Summer Recipes with Take Back the Kitchen

P1040447 (1).JPGIt is so hot out there and I am still steering clear of my oven although I am dying to bake! Here is a great stove top recipe that will not turn your house into a sauna. It is a modified Bitman recipe and is extremely simple and delicious. Your kids may even like it because of the sweetness from the dried cranberries. If they don’t like it, serve it anyway. They’ll eat it when they get hungry enough and then they’ll thank you.
Chicken Chickpea and Dried Cranberry Tagine:
2 TBS olive oil
6 pieces chicken-thighs or legs
1 large , chopped onion
1 cup dried cranberries, figs, apricots, etc.
1 TBS cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated ginger
1 TBS chopped or pureed garlic
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes or 2 cups chopped, fresh tomatoes
2 cups cooked chick peas
1/2 cup uncooked bulgar wheat, brown rice, whole wheat cous cous or other healthy grain
a few TBS chopped parsley or cilantro for garnish at the end
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat up the oil. When it is hot, put in the chicken pieces and brown just for a few minutes on each side.. Some of rthe chicken might stick but don’t worry about it. Remove chicken and set aside on a plate. In the same oil with the chicken bits, add the choppped onions and cook until they are translucent, maybe 10 minutes.
Add in the spices, the ginger and garlic and stir for a minute or two.
Add in the chopped tomatoes, cranberries,chick peas and the chicken and enough water to cover the chicken mixture by one inch.
Cook over medium flame for about 10 minutes.
Add the bulgur or whatever grain you are using and cover, cooking for about another 10 minutes. KEEP CHECKING AND STIRRING TO MAKE SURE IT IS NOT STICKING TO THE BOTTOM.
The dish is done when the grain is cooked as well as the chicken.
Serve with chopped parsley or cilantro on top. YUMMMM!!
For more great recipe from Alma Schneider, visit her at Take Back the Kitchen.

Despicable Me: Interview with Steve Carrell

Steve Carell.jpg

Sitting down with Steve Carell for the press junket for Despicable Me, I was surprised to find him so down to earth. Unlike his character Michael Scott of “The Office,” Carell is friendly, funny and normal!
In “Despicable Me,” Carell voices Gru, a villain who finds great pleasure in doing deliciously wicked things to other people. Whether it’s freezing a long queue of customers ahead of him at a coffee shop, or creating a balloon animal for a small boy only to pop it in front of his face, Gru gets to do all of the dastardly things we only wish we could.
Gru is on track to become the greatest villain of all time by committing the crime of the century, but when he adopts three orphan girls to unwittingly help him break into the heavily secured compound of his enemy, Vector, he never imagines they’d melt his icy heart and turn him into a softie.
Carell says he enjoyed watching the character develop and at one point, Gru knows his kids are in jeopardy and he storms Vector’s lair to save them. That’s when Carell knew that Gru had become a dad, “Because as a parent, you would throw yourself under a bus for your kids and not even think about it. There’s not a split second of hesitation. It’s like, he punches a shark, and is just like “Nope!” and keeps going. It becomes about them and you’d do anything for your kids, so I totally identify with that.”
To Carell, the movie has a bigger message than an evil man turned good guy, “It’s the quintessential journey of becoming a parent. That to me is really the story. Someone has their life structured the way they want, or think that’s how they want it to be. Then you introduce kids and it changes and you can’t explain it to someone who’s about to have kids how it’s about to change. The common thread is it changes everything: how you think about yourself, your work and your life, and how you view the world around you.”
And just when you think Steve Carell is winning awards at home, he reminds us once again that he is just a normal dad, trying to impress his kids, “No matter how cool you think you are, your children always bring you back to earth.” He adds, “When we were leaving the theater after seeing “Despicable Me,” my son thought the movie was great but ask why I didn’t play a minion.”
Listen in to more of our interview with Steve Carrell and then check out this featurette from the film. “Despicable Me” opens in theaters nationwide July 9.

Check out all our “Despicable Me” coverage by visiting the following links:
Interview with Julie Andrews
Interview with Miranda Cosgrove
with Jason Segal

Despicable Me Movie Preview