Avocado Skillet Brownies

I have decided that I need to make a change for blogging. It has been really good for me to write a blog, sharing our recipes, simple crafts, the story of our gardening and traveling with family here. I got to know everyone’s blog. I love reading all of your blogs, you all have awesome stories and delicious recipes that I am insisting I have to try all of them. But then, I need to do something more. I know there are so many things to do for blogging, and I would like to learn all of them.

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All right, here I share the recipe for Avocado Skillet Brownies. Because, it is almost weekend, and I always need chocolate for the weekend, talk about spoiling my self, I guess. But who doesn’t like chocolate, this mama always need one to face the daily dilemma “what’s for dinner ?”

Avocado skillet brownie

I bake the brownies on cast iron skillet, mostly because it looks fun, everyone in my house always shouts “look at that giant cookies”. So, you can bake this brownie in a square baking pan or sheet pan.

ingredient for skillet brownie

ingredient for skillet brownie.

skillet brownie

I use avocado to replace the butter, so it will less oily, but adding fiber to it. If you would like to use butter, feel free to use 1/2 cup of butter for this recipe.

Avocado Skillet Brownies

Serving: 12

Ingredient

  • 2 avocado
  • 2 egg
  • 150 grams semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 tbsp dairy-free milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chip

Direction

  • Preheat the oven to 350° F.
  • In a blender, put avocado and egg, process until smooth.
  • In a heatproof bowl, put the 150 grams of semi-sweet chocolate with dairy-free milk, heat it in the microwave for about 30 seconds until the chocolate melt.
  • In a mixing bowl, put all ingredients except the chocolate chip. Use spoon or spatula to mix it all.
  • Put parchment paper on cast iron skillet, pour the dough, use the spoon or spatula to spread the dough.
  • Sprinkle the mini semi-sweet chocolate chip on top of the dough.
  • Bake it in the oven for 25 minutes, until the toothpick comes out clean.

Avocado skillet brownie.

Serve the brownies on its own or with your favorite ice cream or whipping cream. The taste is just like any other brownies. You won’t taste the avocado on it.

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Avocado Skillet Brownies

So, who else need chocolate for weekend? Would you like to try this Avocado Skillet Brownies? Tag your picture to #craftyforhome on Instagram and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest.

 

Eggplant Tofu Stir-fry

Craving the vegetarian meal, quick and easy one. Open the fridge, here was what I found, eggplant and tofu. There were also few tomatoes on the fruit basket.

Eggplant Tofu Stir-fry with quinoa

I used to cook eggplant salsa, the spicy one, serve it with roast chicken or baked fish. This time, I make Tofu Eggplant Stir-fry. I served it with quinoa to make a vegetarian meal that packs with protein.

Tofu eggplant stirfry

Tofu eggplant stir-fry

Tofu eggplant stirfry.

Eggplant Tofu Stir-fry

Serving : 4

Ingredient

  • 1 block of firm tofu
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 onion
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • few sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 tbsp oil

For quinoa

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp thinly slice green onion
  • 1/4 tsp salt ( optional)
  • freshly squeezed juice of half a lemon

Direction

For Eggplant Tofu

  • Cut the onion, eggplant, and bell pepper in small cubes.
  • Mince the garlic, slice the tomatoes.
  • Cut the tofu in smaller blocks.
  • Heat nonstick skillet with 2 tbsp oil on medium heat, add tofu. Fry the tofu until light brown. Set aside on bowl.
  • Add 1 tbsp oil on the same skillet, add onion, stir-fry until soft.
  • Add bell pepper, garlic, eggplant, tomato, all herbs, and water. Cook it until all soft.
  • Return the cooked tofu back to the skillet, stir-fry until the veggies coat the tofu.
  • Season with salt and pepper. Turn the heat off then set aside.
  • Serve the eggplant tofu stir fry with rice or quinoa.

For Quinoa

  • In a saucepan, put all ingredients, except lemon juice.
  • Cook on medium heat, covered, until boiled, turn the heat down to simmer, cook it for 15 minutes.
  • Add lemon juice and fluff the quinoa with spatula or fork.

Tofu eggplant stirfry..

Tofu eggplant stir-fry.

Eggplant Tofu stirfry

If there is any leftover, we usually pack it for lunch box. My daughter who is ten years old, love this type of lunch box instead of sandwiches.

Tofu Eggplant Stir-Fry

If you make this recipe, post the picture and tag #craftyforhome on Instagram and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest.

 

 

 

 

Roasted Duck With Herb

We cook duck often, we don’t serve duck only on special occasion. We have duck for Sunday night supper or weekday supper. The only problem is I only find frozen duck in the grocery store around here. So, in order to cook it, I need a plan for it, at least one day before to thaw it first.

