Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Coconut Curry Stew

Well it has been fairly chilly here the last week or so. Now I know a lot of the U.S. has been below 0 temperatures and what we have here isn't near as cold but for us who are use to 60 degree weather 30 degrees in the morning when we wake up is fairly chilly.  So I decided we needed soup for dinner. When I stumbled across this recipe over at In the little red house I knew we had to try it out. We love curry so I knew we would love this. I adapted it quite a bit to our liking and all my family loved it. Pure comfort food in my opinion especially when served with homemade Naan. So tasty. If you love Indian food or curry for that matter please go make this!!!
Coconut Curry Stew
(adapted from in the little red house)
2 T. coconut oil or any oil you have
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cups carrots, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 T. garlic, minced
1 T. grated or minced ginger
2 T. curry powder
2 tsp garam masala
4 T red curry paste(can be found almost anywhere)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 (15 oz) can garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 cup dry lentils
1(6 oz) can tomato paste
1 can chicken broth
5 cups water
1 can coconut milk(I use full fat not light)
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
chopped cilantro for garnish
Heat oil in a large pot. When hot add the chicken and cook until almost cooked through. Add the onion, carrots, jalapeno, garlic and ginger and cook until veggies begin to be tender. Add the curry powder,  garam masala, curry paste, salt, and pepper and cook for 2-4 minutes more. Then add the garbanzo bean, lentils, broth, water, and coconut milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. add the potatoes and cook for 20 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. Serve with a sprinkle  cilantro and naan bread.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal

My family and I love oatmeal and granola. Ok lets be honest we love anything with oats in it. We are always looking for new varieties of oatmeal and granola to try so when I spied this recipe over at Sweet Luvin in the Kitchen I new I had to give it a try. Let me tell you this stuff is so good. It come together really fast, tastes amazing and you can store the leftovers in the fridge and reheat the next couple of mornings for a fast, hearty, and healthy breakfast that will keep you and your kids full longer than a bowl of sugar cereal will. Now we still eat the sugary cereal in this house but we try to limit our intake of it and I am so happy my kids will eat pretty much anything I put in front of them and love it. If  you are in a breakfast rut go give this recipe a try.
Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
adapted from Sweet Luvin in the Kitchen
1 can coconut milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
(I used coconut oil, melted but canola or vegetable oil will work)
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 T. vanilla
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 T. baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice(recipe follows for home made)
1 cup coconut
6 cups oats
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9x13 inch pan and set aside. In a bowl combine the coconut milk, egg, oil, pumpkin, vanilla, and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and well incorporated. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to coat evenly. Spread into the greased pan and bake 25-30 minutes or until golden brown on top. Serve warm with milk, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, pecans, almonds, craisins, pomegranates, dark chocolate chips, coconut, etc. We served ours with nuts, chocolate, pomegranates, and milk. Next time I am going to add 1/2 cup of milled flax seeds to the mixture before baking.
 Pumpkin Pie Spice
3 T cinnamon
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp cloves
1 tsp allspice
Mix all together and store in an air tight container. Way cheaper than buying it at the store.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Pumpkin Cornbread

It is fall the weather is cooler and with that comes soup season. I love a good bowl of soup/stew/chili when the weather is cool and nothing is better than some fresh made bread or cornbread to go along with it. I stumbled across this gem of a recipe over at In the Little Red House and knew I had to give it a try. This stuff was awesome!!! Nothing says fall like pumpkin and cornbread!! It was genius to put them together. If you love Pumpkin and you love cornbread give this recipe a try you will love it I am sure!!!
Pumpkin Cornbread
(adapted from In the little red House)
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon,optional(I didn't  use it)
1 cup milk
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1 cup pumpkin puree
Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl. Dump the wet ingredients into the dry and mix just until combined. Pour into a well greased 8 or 9 inch square pan and Bake at 350 for 20 -25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Serve with your favorite soup. SLather with butter and honey if desired.
Note: Many cornbread recipes tell you to cook it at a high temp like 400-425 but I find that it makes the outside cook too fast and I hate when the sides are overcooked so I cook it at a lower temp for longer time. All ovens vary in temp so just watch it to make sure you don't cook it to long!! if you want a 9x13 pan size than double the recipe. I always double for my family cause we love cornbread!!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Baked Pasta with Smoked Sausage

Last night I was searching for something different to make for dinner than our usual fare and went to one of my most trusted websites for awesome recipes, Mel' s Kitchen café. I decided on this pasta and my family and I loved it. Very easy to put together and tasty. My little family of 5 ate 3/4 of a heaping 9x13 inch pan of pasta!! if you need a new pasta dish or even just an easy meal go give this one a try. Would be perfect for a freezer meal, potluck or when you need to take dinner to someone.
Baked Pasta with Smoked Sausage
(adapted from Mel's Kitchen Café)
1 T. olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1(14.5 oz)can diced tomatoes
1(28 oz)can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 cup heavy cream
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 lb rigatoni, rotini or you pasta of choice
9 oz fresh spinach chopped
12 oz. precooked Hilshire farms smoked sausage. (you can use any brand and turkey or chicken sausage if you wish)found near the hotdogs in all supermarkets, cut into chunks
2-3 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup parm cheese
Boil the pasta according to package directions. In a large skillet or pot heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and  red pepper and cook until almost tender. Add the garlic and continue to sauté till veggies are cooked. add the diced and crushed tomatoes, basil, oregano, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. lower heat and simmer for at least 10 minutes, I prefer to do it about a  half hour just because the flavors have more time to come together, but do what you have time for. Meanwhile, heat a small skillet over medium heat. add the precooked sausage and cook until they are browned on both sides. Take off heat and set aside. After the sauce as had time to simmer for a little bit add the cream and spinach to the sauce and heat through. Then mix the sauce, sausage, and cooked pasta all together. Add half of the mozzarella cheese and stir well. Dump into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Sprinkle the remaining mozz cheese and the parm cheese over the top. Place in a 400 degree oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until browned and edges are crisp.
Make Ahead method:
Prepare as directed right up to the baking step and then cover with a double layer of foil. Freeze. Bake covered for 1 hour  and 30 minutes, uncover bake 30 minutes more. The dish can also be prepared and refrigerated, covered for up to 12 hours before baking. Bake as directed in the recipe, adding and additional 5-10 minutes if needed

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Thai Green Curry Meatballs

We love curry in this house and so when I saw this recipe over at Mel's kitchen Café I was intrigued and wanted to try it out. My hubby was skeptical about the meatballs saying that meatballs and curry don't go together but I decided to try it anyway and it was a success. The kids and hubby loved these yummy curried meatballs as did I.  Next time I make this I am going to do less meatballs and add some cooked diced potatoes to it. just to change it up a little bit.

