The Stay At Home Chef: March 2014

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Edible Pixie Dust

 This post is sponsored by Disney's The Pirate Fairy and BlogHer.

We got our copy of Frozen last week. My kids are in heaven! We sat down to watch the whole thing, starting with the previews. There's an all-new Tinker Bell movie that involves a pirate fairy. I could see the magical wave of enchantment sweep over the faces of my children. My 5-year old son turned to me and said, "Will you keep it a secret that I like princess movies?" I thought he was referring to Frozen and assured him that it was for boys and girls. He replied, "No, I really, really, really like Tinker Bell." Sweet kid! I laughed and assured him that it is definitely okay for boys to like Tinker Bell movies, too. (Note: I got his permission to tell this story on the blog. I didn't just totally betray his trust!)
I was contacted and asked to come up with a recipe inspired by the new Tinker Bell movie: The Pirate Fairy. In the movie a pirate fairy steals the magical blue pixie dust from Pixie Hollow. Without it, the fairies can't fly. I asked my kids if they thought it would be fun to make our own pixie dust. They literally jumped for joy! It was super easy to make and the kids were able to help. 
Time to Make it: less than 15 minutes
Yield: 1/2 cup pixie dust
1/2 cup white sugar
10 drops blue food coloring
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Pour the sugar into a small mixing bowl. Add in the 10 drops of blue food coloring. Use a fork to mix it together until all the sugar granules are blue. (The kids are great at this part).
3. Spread the sugar out onto the prepared baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes.
4. Use a fork to break up any chunks and let cool. Store in an airtight container.
Note: Any color food coloring will work, of course, so play to your children's favorites as desired!
So what should you do with this magical edible pixie dust? Here are a few ideas to get you going:
  • Make a sugar sandwich (spread butter on a slice of bread and dust with pixie dust)
  • Sprinkle it on frosted cakes or cupcakes
  • Let the kids dip strawberries or other fruits into it
  • Dip marshmallows in butter and roll them in the pixie dust

Seriously, my kids are so excited. It is so fun as a mom to be able to bring magic into their lives. 
Disney's The Pirate Fairy
Own It On Blu-ray™ and Digital HD Apr 1 
You can buy your own copy here and get more information on Facebook here!


Lamb Meatball Gyros

Lately I've been heading to the grocery store with no list. This is a big deal for me. I am a total planner. My grocery lists are usually detailed and organized by location in the store. But, I've been feeling a lack of inspiration for new recipes. It's an art and it can't be forced. I've been heading to the store with no list so that I can just let the ingredients speak to me and see if inspiration finds its way to my plate. That is how ground lamb ended up in my grocery cart with all the fixings for gyros. (We've covered this on the blog before, but let's get the pronunciation right. It's a Yee-row. Glad that awkwardness is over). The funny thing is I only planned on making the lamb meatballs. It wasn't until I got home that I started making plans to turn them into gyros. The result was inspiration on a plate. The lamb meatballs are juicy and flavorful while the garlic sauce adds punch and acidity. Roll it up in a flat bread and you've got yourself a mean little sandwich. Wait, did I say little? These are actually huge and quite filling. I stuffed myself silly and was quite happy about it. It's a great way to enjoy ground lamb. 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: 4 sandwiches


Lamb Meatballs
1 lb ground lamb
2 TB chopped fresh parsley
2 TB chopped fresh mint
2 TB chopped fresh cilantro
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger

Garlic Sauce
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 c greek yogurt
1 lemon, juiced
1/4 tsp salt

4 pita flat breads
Toppings as desired (sliced tomato, sliced cucumber, sliced red onion, fresh cilantro)


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 glass baking dish. 

2.  In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine ground lamb, parsley, mint, cilantro, garlic, red wine vinegar, cumin, salt, allspice, red pepper flakes, cinnamon, and ginger. Knead together until well combined. 

3. Form meat into 12 balls. Place in prepared pan. Bake until cooked through, approximately 25 minutes. 

4. Meanwhile, make the garlic sauce by combining garlic, greek yogurt, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl.

5. Serve meatballs hot on a pita flat bread with desired toppings and drizzle with garlic sauce. 


Hawaiian Sweet Rolls

I was browsing the isles at Costco, minding my own business, when I was tempted by one of those alluring free samples. It was King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. Those sweet soft rolls tantalized my taste buds for weeks. I couldn't get them out of my mind. The next time I went to Costco I couldn't resist buying a large package. Last week I got a hankering for them again and decided to give a go at making them myself. I altered my usual roll recipe to accommodate the added sweetness and pineapple that are signature to King's Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. These rolls are sweet, tender, and just as tantalizing. They practically melt in your mouth!

Prep Time: 10 minutes + 2.5 hours rising time
Bake Time: 12 to 15 minutes
Yield: 1 dozen rolls


1/3 cup milk (warmed to the touch)
2/3 cup crushed pineapple
1 TB yeast
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
4 TB butter, melted
1 egg
3+ cups flour
1 TB butter, melted (for brushing)


1. In the bowl of a  stand mixer, combine milk, pineapple, yeast, brown sugar, salt, melted butter, egg, and 3 cups flour.