Roasted whole duck

Cooking duck is not that hard, just like making any roasted chicken. Pop it in the oven then leave it until it cooks. On the side note, the duck has a lot of fat, as far as I know, lots of people use the duck fat for cooking too, like making roasted potato or veggies. If you would like to preserve the duck fat, you can collect it after the duck finish roasting and before you glaze the duck. Here I just roast the duck and no glaze on it. But I don’t preserve the duck fat, I just drain it and put it aside then roast the duck for more few minutes until the skin a little bit crispier.

Roasted duck ..

Roasted duck

Roasted Duck With Herb

Serve: 4

Ingredient

  • 1 whole duck
  • 1 medium onion, white or yellow, cut in 4 quarters
  • 10 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp dried marjoram
  • 2 tbsp salt, I use pink Himalayan salt
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Direction

  • Make the spice rub by mix together onion powder, garlic powder, dried marjoram, salt.
  • Put the duck on the roasting pan without the rack.
  • Stuff the duck cavity with onion, garlic, and rosemary, sprinkle a tsp spice rub.
  • Rub whole duck with the spice rub generously.
  • Put the other half of onion and 3 cloves of garlic clove around the duck.
  • Let it sit for few hour to marinate the duck.
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Put the roasting pan lid on, roast the duck covered for 3 hours.
  • Check every hour, and basting the duck with its liquid.
  • After 3 hours, drain the liquid and the duck fat into heatproof bowl.
  • Raise the oven temperature to 400°F, roast the duck uncovered for 10 minutes or until the skin looks crispier.
  • Take out the duck from the oven, let it sit for few minutes.
  • Use the poultry shears to cut up the duck, as it is easier than using a knife to carve it.
  • Serve it over rice or crispy potato wedge with a salad of your choice.

Here is after three-hour roasting there is lots of liquid accumulated on the pan, I just drain it to the bowl, before put the duck back to the oven to make the skin crispier. From one whole roasted duck, here I get 3/4 cup of duck fat.

roasted duck..

Roasted duck fat

The choice to serve it in our family varies, I personally like to serve duck with fluffy cooked rice then serve it with Spicy Chili Sambal complete with the raw veggies.

Roasted duck with sambal chili

But also in our family, mostly serve the roasted duck with fluffy mashed potato or roasted potato complete with salad. If there is any left over, I usually toss the duck meat on a salad for lunch in the next day.

Roasted Duck With Herb

Do you make this recipe, tag #craftyforhome on Instagram, and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest.

Planting Celery From Grocery Produce

Do you like celery? Are you trying to plant celery? Are you trying to compare the easy way to plant celery between seed starting, plant starter from the nursery, or from cutting? Well, between three of them, I only try planting celery from plant starter and cutting. The easiest way of all is from cutting. You can get celery plant in short time.

celery plant from grocery

I always put celery on my weekly grocery shopping list. I use the celery stalk for kids lunch kit, soup, stir-fry, pot roast, salad. But I actually love the celery leaves better. I use the leaves for stir-fry, soup, pot roast, replace the parsley for garnish, salad, just about anything savory dish. The celery from the grocery store only has a bunch of stalks but few leaves, so I regrow the celery from this.

celery base

celery base on water

celery leave shoot on water

It is very easy to do it, and you don’t need a big yard to have celery plant. A deep 12-inch planter with good potting soil is good enough to plant celery. This is what I did all the time in the summer, I grow them on the planter, put them on the deck and keep the soil moist.

celery root on water

celery root on water (1)

What you need for planting celery from grocery produce:

  • The celery base cutting
  • A drinking glass, a bottle or mason jar, anything you have available on hand.
  • Water, I use reverse osmosis water, because I have softened water, I find that using reverse osmosis water is better for this, the water from drinking bottle is also good.

Direction:

  • Put a quarter cup of water on the glass.
  • Put the celery base cutting on the glass so it will sit on water.
  • Put the glass on the kitchen windowsill or by the countertop.
  • Keep checking the water level, if it almost all evaporated, just add more water.
  • In the next few days, you will notice the new leaves shoot is coming out, and in about 7 to 10 days there will be some roots forming.
  • If the celery plant has enough roots already, prepare your planting medium, a good potting soil is enough for this. Just move the celery plant to the planting medium close to the surface, cover the root with more soil, water the soil.
  • If you still waiting for spring coming and would like to keep the celery plant inside, you can plant it on the small container so it will fit on the windowsill or countertop, but always get sunshine for few hours a day.
  • When it is ready to move the plant outside after the last frost, make sure hardening it off first, by gradually move it outside for an hour on the shade, and move it back inside, then next day increase the time to two hours, keep adding time and gradually put the plant on the bright sunny day every day up to two week. By the two week hardening off process, the plant is ready to be left outside whole summer. If the frost still coming once a while, you can bring the plant back inside, or cover it with blanket frost. This process is time-consuming if you have lots of indoor plant starting, but it is reducing the plant shock from the nice and cozy indoor environment to the outside that is more open to the air condition, sunshine, wind, rain, and bugs.
  • For fertilizer, I just use no sugar tea water, or fish emulsion, or kelp. If I cook fish that doesn’t have another ingredient on the packaging, I will put water on that plastic packaging then just water the celery plant with it.
  • Celery love water a lot, so keep the soil moist during the growing season.