Thai Green Curry Meatballs
adapted from Mel's Kitchen Café
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
1/8 cup milk
2 1/2 lbs ground beef(next time I am going to use 1 1/2 lbs ground beef and add 1 lb partially cooked diced potatoes to sauce)
1 T. grated fresh ginger
2 T.   thai green curry paste
1 tsp sugar
1 T. chili garlic paste
1 T. Soy Sauce
1 T. Sriracha Sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T. minced garlic
3 green onion, white and green parts chopped
2 T. coconut oil, fry browning the meatballs
4 cans(13.5 oz each)unsweetened coconut milk
1(4 oz) jar Thai green curry paste
Note: this is the sauce doubled. if you like less sauce cut these ingredients in half but we like it with lots of sauce. also the curry paste, chili garlic paste, and Sriracha sauce can be found at most grocery stores. I get mine at Walmart but you can buy them online as well.
In a large bowl, combine the eggs, oats and milk. Let the mixture stand and soak for 5-10 minutes. Add the ground beef and all of the rest of the meatball ingredients, except the oil, that is for frying them in. Mix to combine and distribute all the ingredients throughout the meat. Shape the meat mixture into meatballs in the desired size you like. I made mine fairly small so they were easy for the kiddos to eat.    Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet or pot. When the oil is hot place, one layer of meatballs in the pan leaving a little room in between each one. Brown the meatballs on all sides, about 4 minutes total. They don't need to be cooked all the way through because they will continue cooking while simmering in the sauce. do this to all the meatballs and take out and place on a plate. Drain the excess grease from the pan. Return the pan to medium heat and stir in the coconut milk and the green curry paste, scraping up any of the browned bits from the bottom of the pan and stirring into the sauce. Place the meatballs in the skillet in the sauce. Pile them all in and if using the potatoes add the partially cooked potatoes as well. Bring to a simmer and simmer the sauce, meatballs and potatoes for 15-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. I like to simmer mine longer so the flavors have more time to meld together. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over warm rice. 

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Cuban Street Tacos

Tacos. Now who doesn't love a good taco? Can I tell you that these tacos are out of this world delicious. Dare I say one of the best tacos to ever cross my lips and I might add that the leftover meat is amazing on quesadilla or a burritos. Seriously, tasty!!! I have to say also that I have made this pork numerous times over the last few years but always seem to forget to take a picture of it before we inhale them, Now this pork taco has a few steps to go through to make it but believe me it is worth the time and effort and I implore you to not skip any of the steps because they all add to the intense flavor of this meat and make it that deliciousness that you want to eat over and over again!!!
Cuban Street Tacos
4-5 lb boneless pork butt or pork loin, cut into 2 inch chunks(I use pork loin)
1 T. kosher salt
1 T. canola oil or veggie oil
1 cup water
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp oregano
2 bay leaves
2 T. minced garlic
1-2 jalapenos, finely chopped
1 onion, peeled and halved
juice of 1 lime
1 medium orange, halved,juiced,rinds reservered
corn tortillas
1 small red onion, diced
cilantro, chopped
sour cream
pico de gallo
Rub the pork pieces with the salt and Refrigerate for at least one hour or you can do this the night before to speed up the process. Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat, add the oil, then add the pork pieces and sear each piece on all sides, working in batches, if needed. Once browned, remove the pork to the slow cooker. Into the same pot used to sear the pork pour in the water and chicken stock scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get up all the little brown bits from the bottom of the pan. I need to say that I usually use a can of chicken broth and then add a little bit of water to equal 2 cups of liquid because I never usually have a use for 1 cup of broth and I hate wasting it so I just use it all. Then add the pepper, cumin, chili powder, oregano, bay leaves, garlic, jalapenos, onion, lime juice, juice from the orange and the orange rinds and bring the mixture to a simmer. Pour over the pork in the slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours, until the pork is very tender. Remove the bay leaves, orange rinds and onion chunks. Remove the pork and set aside. Pour the liquid into a saucepan and bring the mixture to a boil. Let the mixture boil until it reduces to about 1 cup and is thickened, slightly. Shred the pork and place back in the crock pot and pour the sauce from the saucepan over the meat. Serve in corn tortillas with all your favorite taco toppings!!!! and rice and beans.
Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cream Cheese Chocolate Chips scones

