Sunday, February 19, 2012

You Should Totally Be Impressed By My Frequent Updates!

Each week, a member of my Sunday School class brings breakfast for the group. This past Sunday was my Sunday. (Actually, it wasn't, but that's a story for another time...) I made Donut Muffins and my Grandma's utilitarianly entitled "Egg Dish."

Donut Muffins
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 teaspoons nutmeg
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups flour

1 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375 F. Spray a mini muffin pan generously with cooking spray.

Mix sugar, melted butter, nutmeg and milk together until blended. Stir in baking powder and flour. Mix well. Drop a tablespoon of batter into each space in the mini muffin tin. Bake for 10 minutes, or until centers are cooked and tops are lightly browned. Allow to cool while melting remaining 1 cup of butter and mixing the remaining 1 cup of sugar and 1 teaspoons cinnamon together.

Remove muffins from tins. Individually, dip into melted butter, and then roll in cinnamon sugar mixture. Set on a piece of foil or waxed paper to cool.

The recipe makes about 48 Donut Muffins. I have 4 mini muffin pans, so I used two at a time. If you only have one, as I imagine most normal people do, after removing the first batch of muffins, respray with cooking spray and repeat the process with the remaining batter.

Other people found these more delicious than I did. I thought they were good, but I am never going to crave them like I do some other breakfast pastries. I would recommend trying them, though, and judging for yourself.

I also made my grandma's Egg Dish. I know this picture isn't beautiful, but it was all that was left of said egg dish by the time I got it home and remembered to take a picture. It is sitting in the pan I prepared/baked/ served it in. I don't want you to think my dishes are just super nasty or something.

Grandma's Egg Dish
1 pound of meat, cooked (bacon or sausage)
1 1/2 cup prepared croutons
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
4 eggs
2 cups milk (2% or higher fat content)
1 teaspoon prepared yellow or Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together eggs and milk. Stir in mustard, salt, and pepper. Butter an 8x8 or 11x7 inch baking dish. Evenly spread the croutons on the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle with cheese. Gently pour the egg mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle cooked meat over egg mixture. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight. Remove casserole from refrigerator. Place casserole in a cold oven. (This step is NECESSARY if you used a glass dish. If you put a cold dish in a hot oven, it will shatter.) Set oven to 350 F, and bake for 35-45 minutes, until the center is set and the top is browned. Serve.

Grandma has been serving egg dish at ever holiday meal since I can remember. It is not fancy, but it is delicious, and I experienced great nostalgia when I walked into the kitchen and realized it smelled like grandma's house.

This week's baking experience comes to us from my friend/ coworker Jen. She recommended this recipe. It didn't have a name, so I am going to call them Monster Cookies.

Monster Cookies
1 recipe chocolate chip cookies (or you can use a tube of the premade store bought kind)
1 package Oreo Cookies
1 (13 x 9 inch sized) brownie mix, made per the package directions

Preheat oven to 350F. Press cookie dough into the bottom of a 13x9 inch pan. Place a layer of whole Oreos over the cookie dough. (It will use about 1/2 of the package, give or take.) Gently pour brownie batter over Oreo cookies. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes covered. Remove aluminum foil and bake for an additional 25-30 minutes (until middle is no longer jiggly.) Allow to cool before slicing.

I didn't try them, because they aren't on my diet, but they got rave reviews among my coworkers.

Brad was sick last week and wanted the Chinese Chicken and Rice Soup. He loves that stuff. I made it for him. I am a giver. That's what I am. We were scheduled to have pot roast on Sunday, but refer to the aforementioned Chinese Chicken and Rice Soup incident of 2012.

On Monday, we had pot roast. It was good. It is always good. My recipe is fool proof. I didn't take a photo, though, because pot roast, while delicious and comforting, isn't really aesthetically attractive.

On Tuesday, I made Baked Chicken Terriyaki and Terriyaki Vegetables. It was DELICIOUS, of which I am glad, as I ate it for lunch on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Baked Chicken Terriyaki

1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, and place in baking dish.

In a small saucepan, mix honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, and black pepper. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. In a small bowl, mix together cold water and corn starch. Pour in a steady stream into saucepan, stirring constantly. Once mixture thickens, remove from heat.