2.. Knead on a low speed until ingredients combine, then increase speed to medium. Add more flour if necessary to form a dough ball. Dough will be slightly sticky, but shouldn't be unmanageable. 

3. Let rise in a greased bowl, covered with a tea towel, for 90 minutes. 

4. Form into one dozen 2.5 ounce rolls. A kitchen scale is helpful, or you can just eyeball it. Roll into balls on a smooth surface.

5. Place in a greased glass 9x13 pan. Cover with a tea towel and rise 1 hour.

6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake rolls in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes until lightly browned. Brush with additional 1 TB melted butter. 


India Spiced Chicken Drumsticks

I love making drumsticks for dinner. It is one of my go-to items for nights when I don't have a lot of prep time. Throw on some seasonings and pop them in the oven and you are practically done. I served this with rice. I want to say I put out a vegetable too, but it'd be a total lie. Such is life. Sometimes I just buy those lettuce mixes and put them on the plate and call it a balanced meal. This time I decided to go with an Indian inspired variation on my drumsticks. We loved this! The skin gets so crispy and is covered in spices so it is like a crispy explosion of flavor in your mouth. Yet, the flavors are familiar enough that it feels like a comfort-food meal. Seriously delish!

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 30 minutes
Yield: Serves 4


8 chicken drumsticks
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
4 TB butter
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a jelly roll pan with nonstick spray.

2. Line up drumsticks on the prepared tray. 

3. Squeeze lemon juice over the drumsticks.

4. In a small bowl, combine cumin, paprika, salt, garlic powder, ginger, garam masala, and cayenne pepper. Sprinkle over drumsticks. 

4. Put a dab of about 1/2 tablespoon butter on the top of each drumstick, on the part that is most meaty. The butter will melt all over the meat and skin, keeping the meat juicy, and making the skin crispy. 

5. Bake for 25-30 minutes in the oven. 

Asian Spiced Beef Kabobs

We are on the verge of spring people. I realize I live in San Diego and that we don't really have seasons, but nevertheless, it is almost spring. I feel it. That snow should be all melted off your grill. It's time to bust it out and embrace the warmth that is about to enter your life. These kabobs are the perfect way to do it. Who doesn't love meat on a stick? My kids were so excited when they saw that dinner was on a stick. One of my favorite parts about grilling is that it is so quick and easy. These kabobs are absolutely bursting with flavor. They had that zing from the citrus and vinegar, and just a touch of spice. Oh man, kabobs...I'm drooling. You will too. These babies are delish!

Prep Time: 5 minutes + 4 hours marinating time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield:  servings per sirloin steak 


1 to 2 Top Sirloin Steaks
3 TB worcestershire sauce
2 TB soy sauce
2 TB rice vinegar
2 limes, juiced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped


1. Cut the sirloin steaks into 2-inch cubes

2. In a medium-size mixing bowl, combine worcestershire, soy sauce, rice vinegar, lime juice, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, and cilantro.

3. Add the sirloin cubes into the bowl and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. 

4. Soak wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes before use.

5. Preheat a gas grill to high heat. Remove the steak from the fridge and thread onto skewers, leaving a little space between each cube to allow for even cooking.

6. Cook on the grill until desired doneness is achieved. For medium rare this should only be 1 minute per side for a total of 4 minutes.

Korean Bulgogi

I grew up eating Bulgogi. No, I'm not Korean. I'm as plain white of European decent as they come. But, my dad lived in Korea for a couple of years as a young adult and the one recipe besides kimchi he brought back with him was bulgogi. Thin strips of beef are marinated and quickly cooked for a flavorful and craveable meat dish. You can serve it by itself or over some rice. I loved bulgogi as a five year old and I'm happy to say my picky little 5 year old loves it too. It's something the whole family can enjoy, yet you are still branching out and trying a foreign dish like bulgogi. They sell pre-marinated bulgogi at Trader Joe's so you know it's gotta be a fairly American-friendly popular dish. Thanks to my dad I've been eating it my whole life! Now you can make it at home, too! It's super easy to make and requires very little hands on time. 

Prep Time: 5 minutes + 1 hour marinade time
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Yield: Serves 6


2 lb.  flank steak
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
2 TB. sesame seeds
1 TB. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
1/2  tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. oyster sauce
1/2 cup sliced green onion


1.   Cut flank steak against the grain into thin strips against the grain. Cut it as thin as you can and place the strips in a small mixing bowl. 

2.   In the small mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, ginger, and oyster sauce. Mix the meat strips with the spices until well coated. Let marinade for 1 hour in the refrigerator. 

3.   After marinating, heat a large heavy skillet or wok over high heat. Pour the meat in with the marinade and cook on high until meat is cooked through. This should take less than 5 minutes. 

4.   Serve hot by itself or over rice and top with green onions. 


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