In all my years of baking I have never made and an honest to goodness scone. I always thought scones were the pieces of bread dough you flatten out and fry in oil and then slather with butter and honey or whatever else your hearts fancies. Now don't get me wrong those kind of scones taste wonderful but I wanted to branch out and try the baked scones. Let me tell you these did not disappoint. In one word they were Delicious!! I seriously could have eaten the whole batch by myself. They are good served as a dessert or for breakfast. They were super easy to make. If you want something new and tasty to add to your breakfast or dessert repertoire then go make these fast!!! Please!! You will thank me later!!!
Cream Cheese Chocolate Chip Scones
2 3/4 cup flour
2 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup butter (cold and cut into chunks)
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 T. baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 eggs
4 tsp vanilla
1(8oz) package cream cheese, very softened(I microwave mine for a min.)
1 cup cream or 1/2 cup whole milk mixed with 1/2 cup sour cream
2 cups milk or semi sweet chocolate chips
1 package cream cheese(8oz), softened
2-3 cups powdered sugar
4 T. milk
In a large bowl mix the flours, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Cut in the butter until resembles crumbs. Stir in the chocolate chips. In a separate mixing bowl, mix the eggs, vanilla, milk, cream cheese, and cream. Mix with dry ingredients. Don't over mix or they will be tough. Scrape dough onto a floured surface. Pat into a 17x3 inch rectangle about 1 inch thick. The dough will be fairly sticky so make sure you have enough flour on your work surface. cut into triangles. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 18 minutes. Mix the glaze ingredients well and drizzle over the warm but not hot scones. You can let set till cool or you can devour them right away. They are good cold but I prefer them warm out of the oven!! 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Homemade Ranch Dressing

My kids and hubby love ranch dressing and there is nothing like homemade ranch. I use to just buy the Hidden Valley Ranch dressing packets and make them because they tasted way better than bottled dressing but I noticed they had MSG in them so I went on the hunt for a homemade mix I could mix myself and make excellent ranch. I was successful and found on pinterest. This ranch is so good and you control the ingredients which I love even better.
Ranch Dressing/ Mix
Black Pepper ¼ C
Parsley Flakes 1 1/2 C
Garlic Salt ½ C
Kosher Salt 2 T
Granulated Garlic ¼ C
Granulated Onion 3/4 C
Dill Weed 2 T (don't leave out adds to the flavor trust me)
1. Combine all ingredients, store in an airtight container. Makes about 3 ½ cups of dry mix
2. To Make Dressing, whisk together 2 T of mix with 2 Cups each of mayonnaise and buttermilk 1 ½ Cups sour cream,. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Makes 1 ¾ Quarts
 Please when you make it do not and I mean DO NOT SUBSTITUTE Miracle whip for the mayo. I know their are those of you that like it better and like that it has less fat than Mayo but the taste will not be the same. All ranch dressings are made with mayo not miracle whip. Make sure you refrigerate it for the full 2 hours or more because it gives the flavors time to come together.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


It has been 2 long moths since I have updated this blog and it is about time it has a few new recipes added to it. I have been MIA because we moved across the country and it has taken this long to get into our new home and settled. I have missed blogging especially food blogging and look forward to doing it again on a regular basis. Anyway, tostadas are so quick and easy and taste wonderful. What can I say anything Mexican is amazing. These are very simple you just need to remember to put beans in the crockpot in the morning or you can even use a can of refried beans and then add all the toppings your heart desires.
Refried beans(recipe found here)
pico de gallo(tomatoes. onion. jalapenos chopped and mixed together)
Fried corn tortilla(fry a tortilla in oil until crispy and golden brown)
Take a fried corn tortilla and top it with beans, cheese, salsa, pico de gallo, lettuce, lime, and sour cream. Just whatever you desire and you pick it up and eat it with your hands or you can eat it with a fork. You may also eat Spanish rice with them as shown in the picture. My recipe for the rice is found with the link I put up for the beans!! Enjoy!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

Imagine me sharing another cookie recipe with you. But let me tell you these cookies are so easy peasy to make and so good. Seriously takes about 10 minutes to mix up the dough and you can do it all by hand no need to pull out the mixer for these babies. So simple but good enough to take to a bbq or whatever get together you have this summer. Everyone will love them. Trust me. I got this awesome recipe from Mel's Kitchen Café. Just wanted everyone to know that I will be MIA for a little while. My little family and I are moving across the country in about a week and a half so we are busy busy packing our house and I won't be back online for awhile till we get our new home set up. Thanks to all of you who enjoy my blog!!!
Chocolate Sugar Cookies
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup flour plus 2 T. flour
3/4 cup baking cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
14 T. butter
1 3/4 cup Dark brown sugar
1 T. vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl stir flour, baking cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, melt 10 T. of the butter; don't overheat, just until melted. Stir in the remaining  4 T. butter until melted. Allow the butter to cool 5 minutes. (don't skip this part) Whisk in brown sugar and vanilla till smooth. Add the egg and egg yolk and mix till smooth. Stir in the flour mixture until combined. Roll dough into balls(about 2 T. of dough for each cookie). Roll each in the granulated sugar. Bake the cookie until puffed and have cracks. 12- 14 minutes. Do Not Overbake.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Pita Bread

I have been searching and trying out countless numbers of pita bread recipes and have failed at all of them. Failed as in they did not puff and make the pocket, which is what a pita bread needs. So the other day I decided to try again and what do you know it puffed. I think I only had one or two that didn't puff. I love being able to successfully make things from scratch and to know that I am feeding my family healthier things that don't have tons of preservatives and such. Now these take some time but believe me they are super easy to make. Don't let the raising process scare you off. We stuffed our pitas with falafel but you can fill it with any kind of meat or rice or whatever your heart fancies.
Pita Bread
1 1/4 c. warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 tsp salt
2 T. olive oil
3-31/4 cup flour
In the bowl combine yeast and the warm water and let sit for 10 minutes until foamy and dissolved. Add 1 1/2 cup of the flour. Cover and let rest for 1 1/2 hours; until doubled. Add the salt, oil and 1 1/2 cup flour. Knead the dough 10 minutes with the dough hook of your stand mixer or by hand. You may need to add the extra 1/4 flour or a little bit more even until you have a soft smooth dough. Then place in and oiled bowl , cover and let raise another 1 1/2 hours or until doubled. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees. Have an oven shelf on the lowest level of oven and place a baking stone or a large cookie sheet on it before preheating it. When the dough is done raising. Cut the dough into 8-12 pieces depending on how big you want each pita. On a lightly floured surface, shape each into a ball and then flatten into a disk. Cover with oiled plastic and allow it to rest for 20  minutes. Then roll each disk into a circle a little under 1/4 inch thick. Try to get them all even throughout. Allow them to rest for 10 minutes before baking. Spray each one  with water from a water bottle right before you bake them. Quickly place 1 piece of dough onto heated stone or cookie sheet in oven. Bake for 3-5 minutes. The pita should be completely puffed but not beginning to brown. The dough will not puff if not moist enough. don't forget to spray each one right before you bake.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Crowd-size Cheesecake

