Liana’s Beach House Crockpot Chicken, Homemade Tortillas, and Nanaimo Bars

Em here. I spent a few hours over at my beloved friend D’s house on the beach the other day. Whenever I am at her house, it is for certain that I will be served several delectable dishes. Her mom, L, jokes that if there was ever a national disaster or earthquake, come to their house because they have food stock that will cover everyone for months. She may not be kidding. D and her family are some of the sweetest friends a girl could ask for, and I am so blessed to have them in my life. Just today, they stopped by with an assortment of croissants from Blu Orkid, the perfect treat following an afternoon swim. I planned on only having half of my croissant and saving the other half for later. That didn’t happen.

The first half of my croissant.

The second half of my croissant. Could have been even better than the first. Definitely does not follow the law of diminishing marginal returns that I am studying in my economics class.

Anyways, while we were at D’s house the other day, she and I casually whipped up homemade tortillas and nanaimo bars. The tortillas were a perfect accompaniment to her mom’s crockpot chicken: shredded and cooked with green salsa…let me reflect on that for a moment…ahhh. We sat and half-watched a Harry Potter movie, half-talked-about-random-things while we ate our first, second, and third helpings of homemade tortillas, chicken, and avocado. Oh, and don’t forget the pinto beans and cheese. And not any cheese, but the Jack cheese from Costco. The cheese was so good that I forgot to take a picture of it. Nevertheless, it was essential.

Open faced or taco. You can’t go wrong. Burrito wasn’t an option because we both put to much ingredients inside to close it up.

After a late lunch, we dove into the nanaimo bars, derived from a Canadian no-bake recipe that has three layers. These bars are a perfect combination of sweet and bitter. The first layer has cocoa, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, and walnuts. The second is a creamy custard. The third is bittersweet and semisweet chocolate. They melt in your mouth.

I left D’s house that day with a plate of nanaimo bars and a helping of shredded chicken for the next day’s lunch. It was such a sweet time of friendship and laughter, a warm environment filled with love and joy.

Homemade Tortillas

Adapted from Petit Elephant

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 3/4 cup hot water
  • 2 tsp olive oil (or any other kind of oil)

Mix together flour, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate bowl, stir together oil and hot water. Slowly add the oil/water mixture to the dry ingredients while mixing.

Take the dough out of the bowl and put it onto a floured surface. Start kneading the dough. Pull the dough apart into separate chunks  (approximately 9, less for bigger tortillas, more for smaller) Round the chunks into balls and cover with a wet towel for 20 minutes (this helps it rise…meaning fluffy tortillas). Knead out the balls of dough, and cover again, this time for 10 minutes. Pound the dough flat, making sure its in a circle, and start rolling it flat. You want it as thin as you can get it, because once it cooks it will fatten up quite nicely.

Turn the burner on a high heat to warm up the pan/griddle you are using. Once hot, turn it down to med/low and start making tortillas! Keep on one side until the side up starts to bubble, then flip and keep on the burner until the side down is beginning to brown.

Keep tortillas warm until ready to serve.

Nanaimo Bars

Adapted from Liana’s Kitchen recipes

Base:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 5 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs (If not already crumbs, put graham crackers in a bag and pound with a rolling pin)
  • 1 cup coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Melt butter, and then stir in sugar and cocoa. Whisk egg with vanilla and stir into butter mixture. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts.

Melt butter, and then stir in sugar and cocoa. Whisk egg with vanilla and stir into butter mixture. Stir in crumbs, coconut, and nuts.

Press evenly into pan.

Chill for at least 20 minutes, until set.

Filling:

  • 1/2 cup butter
  •  6 tbsp cream or milk (We used fat free half and half…oh the irony)
  • 5 tbsp Bird’s brand custard powder
  • 4 cups icing sugar (powdered sugar)

Beat butter with wooden spoon until light. (definitely an arm workout) Beat in custard powder and cream. Gradually add sugar and mix.

Spread over chilled base and let set again in fridge.

The spreading out is slightly difficult. Try your best not to mix layers. A spatula worked best.

Not perfect, but the best we could do.

Topping:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 8 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate
  • 4 oz. semisweet chocolate

Melt butter and chocolate together, stir until smooth. This works best if you melt the chocolate most of the way first, and then add the butter. It took about four minutes in the microwave, but I would stir every 20-30 seconds.

Spread evenly over chilled filling. Store in fridge until topping begins to harden.

Before it hardens completely, score topping into bars so that it won’t crack. Cut before totally solid.

*Feel free to make a layer larger or smaller by doubling or halving if you want more of a certain flavor! The filling and topping are already doubled here to the original recipe, because that is how we made the bars over at D’s house, and I thought they were perfect. But if you want less custard or chocolate topping, half that part of the recipe to make a thinner layer.

This keeps for 1 month in the fridge or up to 2 months in the freezer. But don’t count on it lasting that long.

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