celery root

celery plant

That’s what I do to have more celery plant for the easiest way. I am not expert on growing plant, I just have square foot raised garden boxes in my backyard. I do garden for hobby, I grow so many plants on it, and I always make sure it is organic mean I only fertilize them with store bought organic matter or from kitchen scrap.

Planting Celery From Grocery Produce

Are you still planning to plant celery? Would you like to try this easy way? Write a comment, and take a picture of your celery plant, tag #craftyforhome on Instagram and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest.

 

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu With Broad Pasta

Another way of simple cooking for the busy weeknight supper also great for Sunday supper. Instead of spending lots of time in the kitchen during the weekend, slow cooking will give you relaxing time to enjoy your weekend. It also great for meal prep by making a big batch on Sunday, then pack it for weekday lunch or supper.

Slow Cook Ragu With Broad Noodle
Slow cooking is not a new thing. But it helps me a lot to prepare a meal for my family on a busy weekday. So, it easily becomes one of my favorite way to cook.

Slow Cook Ragu With Broad Noodle

This time, I make Slow Cooker Beef Ragu With Broad Pasta, I also use homemade beef broth. I always make a big batch of beef bone broth in a day, then freeze it on a cup portion container. I only use broad noodle pasta, but I am sure it will taste good to use any kind of pasta to serve with the ragu sauce.

Slow Cooked Beef Ragu With Broad Pasta

Serve: 4

Ingredient

  • 1 kg beef brisket
  • 796 ml crushed tomato
  • 2 tbsp dried garlic
  • 1 medium-size onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp paprika powder
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • few twigs of fresh thyme
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  • 1 package broad noodle pasta, or pasta of your choice

Direction

  • Put all ingredients in the slow cooker, except parsley and pasta noodle, turn it on high for six hours, until the meat falls apart.
  • Take the meat out, put on the plate, use the fork, shred the meat then put the shredded meat back to the slow cooker.
  • Cook for another 30 minutes, then keep it warm.
  • Prepare the broad noodle or pasta of your choice as per package direction.
  • Serve the ragu over pasta, sprinkle some chopped parsley.

Slow Cook Ragu With Broad Pasta

If there is any left-over ragu sauce, it will be good to use it for wrap sandwich or grilled sandwich for tomorrow lunch, or maybe for pizza topping would be good too. You can use water if the beef broth is not available. And use crushed tomato with tomato paste for a thicker sauce. I only use crushed tomato here, but the sauce is perfectly thick.

Slow Cook Ragu With Broad Noodle

It might not the authentic ragu recipe, but it sure satisfied our taste bud, and it is very simple to make. I use beef brisket because it is an inexpensive meat cut and a perfect cut for the slow cooking method. I also used beef roast cut or beef cube for stew before, all came out perfect. That is what I like about slow cooker. Put everything on it, turn it on, forget about it for few hours, there you go, you have a meal without lots of work in the kitchen. The fall apart meat from slow cooking is the best part because I am personally like overcook meat with lots of sauce on it. Include a steak too, it has to be well done.

Slow Cooker Beef Ragu With Broad Pasta

If you have a chance to make this meat ragu, write a comment, take a picture, post it, and tag #craftyforhome on Instagram and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest.

 

Papaya Mango Smoothie

In this cold middle of winter, I miss sunshine, warm summer air, and everything tropical related. Maybe that is too much to ask, but who doesn’t love summer. This thing leads me to make something tropical in the kitchen.
I got this lovely papaya from the local grocery store a few days ago. It is ripe now, great for snacking or smoothie.

Papaya Mango Smoothies
Back at my parent house, we always have at least one papaya tree in front of our house. Although only one tree, we actually got abundant of papaya fruit, seems like never-ending stock there. Not only the fruit, we eat the papaya leaves too, the young papaya leaves need to boil it first until it soft, then squeeze the water, and serve it with Spicy Chili Sambal for dipping. Papaya leaves also can be used to tenderize meat.

