food is in this book!

So here we go…

I copied what was in the book…

So I went through the recipe and picked out what I needed so I could do my usual display of ingredients…

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A- 2 1/2 pounds chicken pieces (I used thighs) (Normy says he has had it with drumsticks and thighs, but I did just thighs because that’s what I like, dark meat)

B- 2 peppercorns (whole black pepper) I just used fresh ground black pepper

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2 cloves garlic, peeled, and then I minced them

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1 teaspoon dried oregano,

4 1/2 teaspoons salt,

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2 teaspoons olive oil,

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1 teaspoon vinegar or fresh lime juice. (I used balsamic vinegar)

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(Crush and mix in a mortar) (using a mortar is the best way to do this, but I don’t have one so I just mixed it in a bowl)

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C- 1 tablespoon lard or vegetable oil, 1 ounce salt pork, 2 ounces lean cured ham (for salt pork and ham- washed and diced)

D- 1 onion, peeled, 1 green pepper, seeded, 3 sweet chili peppers, seeded, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro (culantro) leaves (chopped)

E- 1/2 teaspoon salt, 10 olives stuffed with pimento, 1 tablespoon capers, 1/4 cup tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, 3 cups rice

F- 1 can (1 pound 1 ounce) green peas (I did not add)

G- 1 can (4 ounces) pimento (I did not add)

1- Wash chicken and divide each chicken piece in two. Dry and rub with seasoning included in B. Set in refrigerator for several hours or overnight.

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(side note –  I didn’t let it marinate, I just rub it on the chicken and then just started cooking it, I forget this step when I make this dish and I need to plan ahead and let it marinate overnight, so plan ahead and I HIGHLY recommend letting the chicken marinate)

2-In a caldero

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or heavy kettle, heat fat (I used vegetable oil)

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brown rapidly salt pork

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and ham.

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Reduce heat to moderate, add chicken pieces, and cook for 5 minutes.

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3- Reduce heat to low, add ingredients included in D,

onion, green pepper, 3 sweet chili peppers, 1 tomato, 6 cilantro leaves (chopped)

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Normy approves!

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and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

4- Meanwhile, drain liquid from can peas into measuring cup and add enough water to measure 2 1/2 cups, if regular rice is used, or 3 1/2 cups, if long grain rice is used. Reserve peas. Heat liquid and reserve. – For this step I skipped the peas – I just added the water

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5- Add to the kettle ingredients included in E and mix over moderate heat for 2 minutes.

1/2 teaspoon salt,

10 olives stuffed with pimento, (I LOVE green olives so I added more than the recipe called for)

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1 tablespoon capers,

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1/4 cup tomato sauce,

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2 tablespoons fat or Achiote Coloring, (I used two of these packets, you can get them at king soopers, wal mart or spanish/latin grocery store)

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3 cups rice

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6- Add reserved hot liquid to kettle, mix well, and cook, uncovered, over moderate heat, until rice is dry.

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7- With a fork, turn rice from bottom to top.

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8- Cover kettle and cook over low heat for 40 minutes. Halfway during this cooking period, turn Rice over again.

9- Add peas, turn rice once more, cover, and cook for 15 minutes over low heat. (again I skipped this part and did not add the peas)

10- Spoon rice into a serving platter.

11- Heat pimento in their juice, drain, and garnish the rice. Serve at once. (I skipped the pimento part as well, I was going to add them, but there was already pimento in the olives, so I felt that was enough).