Do you ever need to take a dessert somewhere to feed a crowd of people? Well, then this recipe is for you. It is extremely easy to make, affordable, and down right delicious. Believe me you will get rave reviews from everyone that eats it. I have been making this recipe  for a very long time and is one of our families favorite recipes. Our good family friend, Janis, brought this to a get together and we have been making it ever since. Thanks, Janis, for this wonderful recipe. If you need a large cool dessert for this summer, please, I beg you to make this. One other great thing about it is you can use your favorite choice of pie filling, make your own fruit topping, or use fresh fruit/berries that are in season at the time!!
Crowd-size  Cheesecake
1 box white, vanilla, or yellow cake mix(made according to package directions)
2 packages(8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
1 large tub cool whip
3 cup powdered sugar
2-3 cans favorite pie filling or 3-4 cups fresh berries or fruit of your choice
Mix the cake according to package directions. Pour batter into a large cookie sheet with sides. Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Meanwhile. In a large bowl beat the cream cheese until creamy add the powdered sugar and beat till fluffy. Mix in the cool whip until well combined. Spread over the cooled cake. Top with pie filling or fruit. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours or overnight. Serve. Store leftovers in the fridge. If there are any!!!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Chili Meatballs over Rice

So I don't know about you but here in our house we love meatballs. I was trying to find a new recipe to use with meatballs and came across this recipe on Pinterest. I adapted it quite a bit to suit our taste and boy was it tasty. It turned out so well and was gobbled up by all of my littles and hubby. If you love the meatball go run to your kitchen right now and make these. You will not be disappointed. Trust me!! Plus this meal come together fairly quickly making it all the more appealing to make if you ask me. Now if you are one of those who won't eat red meat. You can substitute turkey or chicken in beef's place but for me I will stick with beef I like it better and my motto is everything in moderation plus beef is loaded with iron which we all need. Just choose a lean ground beef!!
Chili Meatballs over Rice
2 lbs  ground beef
2 small onions or 1 large, minced small
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
3 tsp salt(4 if you like it more salty I did 4 and thought it was the right amount)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp spicy brown mustard
1 T. chili powder
2 large eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
handful of chopped pepperoni
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Mix all the ingredients together. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place them on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet and bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes or till no longer pink and crispy or browned real well on all sides. While meatballs are cooking start your chili Sauce:
1 large onion, chopped
2 bell peppers(I used red), chopped
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 jalapenos, chopped
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 large can(28 oz) crushed tomatoes
4 T. molasses
2 T. brown sugar
4 T. apple cider vinegar
6 T. ketchup
2 T. minced garlic
5 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
2 T. chili powder
2 tsp garlic salt
1 can beef broth
1 T. dried parsley or 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
In a large pot sauté the onion, bell peppers, poblano, and jalapenos until beginning to get tender. Then add the fresh tomatoes and garlic and sauté for a few more minutes. Then add all of the rest of the ingredients and bring to a boil. Add in the cooked meatballs and simmer for 20-30 minutes. The longer it simmer the better the flavor will be. Serve over rice.
Note: it was not spicy at all. All 3 of my kids ate this with no problems but if you are worried than just remember to deseed the pepper and take the ribs out because that is where the heat is but I like to leave the seeds and ribs in.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies

Last week I wanted to make a peanut butter cookie but I didn't want to really make your normal plain peanut butter cookie and I couldn't find one I liked on the internet to use so I decide to just throw some ingredients together and make my own and can I tell you these were awesome!! I was so happy that a concoction I made up all on my own turned out so well. If you love Peanut butter and chocolate you must give these babies a try they are awesome especially with a little bit of vanilla ice cream or a glass of cold milk!!
Double Chocolate Peanut Butter Cookies(makes about 7-8 dozen)
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
3 cups peanut butter
4 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 T. vanilla
1- 1 1/2 cup baking cocoa(depending on how chocolaty you want it)
3 cups blended oats
1 cup blended peanuts
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 pkg. chocolate chips or chunks
1 pkg. Reese's Pieces.
In the bowl of your stand mixer cream the butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix well. Add the baking cocoa, blended oats, blended peanuts, flour, soda, and powder and mix till well combined. Stir in the chocolate chip and Reese's Pieces. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place them on a greased cookie sheet. Smash then down a little bit with your hand and then bake them at 325 for 10 minutes and no longer!!! They may look undercooked but they won't be. Take them out and let rest on pan for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.
Note: I blend my oats and peanuts in a food processor until they are finely chopped not as smooth as flour but close. Use quick or old fashioned oats, I prefer old fashioned but whatever you have on hand will work!!
Note: Makes a lot of cookies. I always make a lot of cookies and then roll the dough and freeze them in a Ziploc bag to pull out when we want to have a hot cookie or I will cook them let them cool and then freeze them so they don't all go stale before we can eat them all and then I have them on hand without all the work!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