Spoon a couple of tablespoons of terriyaki sauce over each piece of chicken. Place in oven, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove chicken from oven, turn over, spoon additional terriyaki sauce over bottom of chicken breasts, and return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked. A few moments before the chicken is finished, reheat the terriyaki sauce. Use it as a dipping sauce, or pour additional sauce over chicken when serving.

I served it over rice. The first night, I made a pot of white rice. That was enough for dinner and lunch for Brad and me the next day. I bought one of those pouches of 90 second rice at Aldi (though I've also seen them at Kroger) and used that for the following two days lunches. It was good. I would highly recommend it.

With the chicken, I also served Terriyaki vegetables.

Terriyaki Vegetables

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (or peanut oil if you have it)
2 medium onions, thinly sliced
2 medium zucchini, peeled and cut into thin strips
2 tablespoons terriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add zucchini and cook for about 1 minute. Add terriyaki sauce, soy sauce, and sesame seeds. Cook until zucchini are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in ground black pepper, and serve.

This was also good. I used the homemade Terriyaki sauce from the chicken, but you could use the bottled kind just as easily.

Wednesday, we had Fillet Mignon from Maninos, grilled vegetables, grilled asparagus, and baked butternut squash. It was delightful!

Thursday, my baby brother turned 30. We went to Emperor's Palace in the valley. Per usual, it was delicious.

Friday, I had a work commitment, so Brad made frozen pizza.

Because he is a kind, loving, and generous spouse, Brad gives me everything he has, including last week's cold. I was not about to cook last night, so we had KFC. There is still hope for tonight's dinner, though. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I. Hate. Legumes.

So, on this diet, I am supposed to eat three servings of legumes a day, which include any type of bean, lentils, hummus, and green peas. I enjoy hummus, but I don't enjoy 3/4 cup a day of it every day. I enjoy green peas, but I don't enjoy 3/4 cup a day of it every day, or even every other day, if I alternated between hummus and green peas. I liked baked beans (Legumes + lots and lots and lots of brown sugar). I like refried beans (Legumes + lots of lard, and usually cheese). I pick the beans out of chili and other soups, so I knew I wasn't going to suddenly discover a bean I enjoyed. What's left? Lentils. I tried them. I tried the green ones. I tried the pink ones. I tried them in salad. I tried them in soup. I tried them in stuff and on stuff. I tried them hidden in stuff and to the side of stuff. I don't like them. I. Don't. Like. Legumes. So, I have decided to give up on them. I incorporate peas when I can, and I nosh on some hummus and celery now and again, but for the most part, I have pledged to be legume free.

This is the dinner where I gave up on the legumes for good. I am not even going to include the legumes in my recipes, because I don't like legumes.

Thyme Mustard Roasted Pork (modified from my Food Network Magazine)

2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

6 sprigs thyme, leaves only

1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/4 pounds)

2 slices bacon, chopped

4 shallots, thinly sliced

1 stalk celery, diced

1/2 cup dry red wine

Preheat oven to 450 F. Mix the mustard and thyme leaves in a small bowl. Brush all of the mixture on the pork. Place the pork on a cookie sheet and bake in the oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the thickest part is 145F. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, combine the bacon, shallots, and celery in a skillet and cook over medium, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp and the shallots are golden, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates, about 5 minutes.

Spoon the bacon mixture over the sliced pork.

We had frozen green beans with this. (And lentils. Yuck!)

This is sirloin tip, sliced very thinly, marinated in Beef Fajita Marinade (recipe listed to the left), served on corn tortillas with sauteed onions and peppers, and slices of avocado. Brad put cheese and sour cream on his, as well, which I totally would have done, but it isn't on my diet.

On the side, I made Spanish rice.

Spanish Rice

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 cup uncooked rice

1 onion, chopped

2 cups of water

1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chiles (such as Rotel)

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon salt

Heat oil in a saucepan until hot. Add rice and onion and saute until the rice is browned and the onion is tender. Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Cover and simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked and the liquid is absorbed.

There is a meat market on my way to work called Manino's, and they have fillet Mignon for $5.49 each. Brad has become an expert at grilling them. That night we also had grilled vegetables. I marinate zucchini, mushrooms and onions in Italian salad dressing for a few hours, and then cook them on the grill using the grill pan. They are super easy and always delicious.