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Here is that recipe for you again from the book:
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Napa Cabbage Salad with Red Bell Pepper, Cilantro, Peanuts, and Dijon-Ginger Dressing

Addapted the recipe from here

1 smallish head of Napa cabbage, chopped
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced into long strips
1 bunch chopped green onion
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

For the Dressing:
2 Tbsp rice vinegar
2 tsp. I used the pickled ginger, chopped (like what they use at sushi restaurants)
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp agave nectar (I ran out, so I used 1 tbsp of agave nectar and 1 tbsp of honey)
salt and fresh-ground black pepper to taste
3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/3 cup dry-roasted peanuts (I added only to my portion, as the hubby doesn’t like peanuts in his food)
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for the dressing throw everything into a bowl – starting with the rice vinegar,
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pickled ginger
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Dijon mustard,
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sesame oil,
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agave nectar and honey
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salt, and pepper,
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then what I did was grabbed my handy-dandy hand blender and turned it on and then poured the oil in and made sure everything was mixed together really well, made the dressing nice and thick and creamy. Set the dressing aside until ready to use
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Chop Napa cabbage and place into a large bowl.
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Cut red bell pepper, into thin slices, removed seeds and top and slice into long, thin slices (the original recipe called for one bell pepper, but because I LOVE them so much, I used two).
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chopped green onions,
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chopped cilantro,
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Toss together the chopped Napa cabbage, red bell pepper strips, chopped green onions, and chopped cilantro in a large bowl.
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What I did was added the salad to individual bowls and poured the desired amount of dressing over the salad and then added the peanuts.
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I have made this salad before and I poured all the dressing over it and it did not keep well for the next day! So I recommend only adding dressing to what you eat and then if you have leftovers and you want some the next day, store the salad and dressing separate and then just add dressing to salad the next day.

Glazed Doughnut Muffins

I think these should be called spiced muffins…to me they do not taste like a glazed doughnut…but more like a spice muffin…

Recipe

For the Batter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
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1/4 teaspoon baking soda
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3/4 to 1 ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste (I used ¾)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
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1 cup milk
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For the Glaze
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water
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1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter,
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vegetable oil, and sugars
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till smooth.

3) Add the eggs,
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beating to combine.
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4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon,
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salt, and vanilla.
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5) Stir the flour
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into the butter mixture alternately with the milk,
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beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

6) Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
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7) Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
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8.) In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter,
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confectioners’ sugar,
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vanilla
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and water. Whisk until smooth.

9.) When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze
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and allow the glaze to harden.
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At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice.
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10.) Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.
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Here is that recipe for you again:
For the Batter
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 to 1 ¼ teaspoons ground nutmeg, to taste (I used ¾)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

For the Glaze
3 tablespoons butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper muffin cups, and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.

2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.

3) Add the eggs, beating to combine.

4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
5) Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.

6) Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.

7) Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

8.) In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.

9.) When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice.

10.) Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

Blueberry Doughnut Muffins

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I saw these online and HAD to make them! They just looked and sounded SO amazing to me!!

Let me just tell you that my co workers are some lucky people! They get treats from me (like these) alllll the time!

Recipe

zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
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1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries
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For the Glaze

3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon warm water
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1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin, or line with 12 paper muffin cups.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest

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and sugars. Use your fingertips to incorporate the zest into the sugars until it is moist and fragrant.
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3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter,
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vegetable oil,
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and sugars
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until smooth.
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Add the eggs
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and vanilla,
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beating to combine.
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4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour,
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baking powder,
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baking soda
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and salt.
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Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
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Fold in the blueberries.
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5. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
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6. Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
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7. In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar,
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vanilla, lemon juice and water. Whisk until smooth.

8. When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze
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and allow the glaze to harden.
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At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice.

9. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

Notes:

If you prefer a little more intense kick of lemon, feel free to substitute more lemon juice for the water in the recipe for the glaze.

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here is that recipe again:

zest of 2 lemons
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 1/3 cup fresh blueberries

For the Glaze

3 tablespoons unsalted butter; melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar; sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon warm water

1. Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin, or line with 12 paper muffin cups.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the lemon zest and sugars. Use your fingertips to incorporate the zest into the sugars until it is moist and fragrant.

3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment or in a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating to combine.

4. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined. Fold in the blueberries.

5. Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.

6. Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.

7. In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, lemon juice and water. Whisk until smooth.

8. When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice.

9. Serve warm, or cool on a rack and wrap airtight. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

Notes:

If you prefer a little more intense kick of lemon, feel free to substitute more lemon juice for the water in the recipe for the glaze.