French Fried Onion Chicken

I had bought a huge bag of French fried onions(from Sam's Club because way cheaper than at Walmart) a few months back for a salad that I had made and had a ton that I still needed to use. So I looked on the back of the onion package and they had a recipe that had chicken breast coated in the crumbled up onions and baked. I thought it sounded good but decided to do my own twist on the recipe and bump up the flavor a bit because I thought it looked a little bland. Anyway, the outcome of the recipe was amazing!! So flavorful, juicy, and tender and went so well with a baked potato and fresh corn on the cob!!! this is super simple to make and comes together quickly you can even coat the chicken breasts earlier in the day and let them hang out in the fridge till you are ready to cook it.(that is what I did)
French Fried Onion Chicken
4 cups crushed French fried onions
4 T. flour(I used whole wheat but use whatever)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese garlic bread seasoning(recipe follows)
3 T. Ranch dressing mix or 1 packet
3 eggs
4 large chicken breasts cut in thin pieces or pounded out thin
Mix the crushed onions, flour, parm cheese garlic bread seasoning, and ranch dressing mix. in a shallow bowl or pan. Set aside. Crack the eggs in another shallow pan and beat with a fork. Take your chicken pieces and dip them in the beaten eggs, then in the onion mixture pressing the onion coating on each side of chicken till well coated. Place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 375 for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Take out and serve.
Parmesan Garlic Bread Seasoning
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 tsp kosher salt
2 T. garlic powder~not salt
2 tsp. oregano
2 tsp basil
2 tsp parsley
Mix all together and store in a spice jar or ziploc bag in the fridge. Use to sprinkle on breadsticks or french bread as well.
Note: I usually double or triple the garlic bread seasoning recipe and keep it on had for when we want garlic bread. I store mine in a old parmesan cheese container so I can just sprinkle on the bread. But store it in whatever you have.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Banana Bread

How many of you ever have bananas that go bad before you can eat them all? It seems that this happens quite frequently in our household especially in the summer when it is hot and humid. I have a really great cream cheese banana bread recipe on here but I wanted to have a just a regular go to banana bread recipe. So I went on the hunt for one and found this great recipe at Mel's Kitchen café. This really was wonderful and my new favorite recipe for banana bread. I am one of those that loves nuts in my banana bread but my hubby doesn't so I always make it without for him but if you love nuts go ahead and add them.
Banana Bread adapted from Mel's Kitchen Café
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 to1 1/2  cup bananas(3-4 ripe bananas)
2 eggs
4 T. buttermilk
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp  Rum flavored extract
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp baking soda
Cream the butter and sugars together in a large bowl. Add the mashed bananas, eggs, buttermilk, vanilla, and rum extract ad mix until well combined. In a small bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and mix just until combined. Don't mix too much because over mixing makes a tough bread. Pour into 2 greased 8x4 inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 50 -55 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Note: you can use 1 cup mashed banana or 1 1/2 cup I like to use 1 1/2 cup for a stronger banana flavor but it works either way.
Note: if you have over ripe bananas and have no time to make banana bread. Don't throw those bananas away. Throw them in your freezer and store them there until you have time to make bread. Just let them thaw, mash them and use them. These make the best banana bread!!
Note: I tripled this recipe and it made 4 (9x5) loaf pans of bread. you can us smaller loaf pans or you can even make muffins with this batter as well

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Crockpot Cheese Tortellini Soup

 I have one more soup recipe for you all before it gets way too hot to make soup.This soup is very similar to my other tortellini soup that I have on here but a little bit different. It is very tasty. It is one of my hubby's favorite next to the Toscana soup I posted a month or so ago. I have made this soup twice and I made it a little bit different the second time because I was short on time and didn't have any homemade spaghetti sauce on hand and it didn't turn out quite as good as the first time. I recommend that you use homemade marinara or spaghetti sauce in this recipe. You will thank me later. Just plan on making it when you have some leftover spaghetti sauce in the fridge that needs to be used. That is what I did the first time and it really  added to the flavor of the soup. Either way this soup is yummy and true comfort food!!!
Crockpot Cheese Tortellini Soup
1lb sausage or 1/2 ground beef 1/2 sausage
1 onion,chopped
7 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1 bell pepper, chopped (any color)
3 cups marinara or spaghetti sauce
1 (32 oz) box plus 1 can beef broth
1 (28oz)can crushed tomatoes w/basil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 T. parsley
1 tsp basil
1 pkg. Good Seasons Italian dressing mix or roasted red pepper basil dip mix
8 oz cream cheese softened and cubed
2 cups chopped fresh spinach
19 oz cheese tortellini ,cooked
Brown the sausage/ beef till no longer pink. Add the onion, celery, carrots, bell pepper and garlic. cook 6-7 minutes or until veggies beginning to get tender. dump the sausage veggie mixture into a large crock pot and add all the ingredients except the spinach and tortellini. Cook on low for 6 hours or on high 3 hours. 20 minutes before you serve it add the tortellini and the spinach till heated through. Serve with warm rolls or breadsticks!!!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Where do I even begin with these cookies? They seriously are little bits of heaven and my ultimate favorite cookie that have ever crossed my lips. If you love coconut and even if you think you don't  you have to try these. Toasting coconut makes it crunchy and sweet and you won't even know you are eating coconut. Please drop what you are doing and go bake yourself a batch of these cookies. Your taste buds will thank me and your hips as well! Did I just say that? Ok your hips will hate me because it is hard to just eat one!!!! But go make some anyway because we all need a little sweets in our life every once in awhile!
Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 cup butter
3 cups brown sugar
4 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. coconut extract
4 eggs
4-5 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 pkg. toffee bits
1 pkg. Chocolate chips
3 c. toasted coconut

In the bowl of your mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until creamy and fluffy. Add the extracts and eggs and mix well. Mix in the flour, powder, soda, and salt and mix till well combined. Stir in the toffee bits, chocolate chips, and the coconut. Roll into 1-2 inch balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 degrees for 11-13 minutes, slightly underdone is better. Let cool on pan for 2-3 minutes and then transfer to cooling racks and Enjoy!!!!