Brad wanted homemade potato chips, and my attempt was so successful, we've had them twice since this night. I scrubbed 3 small russet potatoes, and then sliced them using the thinnest blade on my mandolin. I lined two cookie sheets with foil, and then sprayed them with olive oil. I actually have a doodad that you pour olive oil into, and then pump it full of air and it mists out. I used that, but you could also brush it on or drizzle some on, and then use your hand or a paper towel or a spoon to spread it. Then, I place the potato bits in a single layer on the oiled foil, and generously spray the tops of them with olive oil. Then, I generously salt (probably a teaspoon for each tray of chips) and bake in a preheated 450F oven until they are brown and crispy. The only problem I've had is I have to peel them off of the foil. They come right off when peeled, but they don't come up with a spatula. I think if I used more oil it might help that process, but then, well, I'd be using more oil.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Marriage Reteat Food

Our Sunday School class had a marriage retreat last weekend, and I made coffee cake, chicken salad, and chocolate chip cookies.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup margarine or butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
1 egg
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup raspberry preserves
1/2 cup sliced almonds

Heat oven to 350. Grease and flour a 9 or 10 inch springform pan. In a large bowl, combine flour and 3/4 cup sugar. Using a pastry blender or fork, cut in margarine or butter until the mixture forms coarse crumbles. Reserve 1 cup of the crumb mixture. To the remaining mixture, add baking soda, baking powder, salt, sour cream, 1 egg, and almond extract. Blend well. The batter will be very thick. Spread batter over bottom and 2 inches up sides of springform pan.

In the same bowl, combine cream cheese, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 egg. Blend well, and pour over batter in the pan. Carefully drop spoonfuls of preserves evenly onto the cream cheese filling. Sprinkle the reserved crumbles evenly on top of the coffee cake. Sprinkle almonds evenly over crumbles. Bake for 45 -55 minutes, or until cream cheese filling is set, and the top is a deep golden brown. Cook for 15 minutes. Remove sides of pan. Serve warm or cold. Refrigerate leftovers.

My mom and I have been making this recipe for years. You can use any flavor of preserves you want, or none at all. You can also leave off the almonds if that is your druther. It is good stuff.

Chicken Salad
1 celery stalk, diced
4 green onions, chopped
1 green apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 small container plain Greek yogurt
1/2 - 1 cup mayonnaise

Cook and dice chicken. I use the skin-on, bone-in kind, because during the winter, I can usually find it for 99 cents a pound, and well, that's cheap. I think the packages I buy are between 1 -2 pounds. I boil the chicken in a stock pot, and then save the broth for something later. Deskin and debone the chicken before chopping.

Mix in chopped apple, green onion and pecans. Mix the curry powder and pepper in with the yogurt, and then toss the yogurt mixture into the chicken mixture. Add mayonnaise until it is the amount of creamy you want. I just like mine creamy enough to stick together, so I use a scant 1/2 cup, but if you want it CREAMY, I would recommend closer to a full cup. You could also use more Greek yogurt and less mayo, but that does change the taste a bit.

The recipe for my chocolate chip cookies is already catalogued to the left, but I had taken a picture, so I included it. Brad loves big cookies, so I use the ice cream scoop to make them. They end up baking for 12-15 minutes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Tonight in Dinner

Chicken Sate
2-4 tablespoons Sate Seasoning
2 tablespoons water
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
3 tablespoons soy sauce
4 tablespoons peanut oil
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar

Soy Lime Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 thinly sliced shallots
2 teaspoons brown sugar
the juice of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce
1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon water
1/2 tablespoon soy sauce
1/3 cup hot sauce

Place Sate seasoning in a Ziploc bag with water, soy sauce, peanut oil, and rice vinegar. Mix well. Add chicken, and toss to coat. Seal bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate 2 hours to overnight.

Meanwhile, Mix all of the ingredients for the Soy Lime Dipping Sauce, and the ingredients for the Spicy Ginger Dipping Sauce in (separate) small bowls. Set aside until ready to use.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat. Place the chicken in the skillet (without the excess marinade) and saute on medium high heat until chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice and with dipping sauces.