Papaya Mango Smoothies.
Just like any other tropical fruit, papaya has high in sugar, but it is very high in beta-carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C and some other vitamin and mineral that important for our body. It also contains enzyme papain that is important for our digestive system. So, papaya is great for morning smoothie routine, or for snacks at lunchtime. The unripe papaya is also great for salad. We usually have unripe papaya for spicy fruit salad.
This time I make Papaya smoothies by adding mango and use citrus to add the sour taste, so it won’t be very sweet from the natural sugar on papaya and mango.

Papaya Mango Smoothies

Serving: 1

Ingredient

  • 1 cup cubed papaya
  • 1 cup cubed Mango
  • 1 and 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 orange
  • 1 lime

Direction

  • Squeeze the orange and lime to get the juice out.
  • Put all ingredients in your favorite blender include the orange and lime pulp.
  • Process it until smooth.

If you don’t have fresh mango available, feel free to use the frozen one. Coconut water is great for adding the tropical taste. Feel free to use any liquid you like, water, milk, plant milk, or fruit juice. I use the coconut water from the package that without additional sugar on it. Coconut water from the original coconut would be great, but it is not always available here.

Papaya Mango Smoothie
This Papaya Mango Smoothie is not too sweet, there is tartness from the lime, refreshing, beautiful orange color. When I drink this smoothie, I feel like in the tropical place overlooking the blue ocean. Well, I am still thinking about warm summer air here definitely.

Papaya Mango Smoothie

If you like this Papaya Mango Smoothie, write a comment below. If you got the chance to make this smoothie, take a picture, post it and tag #craftyforhome on Instagram and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest, I would like to know if you have the same thought about summer air, and the blue ocean view in the tropical breeze, right in the middle of this deep winter when everything else is white and grey, almost knee-high snow which is fun to play with by the way. Now excuse me I have to go with my kids for sledding and help them build the snowman. The joy of winter.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

If you have dark chocolate bars, you can actually use it for baking the brownies. My kids kept asking for brownies, but it has to be fudgy. Come to the kitchen with my surprise that I run out the egg, and check in the pantry, I have ground flax seed. Well, flaxseed is the perfect ingredient to replace the egg in a recipe. I use ground flax to sprinkle with smoothies, oatmeal, salad, baked good.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

I also have dairy-free 70% dark chocolate bar for snacking. It is bite-size on individual wrapping. So, instead of using semi-sweet chocolate for baking the brownies, I use this chocolate bar too for the fudgy brownies on this recipe. Measure it for 100 gram, melted, and it results in almost 1/2 cup melted chocolate.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies..
To make the flax egg, use one tbsp ground flax with 2 and 1/2 tbsp water. This is for replacing one egg. So, if you use two eggs then double the measurement for the flax egg. Feel free to use two eggs in this brownie recipe, if you would like to replace the flax egg.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies...
This brownie is so fudgy, dairy-free, nut-free, not too sweet, the texture is not dry, very chocolatey, well, because it is triple chocolate there from cocoa powder, dark chocolate bar, and chocolate chip. I feel like I am talking about chocolate everywhere here, but actually, it is on that brownie bar you going to take a bite or two.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies

Serving: 12 brownie bars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup Butter
  • 2 tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 5 tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 100 gram 72% dark chocolate bar
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil or butter
  • 1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chip

Direction

  • Preheat oven to 350°F
  • In a glass or cup, put the ground flax seed with water, let it sit until it thickened. Omit and skip this step if you use two eggs.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl or double boiler, melt the chocolate bar with coconut oil, feel free to use butter or any other oil of your choice. Let it cool.
  • In a mixing bowl, use the electric mixer, mix sugar, brown sugar, and butter.
  • Add flax egg, salt, vanilla extract, baking powder, melted chocolate and cocoa powder. Mix it well.
  • Add flour and mix it until all well blended. The dough will be thick looks like a cookie dough.
  • Put the parchment paper on a baking sheet or 9 x 12-inch baking pan.
  • Put the brownies dough on the prepared baking pan, use the spatula or your finger to shape the dough. Sprinkle the mini chocolate chip on top.
  • Bake it for 22 – 25 minutes, do not overbake it.
  • Leave it cool in the pan. Then put it in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to make clean cut on the brownie bar.
  • Take out of the freezer, then cut the brownie in to bars.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies,

While taking the picture of this Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies, everyone in my house was lining up behind me, waiting for their fudgy brownie bar. Well, it did not take long for this brownies, there were only three bars left within an hour then it was gone in the next day.

Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies
If you like this recipe, write a comment below, if you bake this Eggless Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies, take a picture, post it and tag #craftyforhome on Instagram and don’t forget to pin it on Pinterest, I would like to know if you like this fudgy brownies as much as we do here.