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Taco Enchiladas

We love love love enchiladas here in our house. Since my husband grew up in Mexico I usually only like authentic red and green enchiladas which I have already posted on this blog. But when I came across these enchiladas over at Mel's kitchen Cafe I knew that I had to give them a try. They were so yummy and the cornmeal crepes tasted very similar to a tamale. Mel said (look I act like I actually know her!! I don't but I feel like I do from her blog)they reminded her of corn tortillas but I thought these tasted similar to eating a tamale because the crepe was tender and soft but whatever they taste like a tamale or a corn tortilla, this recipe is a winner. Your kids will gobble them up(mine did). If you want a new twist on an old classic give these babies a try. The crepes are easy and fast to make I promise. My little two year old helped me make and flip every single one of them!!

Taco Enchiladas with Cornmeal Crepes

Makes about 16 crepes:
1 1/3 cup flour
2/3 cup cornmeal
4 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups milk

Meat Mixture:
1 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped
2 lbs ground beef
2 T. garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp pepper
2 T. chili powder
1 T. cumin
2 tsp Corriander
2(8 oz each)cans tomato sauce
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 (20 oz) can red or green enchilada sauce
1 (10 oz) can red or green enchilada sauce
Optional: sliced olives, sour cream, guacamole, salsa

For the Crepes: Combine all the crepe ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Spray a 10 inch skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat until the skillet is very hot. Give the crepe batter a quick stire . Measure 1/4 cup of batter and pour into hot skillet, tilting the pan to coat the bottom evenly. The skillet should be hot enough that you should hear a sizzle when the batter hits the pan but not so hot that it burns the crepes, Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minutes and then loosen the edges with a rubber spatula and flip. Cooking the other side for 30 seconds or so. Repeat with the remaining batter, giving the batter a quick stir in between each crepe. Stake the crepes on top of each other. The crepes can be made 2 days in advance. Cool the crepes completely before storing them in the fridge in a ziploc bag or plastic wrap.
For the taco meat: brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain the grease when no longer pink. Add in the onion, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until veggies are tender. Add in all the spices and cook for a minutes then add the tomato sauce and simmer for 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. LIghtly coat a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray. Lay all the crepes flat and fill them with 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the taco meat, sprinkle with cheese, roll up and place in the pan seam side down. Repeat with all the crepes. Pour 1 large can green enchilada sauce and 1 regular can red enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with cheese.(or you can use one large red and 1 regular green sauce) Bake for 20-25 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Serve with optional toppings if desired and rice and beans!!!
Adapted from Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

So a few weeks ago I saw this recipe over at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and decided I needed to try it out. I am not a huge sweet potato fan so I was a little nervous about how these would turn out but Mel assured us that even her non loving sweet potato husband was going back for seconds with this yummy combination. So I decided to get over my nervousness and just give these babies a try and boy were they yummy. They are more of a sweet and savory burrito than your traditional bean burrito but tasty non the less and oh so healthy for you!!! If you are sweet potato fan and even if you aren't give these babies a try and your kids will gobble them up too!! Well at least mine did!!and they like me do not like sweet potatoes that much. I mean look at all that colorful food!!! so so good and good for you. The more colors of the rainbow you eat the healthier you are and I mean as in veggies and fruit not candy/doughnuts!!!!!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos
4 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed small
3 jalapenos, finely diced
2 red bell peppers, diced small
2 red onions, diced small
2 T. olive oil
2 tsp cumin
1 T. chili powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2(15 oz each)cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2- 1 cup chopped cilantro, depending on your taste(we like the full cup)
juice of 2 limes
Cheese of your choice-we use sharp cheddar
tortillas(wheat or white we always have homemade tortillas)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. IN a large bowl, toss the sweet potatoes, jalapenos, red peppers, and red onions with the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Dump the coated veggies onto a large rimmed baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, tossing halfway through. Veggies should be tender but not mushy at the end of the cooking time. Mine took closer to 30 minutes but just use your own judgement. Let the veggie mixture cool a little bit then scrape veggies back in the large bowl and toss with the black beans, lime juice and cilantro. Taste the mixture and add additional salt and pepper if needed. Place desired amount of veggie bean mixture onto a tortilla, sprinkle with cheese, roll up and lay seamside down on a baking sheet. Repeat with all the mixture and tortillas. Bake at 375 for about 10-15 minutes or until heated through and golden brown or if you like the tortilla soft wrap each in tin foil and heat through. Serve with salsa and avocados!! Yumm!!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Toscana Soup

My husband adores the Toscana Soup at Olive Garden. A few years ago my aunt gave me this recipe she got at her ward Relief Society party and said it was amazing. Well it is just that. It tastes just like Olive Garden,(if not better)and is way cheaper to make at home. We have been making this for years and I just realized I have never posted this on the blog. SO for those of you who love Toscana Soup go give this soup a try it is super simple, easy, and fast to make. Serve with your favorite green salad, and bread or breadsticks.

Toscana Soup
1 lb sausage(italiam or I use a roll of Jimmy Dean's hot sausage)
7-8 large baking potatoes,(sliced in to slices)
1 onion, diced
1 Tbs. minced garlic
10 cups water
4 Tbs. chicken boullion
1 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
2 cups cream(or you can use 1 cup cream one cup milk it is creamier with the cream ofcourse I have done it both ways and is good either way but don't use all milk or it won't be as good)
2 cups chopped fresh spinach or Kale (I prefer the spinach and don't use frozen(nasty in my opinion)

In a large pot, brown the sausage. Drain the grease. Add in the onion and garlic and cook till onion is tender. Add the water, boullion, pepper, red pepper flakes, and potatoes and bring to a boil. Simmer until the potatoes are tender. About 15-20 minutes. Then add the cream and the chopped spinach and heat through or until spinach wilts. Serve with favorite bread or breadsticks!!!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Crunchy Quinoa Granola