Edamame Succotash
1/2 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1/2 cup diced red onion
1 teaspoon (3 cloves) minced garlic
2 strips bacon, finely chopped
1 cup frozen edamame, thawed
1/2 cup frozen corn
salt and pepper

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until soft, about 2 minutes. Add bacon and cook until it begins to crisp, 5-8 minutes. Add edamame and corn and saute for 3-5 minutes until heated through. Season with freshly grated salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

I made these pumpkin cupcakes for Brad and I to take to work today. Brad took his. I wrapped mine up and proceeded to leave them sitting on the kitchen table. Oops. I guess my coworkers will get theirs tomorrow. Sadly, I didn't eat one because they are not on my diet, but they look divine!

Pumpkin Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
1 package spice cake mix
1 cup sour cream
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs

1/4 cup butter, softened
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 cups powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 F. Mix together cake mix, sour cream, pumpkin, oil and eggs until well blended. Spoon 1/2 cup batter into each of 24 lined cupcake tins. Bake 20-22 minutes or until centers are set and a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.

Beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and cinnamon with a hand mixer in a medium bowl until well blended. Gradually beat in sugar. Frost cupcakes generously.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

New Years / This Week in Dinner, hopefully there will be frequent updates here for two reasons... 1) I have vowed not to work more than 60 hours in any given week and to spend the remaining time doing things I enjoy, (like cooking, writing, and writing about cooking), and 2) as many of you know in our continued efforts to make a baby, I am on a horrifically strict diet, so many of our old standby recipes are no longer acceptable, so I have been trying new recipes, most of which have been surprisingly successful.

Here's this week in dinner...

On Monday we had

Chinese Chicken and Rice Soup
4 large eggs
salt and pepper
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup diced rotisserie chicken, skin removed
4 cups baby spinach
1 1/2 cups cooked rice (white, brown, or wild)
1 small can water chestnuts, drained

In a large pot, bring chicken broth and water to a light boil. Whisk eggs and salt and pepper in a small bowl. With one hand, pour beaten eggs in a slow stream into boiling liquid, while gently stirring the liquid with the other hand. Add the green onions, sesame oil, soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt, chicken, spinach, rice and water chestnuts. Cover partially and simmer until spinach wilts and everything is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (Makes about 6 meal sized servings)

We have had this several times, and it is very good, very filling, and very low in fat and calories, though it is a bit high in sodium. We have had it with instant rice, white rice, and wild rice, and a combination of wild rice and white rice is the best. The instant rice kind of disintegrates after the first day, which is not so appetizing. The wild rice is good, but makes it pretty chewy. It does add a nice texture, though, which is why I think a white/ wild rice combo would be best. Also, after the first day, the ingredients suck up the liquid, so if you plan to have leftovers (which we do, as we are 2 people) you might add some extra chicken broth. That said, though, we give this recipe 5 stars (on a scale of 1-5 stars). Brad actually *asks* for it.

On Tuesday we had

Indian Beef Stew
1 pound beef stew meat, cubed
1 tablespoon oil (I use peanut)
1 large onion, chopped into chunks
3 green zucchini, peeled and thinly sliced
2 medium eggplant, peeled and chunked into 1/2 inch (or so) cubes
3 medium tomatoes, sliced
3 cloves chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup water

Heat oil in large pan over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook until browned. Add the onion and continue to cook until soft. Arrange the zucchini over the meat and onions, then layer the eggplant over the zucchini. Sprinkle with garlic. Place tomatoes in a layer over garlic. Sprinkle salt, pepper, curry powder, and turmeric over the tomatoes. Gently pour water over the top, make sure to wet all of the spices. Cook on medium high heat for 30 minutes. Serve over rice. (Makes about 5 meal sized servings)

This was also very good. I was suspect about the serious lack of liquid required, and by the layering process, but it worked out really well. The zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes release a ton of liquid while they are cooking, and I am not sure what the purpose of layering the veggies is, but the product was good, so who am I to question. It turns out to be a thick, rich, flavorful meat and veggie cacophony of texture and flavor.

Brad was craving coffee cake, so that same night I made an apple coffee cake for him to take to work.