Grapefruit yogurt cake

I wanted to make this cake because I had grapefruits and Greek Yogurt. So I had to make it! It turned out fabulous!

Recipe

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
Zest of 1 large grapefruit
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice
So here is what you will need:
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and here is what you will need with a side of Jenn HA!:
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For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan.

Combine the flour,
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baking powder,
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and salt
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in a mixing bowl.
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In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt,
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1 cup sugar,
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eggs,
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zest,
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and vanilla.
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Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients,
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whisking in each addition. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it is all incorporated.
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Pour batter into the loaf pan

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and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
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Meanwhile, cook the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice
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and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
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When the cake is done, allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
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Carefully remove cake from the pan and place it on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is till warm,
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pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow to soak in. Cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and juice, pour over cake.
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Here is that recipe for you again:

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 large eggs
Zest of 1 large grapefruit
½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed grapefruit juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease and flour a loaf pan.

Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, eggs, zest, and vanilla. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking in each addition. Fold the vegetable oil into the batter until it is all incorporated. Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for about 50 minutes, or until a toothpick placed in the center of the loaf comes out clean.

Meanwhile, cooke the 1/3 cup grapefruit juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.

When the cake is done, allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully remove cake from the pan and place it on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the cake is till warm, pour the grapefruit-sugar mixture over the cake and allow to soak in. Cool completely.

For the glaze, combine the powdered sugar and juice, pour over cake.

Asian Beef Lettuce Wraps

Recipe
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12 leaves lettuce (iceberg, romaine, Boston or green leaf)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
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1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1-2 Tbsp. chili sauce (such as Sambal Oelek)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 green onions, chopped
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Gently rinse lettuce leaves
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and pat dry, careful not to tear them. Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat.
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Add bell pepper and onion,
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cook 3 minutes.
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Add ground beef
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and cook 5 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon.
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Drain grease and return pan to stove top; reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic,
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soy sauce,
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hoisin
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and chili sauces,
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ginger
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and rice vinegar.
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Cook until sauce has thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in green onions.
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Spoon meat mixture into a medium bowl and place on a large serving platter. Arrange lettuce leaves around the bowl and serve.
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And here is that recipe for you again:

12 leaves lettuce (iceberg, romaine, Boston or green leaf)
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 yellow onion, diced
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 tsp. each salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1-2 Tbsp. chili sauce (such as Sambal Oelek)
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
4 green onions, chopped

Gently rinse lettuce leaves and pat dry, careful not to tear them. Set aside.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over high heat. Add bell pepper and onion, cook 3 minutes. Add ground beef and cook 5 minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Drain grease and return pan to stove top; reduce heat to medium. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in garlic, soy sauce, hoisin and chili sauces, ginger and rice vinegar. Cook until sauce has thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in green onions.

Spoon meat mixture into a medium bowl and place on a large serving platter. Arrange lettuce leaves around the bowl and serve.

Carrot Ginger Soy Dressing

Recipe

This dressing is the BEST! Tastes like the Ginger dressing you get at a sushi restaurant! The first time I did this recipe I did it in my food processor as I didn’t have a blender. I recommend doing it in a blender as it is smoooooth…

ALSO the recipe calls for Iceberg Lettuce and I had green leaf lettuce, it does go better with iceberg. So I HIGHLY recommend what the recipe calls for…

(I doubled the recipe)

2 medium carrots, peeled, ends trimmed and sliced
2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons soy sauce
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
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1 large head Iceberg lettuce, quartered and cored (I used Green leaf as that is all I had at the time I made this)
Freshly chopped cilantro leaves, for garnish
1 large red Thai chile, seeded, deveined and thinly sliced, for garnish

Combine the carrots,
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ginger,
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shallots,
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soy sauce,
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vinegar,
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water,
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sugar,
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and vegetable oil in a blender
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and puree until dressing becomes a slightly thick sauce. Season with the salt.
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pour the dressing over the top of whatever lettuce you use. Finish with cilantro and chile.

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