I am always on the hunt for new granola recipes. I eat granola or oatmeal every morning for breakfast so I like to change it up sometimes. I came across this one over at Two Peas and Their Pod. This was very tasty and I will be adding it to my growing list of Granola recipes. My favorite granola is still my Macaroon granola but I have never met a granola I didn't like!!!
Crunchy Quinoa Granola
3 c. quinoa
10 c. old fashioned oats
2 c. chopped almonds
2 c. coconut
1 1/2 cup wheat gream
1 1/2 cup flax seeds (ground or whole)
1/2-1 cup brown sugar(just depends on how sweet you want it)
1/2-1 cup honey(depends on how sweet again)
3 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
3/4 cup coconut oil,melted
2 tsp vanilla
1 T. maple extract
1 1/2 T. cinnamon
1 cup raisins
1 cup dates or craisins (i did dates)
Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Rinse the quinoa under cold water and drain well. In a large bowl combine quinoa, oats, almonds, coconut, wheat germ and flax seeds. In another bowl whisk together the sugar, honey, coconut oil, vanilla, maple extract, and cinnamon. Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir till combined well. Pour the granola evenly onto 3 large rimmed baking sheets. and bake for 40 minutes stirring a few times throughout the cooking process. Allow to cool on cookies sheets and then mix the raisins, craisins, and/or dates in. Store in and airtight container for up to one month.

NOte: you may also use some natural applesauce in place of half the oil and you may cut down the sugar and/or honey or you can even use agave nectar for the sweetener if you like. just tailor it to what you like. I like a mixture of brown sugar and honey so that is what i do and I usually add some applesauce but didn't have any on hand. Be creative!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Black and White Cheesecake Bars

The other night I needed to take a treat to our church activity and decided to try something new. I always get sick of bringing the same old treats everytime. As I was searching the food blog world I came across this recipe at Mel's Kitchen Cafe and knew I had to try them out. I mean Cheesecake and Chocolate and plus everything I have made from Mel's blog is fantastic!!! Anyway,these bars were amazing!! They are similar to cheesecake brownies(I have a favorite recipe for those) but still quite different. So if you want a new twist on the Cheesecake brownie go give these babies a try!!! You will not be disappointed I promise!!!

Black and White Cheesecake Bars
2 cups plus 2 T. flour
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 sticks butter, softened
2 cups sugar
3 large eggs
3 tsp vanilla
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. line a 9x13 inch pan with parchment paper(with a 2 inch overhang) and coat with cooking spray. Set aside. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. In another bowl cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add 2 eggs and 2 tsp vanilla and beat until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Increase the speed to medium and beat until well mixed. Reserve 1 cup of dough and refrigerate it. Press the remaining dough into bottom of prepared dish and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Bake until base is set and edges are puffed, about 20 minutes.Don't overbake!!!. Let cool 15 minutes in dish on a wire rack. Mix the cream cheese, remaining egg, powdered sugar, and 1 tsp vanilla in a bowl until smooth. Spread over the cooked base. Crumble the reserved 1 cup down over the top. Bake until filling is set, about 25- 30 minutes. Let cool in dish on wire rack, then lift out using the overhang of the parchment. Cut into squares. Keep them covered and stored in the Refrigerator.

P.S. I am in the process of placing all my recipes in the pull down recipe index you see but it is taking me awhile since I have almost 300 recipes on here. When I am finished it should be easier to find one of my recipes plus there is a search engine at the top so if you are look for a paticular thing you can type it in and it will bring up the recipes that go with it that I have on my blog!! I wish my blog was easier to navigate and prettier like all the other food sites out there but alas I am not totally computer savy and I kind of refuse to pay someone to design a cooler looking blog. SO thank you to all of my faithful followers. I truely love sharing all my good recipe finds with you even if it is in mediocre style with sub par pictures!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pizza Casserole

I am sure many of you have seen this casserole all over the internet. I first came across it on Pinterest and just new I had to try it out!! I mean who doesn't love any form of pizza. I needed to take a meal in to some friends and was trying to decide what to take and decided this would be the perfect thing and so I made a pan for us as well and boy was it tasty!! If you need a meal to take to a friend or just in general love pizza this pasta is for you and your kids will gobble it up. Serve it with french bread and a salad and you have a top notch meal!! And once again I know my photography skills are subpar but don't let them deter you from making this!!
Pizza Casserole
1 lb pork sausage(i used half ground beef half sausage)
1 large onion, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1 tsp dried oregano or italian seasoning
50-60 oz of spaghetti or pizza sauce(I use my homemade spaghetti sauce)
1/2 to 1 lb ham, cooked and cubed(I used lunch meat ham)
1/2 to 1lb pepperoni
24 oz shredded mozzarella cheese(i used half moz and half sharp cheddar)
6 T. parmesan cheese
1 lb pasta of your choice( i used bowtie)

Cook pasta according to package directions. Cook sausage/hamburger with onion, garlic, and oregano utnil browned, drain the grease off. In a greased 9x13 pan.Pour a enough sauce in the bottom of the pan to coat the bottom. Then layer the ingredients like so: pasta, sausage and onion mixture, 1 cup of cheese and 2 T of parmesan cheese, ham. Then sauce, pasta, sausage, 1 cup cheese, parmesan cheese, ham. Repeat layers if necessary. ending with the last cup of cheese on top and the pepperoni's layered on the top completely covering the whole dish like the picture down below. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly and pepperonis are crispy. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. If you like peppers or olives on your pizza you may add those to this as well. Make it how you like your pizza!!!