Apple Coffee Cake
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3.4 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup vegetable oil
6 apples - (3 of them peeled, cored and chopped, 3 of them peeled, cored and finely sliced)
1/2 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cake mix and instant pudding mix. Add the eggs, sour cream and oil, mix until well blended. Stir in chopped apples.

In a small bowl combine the sugar, cinnamon, pecans and sliced apples.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Place the sliced apple mixture on top of the batter. Pour remaining batter over apple layer.

Bake for 60 to 70 minutes. Cool for 1/2 hour before removing from pan to cool completely. Once cooled, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

I did not taste it, but Brad says it was popular at work, so I think this recipe is a keeper.

On Wednesday, we had our monthly couples dinner. I made crab rangoon and egg rolls (the recipes for which are already catalogued on this site), beef bulgogi (recipe link to the left), sweet and spicy chicken, steamed rice, steamed green beans, roasted broccoli, and a chocolate cream pie for dessert. There were not very many leftovers at all... barely enough for my lunch the next day... a sign that the meal was delicious, I think.

Sweet and Spicy Chicken
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger root
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1/2 tablespoon Sriacha
salt and pepper to taste
4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves - cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 tablespoon peanut oil

Mix together brown sugar, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic and Sriacha in a small bowl.

Lightly salt and pepper the chicken strips.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken strips and brown on both sides, about 1 minute per side. Pour the sauce over the chicken. Simmer uncovered until the sauce thickens, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve over rice.

Chocolate Cream Pie
18 Chocolate Graham Crackers
6 tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups 2% milk
4 large egg yolks, whisked
3 ounces dark, high cocoa content, chocolate
1 tablespoon vanilla

1 cup heaving or whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs. (It should be 1 1/4 cups of crushed crumbs.) Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a medium bowl. Add cracker crumbs and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Mix until moistened. Firmly press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9 inch pie plate. Bake 10 minutes or until set. Allow to cool before adding filling.

In a 3 quart saucepan, which cornstarch, salt, and 1 cup sugar together. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly. Cook on medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, whisking constantly, until liquid is boiling and thickened. Remove saucepan from heat. Slowly pour egg yolks into milk mixture, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Continue to cook mixture for about 5 minutes, until mixture boils and thickens. Remove from heat. Add vanilla, chocolate, and 2 tablespoons of butter. Stir until melted and well incorporated.

Pour mixture into cooled crust, and spread evenly. Tightly wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 4 hours.

Beat cream until thickened, gradually adding 2 tablespoons of sugar. Beat until soft peaks form. Remove plastic wrap. Spread whipped cream evenly over cooled pie. Slice and serve.

I did not realize it at the time, but effectively the base of this recipe is homemade pudding. It was delightful! In the future, I will probably just use a premade graham cracker crust, because I didn't find the crust to be so amazing as to warrant the expense and effort of making it homemade, but the homemade pudding part is TOTALLY worth the effort. This recipe is a keeper!

On Thursday, we had shrimp and cabbage stirfry over pineapple fried rice. It was a lot of prep work, but very delicious.

Shrimp and Cabbage Stir-Fry
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 1/4 pounds large shrimp, peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons hoisin sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 tablespoon finely chopped ginger
4 green onions, sliced, white and green parts separated
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 pound Napa cabbage, sliced

Whisk egg white, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, and 1 teaspoon soy sauce in a medium bowl until frothy. Add shrimp and toss to coat. Refrigerate while preparing remaining ingredients.
Whisk hoisin sauce, vinegar, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, and 2 teaspoons corn starch together. Whisk in chicken broth. Set aside.

Drain the shrimp. Heat peanut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute white parts of green onion, ginger, and garlic for about 30 seconds. Add shrimp, and saute until almost cooked through, about 3 minutes. Add cabbage and green parts of green onion and saute until wilted, about 2 minutes. Pour hoisin sauce mixture over shrimp and cabbage and simmer for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over rice.

Pineapple Fried Rice
2 cups cooked rice
1 whole pineapple
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons pineapple juice
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
1/2 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Prepare the pineapple by peeling it, coring it, and cutting it into chunks.

Heat a small skillet. Pour beaten eggs into hot skillet and scramble. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a large skillet, heat sesame oil until hot. Add cooked rice, peas, carrots, and scrambled eggs. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring 3 times so rice can get a golden brown crust. Add pineapple chunks, rice wine vinegar, pineapple juice, ginger, and lemon pepper. Sitr fry for an additional 5 minutes. Add a few tablespoons of pineapple juice or water if the rice seems too dry. Sprinkle with sesame seeds.

Brad says the fried rice would have been just as good without pineapple, but I think the pineapple is what made it delicious. Either way, though, it was good. You should try it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Random Pictures

While on my recent mini vacay to Nashville, my camera gave me a warning that I only had available space for 4 pictures. While I was frantically erasing photos, I discovered a bunch of food photos I was pretty sure I hadn't written about.

Banana Pudding
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
3 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 ounce) container cool whip, thawed
4 bananas, sliced
1 package vanilla wafers

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in condensed milk, pudding mix, cold milk and vanilla until smooth. (Be careful. Beating milk can be messy.) Fold in 1/2 of the cool whip.

Line the bottom of a 9x13 inch dish with vanilla wafers. Arrange sliced bananas evenly over wafers. Spread with pudding mixture. Top with remaining whipped topping. Chill. For a little something extra, toast some coconut and sprinkle it on top.

Brad really likes Stromboli, so I make it for him periodically. My recipe isn't very exact, but I will share it anyway.


1 premade pizza crust, rolled into a thin rectangle (I buy the kind in the tube)

Thinly sliced deli ham (I buy the presliced in a tupperware package at Aldi)

Salami (8 slices)

Pepperoni (about 20 slices)

Provolone cheese (about 6 slices)

1 cup shredded mozzarella or Italian blend cheese

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes

1 teaspoon oregano

1/4-1/2 teaspoon ground pepper

1 egg yolk, beaten

Preheat oven to 375 F, and spray a large cookie sheet with Pam or the like.

Pat out the pizza dough. I put mine on top of one of those flimsy disposable cutting boards (that I don't dispose of until they break), and spread out the dough so it covers most all of the cutting board.

Evenly place two rows of the the provolone cheese on top of the dough, leaving the top end empty.

On top of the provolone and the empty space, layer 8 slices of salami. There should be an uncovered layer of provolone at the bottom, and a layer of salami with no provolone underneath.

Evenly layer ham over entire square, then evenly place pepperoni slices on top of ham.

Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Mix garlic powder, oregano, parsley and pepper in a small bowl. Sprinkle mixture over cheese.

Roll the stromboli like a jelly roll, beginning at the side with the provolone. Seal the dough together as best as you can. Place roll, seam side down, on a greased cookie sheet. Brush with beaten egg yolk.

Bake in preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to sit 5 minutes before slicing.
Mongolian Beef

1/4 cup soy sauce

1 tablespoon hoisin sauce

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 teaspoons white sugar

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 pound beef flank steak, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon peanut oil

2 green onions, thinly sliced

Whisk together soy sauce, hoisin, sesame oil, sugar, garlic and red pepper flakes. Add sliced flank steak and refrigerate 1-8 hours.

Heat peanut oil in a large wok or skillet over medium high to high heat. Add green onions and cook for about 10 seconds before adding beef. (Try to leave as much of the marinade out of the pan as possible. If too much of the marinade is present, you will end up boiling the meat, which isn't nearly as tasty as browning it.) Cook and stir beef for about 5 minutes, or until it is no longer pink and is beginning to brown.

Serve over rice.

Whoopie Pies

1 egg

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 cup sugar

2 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 cup marshmallow creme or fluff

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 2 large cookie sheets and set aside. In a small bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. In the measuring cup, mix together buttermilk and vanilla. In a large bowl, beat eggs and vegetable oil. Gradually add sugar until well mixed and pale yellow in color. Continue mixing and begin adding dry ingredients and buttermilk alternately, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.

Drop tablespoon sized batter onto the cookie sheets, and bake. The cookies will spread out a lot, so leave plenty of room. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until tops spring back when touched. Remove from cookie sheet and allow to cool on wire racks.

In a medium bowl, combine all filling ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.

When cookies are cool, spread filling on the flat side of one cookie. Press the flat side of a second cookie into the filling to make a sandwich.