Spaghetti Sauce
2 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, green red orange or yellow or a mixture, chopped
2 T. minced garlic
1- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1-28 oz can diced tomatoes
2 T. tomato paste
2 tsp dried oregano
1 1/2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic salt
1 T. dried parsley
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, pepper, and garlic and cook until veggies are tender. Add in everything else. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Serve over favorite pasta or use for favorite pasta dishes.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Pumpkin Pie Steel Cut Oats

So as I have mentioned before I love to eat homemade granola for breakfast. I was kind of getting a little tired of it the other day and needed something a little different for breakfast so I decided to make these steel cut oats. They were amazing so yummy and so packed with goodness.It keeps you full longer because it is hearty and full of protien, fiber, calcium and B vitamins.  1 cup of steel cut oats had 8 grams of insoluble fiber!!!  Anyway, I found this recipe on Pinterest.If you love oatmeal give this baby a try. Now if you don't like pumpkin mix in some other kind of fruit. Just do what you like. I love how versitile this recipe can be. YOu should be able to find Steel Cut oats at any grocery store but in most places they are pretty expensive unless you have a health food store you can buy them in bulk at. If you live here where I live you can buy them at the amish store for about $0.67/lb so so so cheap!!! I love that you can make this the night before and reheat it for a quick no fuss breakfast.
Basic Steel Cut Oats Recipe(makes enough for 2 people for about 4 days)
3 1/3 cups steel cut oats
9 cups water
pinch of salt

Add the water, oats and salt to a large saucepan and bring to a boil.Turn heat down and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Ladle oats and water into glass jars, cover, and let sit on the counter for 8 hours, then store in the fridge. My oats had a little bit of water but not as much as the recipe said they would. I let mine sit on the counter for about 3 hours and then stuck them in the fridge and it worked out great so it just depends. In the morning reheat desired amount with a little bit of milk and desired sweetner/fruit.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal(for 1 serving)
Place about a 1 cup to 1 1/2 cups oats(from the above recipe)into your bowl
add 1/3-1/2 cup of milk
a little maple syrup or brown sugar
2 heaping spoonfuls of pumpkin puree
a little cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice
chopped pecans or almonds

Heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes and enjoy!!! THis is not a set recipe just use how much you like of everything. I don't measure exactly. Like I said if you don't like pumpkin than use blueberries or strawberries or bananas. Or saute chopped apples with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar until tender and then add to oats for apple pie oatmeal!!

Oh and you can add a Tablespoon of ground flax seed to each bowl as well!!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Garlic Ginger Shrimp or Chicken

The other day I found a bag of shrimp in my freezer that needed to be used and My kids and hubbby wanted fried rice and eggs rolls so I went on the hunt for a good shrimp dish to go along with our Chinese theme. I found this recipe on pinterest. They used chicken but I decided to swap in the shrimp. It turned out so good. It was awesome and even my husband ate it and he dislikes shrimp or fish most of the time. I happen to love all seafood but rarely cook with it because of him. Anyway this recipe was perfectly sweet and spicey and paired well with rice and the eggs rolls we ate. Go give this recipe a try despite my horrible picture of it. I had to take the picture the second day because I didn't have enough natural light the night before. You can use chicken or shrimp.
Crispy Giner Shrimp
1 lb bag of small uncooked shrimp or 2-3 chicken breast,chopped
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
6 T. cornstarch
1 T. canola oil
1/2 tsp dried red chili flakes
2 T. garlic, minced
1-2 inch piece of ginger grated, we prefer less ginger but us the larger amount if you like a strong ginger flavor
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar toasted sesame seeds and sliced green onions for garnish if desired

Marinate the chopped chicken or shrimp with a 1/4 cup soy sauce. rice vinegar and salt for at least 30 minutes. Next stir in the egg and the cornstarch and mix well. Heat a deep fryer or enough oil in a wok to cover the chicken or shrimp pieces. When hot add the shrimp/chicken and deep fry 5-6 minutes or until golden brown and cooked through. Meanwhile heat the 1 T. of oil in a skillet. add the garlic, ginger, and red chili flakes and cook until fragrant and tender, stir often so you don't burn the garlic. in a small bowl combine the remaining soy sauce and brown sugar;set aside. Add the cooked chicken or shrimp to the pan with the garlic/ginger mixture and mix to coat all pieces. Add a little bit of your soy sauce/br.sugar mixture and stir to coat all pieces. Don't add too much or the chicken/shrimp will not remain crispy. You can add the soy sauce/ brown sugar to you rice if you like more sauce. Serve over rice and with toasted sesame seeds and green onions.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Apple Pie Jam

For Christmas this year I wanted to give something to friends that was different from the normal goodie plate. I feel like we all get so many goodies and sometimes just don't know what to do with them all sometimes so when I found this recipe over on Coleen's Recipes and knew this is what I wanted to make. Can I tell you this is some of the best jam I have ever tasted and it was so easy to make!! All my family and friends raved about it!! If you are in a jam rut go give this jam a try you will not be disappointed plus the good thing you can always find good apples all year round instead having to wait for the summer like most other fruits!!!
Apple Pie Jam (makes about 11 pints)

18 cups granny smith apples(peeled)about 8lbs apples
1 1/2 cup apple juice or cider
2 tsp butter
9 cups white sugar
6 cups brown sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
3 small boxes(1 1/4 oz each)Sure-Jell powdered pectin

Dice the apples, then put them in the food processor for just a very few pulses. You want the pieces small but not pulverized. Put the apples, apple juice, and butter in a 10 qt pot with tall sides over medium low heat until apples are soft but not mushy. Stir in the powderes pectin and bring to a full rolling boil(on that does not stop when you stir it);stir constantly. When it comes to a full rolling boil, add the sugars,cinnamon,and nutmeg. Stir well and bring back to a full rolling boil and keep at a full rolling boil while stirring for exatly one minute.
 Remove from the heat. as with a lot of jams that have chunks of fruit, if you aren't careful the fruit will float in the jar and it won't be evenly distrubuted throughout the jam. To avoid this:After you take the jam off the heat sit it on a towel or pot holder. Let the jam sit in the hot pot for five minutes before you put in hot jars.Stir the hot jam every 60 seconds or so with a clean spoon. After the five minutes Pour into hot clean jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. wipe the rims of the jars with a clean wet cloth and put the lids and rings on each and hand tighten. Process in a hot water bath:half pints for 10 minutes and pints for 15 minutes.

If you don't want 11 pints of jam the recipe is cut down easily. cut in half easy or even in thirds!!!