You don't need to refrigerate these, but I would recommend it if you aren't going to serve them right away. The bottom cookie got really soggy after about a day, but they were a HUGE hit when I made them for work.

Hamburger Pie (From Kraft Magazine)

1 pound ground beef

1 onion, chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1/4 cup ketchup

2 tablespoons steak sauce

1/2 cup hot water

2 cups baking mix (Jiffy/Bisquick/ Cheap off brand Aldi variety)

1 cup colby jack cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Brown ground beef and onions in a large skillet. Drain grease. Stir in corn, ketchup and steak sauce. Set aside.

In a bowl, combine hot water and baking mix. Stir until dough forms, and shape into a ball. Place on a lightly floured surface. Knead 5 times, or until smooth and no longer sticky. Roll into a 12 inch circle (It does not need to be a perfect circle), and transfer dough to a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. Spoon meat mixture into the center of the dough, and spread to about 2 inches from the edge. Fold edges over meat mixture, leaving the center uncovered.

Bake 20 minutes in preheated oven. Top center with cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Slice into triangles, like pizza.

Curry Chicken Salad with Fruit

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cooked, chopped

1 celery stalk, chopped

4 green onions, chopped

1 golden delicious apple, peeled, cored, and diced

1/3 cup golden raisins (if you desire, which I generally don't)

1/3 cup seedless green grapes, halved (I think I used red in the picture, though)

1/2 cup chopped toasted pecans

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon curry powder

3/4 cup mayonnaise (though I use 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt and 1/4 cup mayo)

In a small bowl, mix together pepper, curry powder and mayo.

In a large bowl, combine chicken, celery, green onions, apple, raisins, grapes and pecans. Toss with curry mixture. Serve on croissant or a bed of lettuce.

This is waffles, bacon, and hash brown casserole. The hash brown casserole recipe is archived to the left.

This is Death by Chocolate, and the recipe is archived to the left.

This is Pork Chops and Pierogies. Guess what? The recipe is archived to the left.

This is fruit salsa. I need to check on the status of this recipe.

These are goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped with bacon.

This is artichoke dip. I will provide the recipe at a later date. (Read: when I find it)

I don't remember what this is called, but I will look it up and let you know.

These are crab bites. They are divine.

I will finish typing in these recipes later. I have been working on this entry for like a week, now, and I just want to push "post," so I am going to do so.

Carne Asada Tacos

Carne Asada Tacos
2 pounds flank or skirt steak, trimmed of excess fat
Olive oil
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
16 corn tortillas
Shredded lettuce
Chopped white onion
Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese

4 garlic cloves, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 large handful fresh cilantro leaves
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 limes, juiced
1 orange, juiced
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil

Pico de Gallo:
4 fresh tomatoes, chopped
1/2 medium red onion, chopped
2 green onions, white and green parts, sliced
1 Serrano chile, minced
1 handful fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt

To make marinade, place garlic, jalapeno, cilantro, salt and pepper into a food processor. Chop until ingredients are finely chopped and paste-like.

Place mixture in a storage container large enough to hold the beef. Add the lime and orange juices, vinegar and oil to the mixture and mix well. Place beef in container and marinate for 1-8 hours. (6-8 hours is ideal. After 8 hours, the citrus juices begin to break down the fibers in the meat, but it takes several hours for the flavors to really develop with the meat.)

To make Pico de Gallo, combine all ingredients. Toss thoroughly. Prepare at least 30 minutes before eating.

Brush the grates of an outdoor grill with olive oil (or spray with nonstick cooking spray BEFORE starting the fire). If using a gas grill, heat to medium-high. Remove beef from marinade. Season both sides with salt and pepper. Grill 7-10 minutes per side, depending on heat of grill and thickness of meat, until medium rare. Place steak on a cutting board and allow to rest 5 minutes.

Place the corn tortillas on the grill. Warm for about 30 seconds per side, until warm and pliable.

Thinly slice the beef at a diagonal across the grain. Place beef down the center of a corn tortilla. Top with lettuce, onion, cheese and Pico de Gallo. (I also added sour cream, because I love sour cream.)

I served this with a Rice-a-Roni rice pouch. The rice was nothing to write home about, but the meat was really delicious.