"It's the company, not the cooking, that makes the meal!" ~Perilee 
(Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson)



Monday, February 3, 2014

Yaki Udon

Our family has really developed a craving for sushi or Japanese cuisine. We give the credit to Jack for that! He has become quite the sushi maker and we the connoisseurs-aren't we lucky!   Jack recently made some "organic Udon authentic Japanese wheat noodles" they were great but I think a thin linguine will be a great substitute (One we will probably have to use more often then not.  We can't come by Japanese noodles easily in our parts.) When we get around a "World Market" we like to see what fun things we can try.  Jack picked noodles up and we tried the recipe on the back of the package. These were a huge hit at our table, so much so, that Jack had to make them again the next day for lunch.  The kids loved them and could eat the whole recipe by themselves if we would allow it.  Gotta love a recipe like that!

Yaki Udon
(Serves 5 according to package)

9.5 oz Hakubaku Udon Noodles or Thin linguine
7.5 oz Chicken breast, finely sliced
1/2 Medium onion, finely sliced (we used our favorite sweet onion here)
1 Carrot, finely sliced
3 oz Cabbage, finely sliced
3 Spring onions, cut on angle
3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
Pinch of salt
Ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the Udon Noodles for 4 minutes, (for linguine according to package for al dente) drain, then rinse well under cold water. Put olive oil into frying pan and heat up.  Cook chicken thoroughly, then cook onion, carrot, cabbage, and noodles lightly.  Once everything is warmed up, add spring onion, pinch of salt, pepper, and soy sauce.  Toss in pan. Serve

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Chicken Chimi's!

My sister in law loves to cook and I love that she passes on her good finds. This is a recipe she got from her "Food Network Magazine".  We loved it! We don't have great Mexican restaurants near us.  I had fun preparing this one and Jack even joined me. We felt like want-to-be chefs in a kitchen.  We called the kids to dinner and welcomed them to a mexican restaurant. They thought we were so silly, but it was fun to enjoy this delicious dinner together.
 This is supposedly a copy cat of "Chi-Chi's" chimichangas 
* I didn't take a picture of this one until I had started chowing down so you get what you get! At least it has a picture I haven't been that ambitious for a while ;-)


Chi-Chi Copy Cat Chimichangas

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
4 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 white onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (remove the seeds for less heat)
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Kosher salt
1 small tomato, chopped, plus more for topping
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
2 1/2 cups shredded rotisserie chicken
1/4 cup sour cream
1 (15 oz) can refried beans
4 (10-inch) flour tortillas (I used 10 fajita size and we thought they were perfect size! plus 2 10-inch)
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese, plus more for topping
Mexi-sauce, for topping (see recipe below)
Shredded lettuce, for topping
Mexican rice for a side

Preheat oven to 450. Melt the butter with 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil in a skillet; transfer to a bowl.  Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in the skillet.  Add the onion, garlic, and jalapeno and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.  Add the chili powder, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon salt, toast 30 seconds.  Add the tomato and cilantro and cook until slightly dry, about 2 minutes.  Stir in the chicken and sour cream and warm through.  Remove from the heat.

Brush a rimmed baking sheet with some of the butter-oil mixture. Spread 2 Tablespoons refried beans down the center of each tortilla, leave a 2-inch border on both ends. Top with 1 cup chicken mixture and 1/4 cup cheese.  fold in the ends and roll up.

Put the chimichangas seam-side down on the baking sheet; brush with the butter-ol mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes per side, brushing again after you flip.  Top with the sauce, more cheese, lettuce and tomato.  Serve with rice and the remaining beans.



CHI-CHI Mexi-sauce

Saute 1/2 cup chopped onion and 2 cloves of in a skillet with vegetable oil.  Add a pinch of chili powder, cumin, sugar, and salt. (I really used my "pinch" spoon here); cook for 30 seconds.  Stir in two  4-ounce cans chopped green chiles (drained and rinsed); cook 2 minutes. Add 1 cup chicken broth and simmer until thickened, then puree. Stir in 1/4 cup chopped cilantro.

Black Beans & Rice with Apple Salsa and Chicken

I got this recipe from Our Best Bites who got it from Bon Appetit, January 2012.  I modified it to use what I had on hand. My twins loved it. Hugh not so much.


Black Beans & Rice with Apple Salsa and Chicken (omit for vegetarian meal)

1 cup peeled and chopped Granny Smith apple-- I used 1 gala and one macintosh apple
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion (I usually use sweet onion for everything!)
2 limes (I used 2 teaspoons bottled)

1/3 cup finely chopped green bell pepper (I used red)
1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
3 Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 teaspoon chili powder
3/4 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 (13.5 oz) can chicken broth (use vegetable base/broth for vegetarian)
2 (15 oz ) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 rotisserie chicken, or 4 grilled chicken breast
4-6 lime wedges (optional)

Combine apple, cilantro, 2 Tablespoons onion, and the juice of half a lime (i used 2 teaspoons lime juice from bottle). Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and black pepper and set aside.

Combine remaining onion, bell peppers, and oil in a large skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, until completely softened, 6-7 minutes.  Add garlic, and next three ingredients; stir constantly for 2 minutes.  Stir in broth and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer briskly, mashing some of the beans with the back of a spoon and stirring often, until sauce is thickening, 8-10 minutes (or longer if needed). Season with salt and pepper to taste and  big squeeze of lime juice (I didn't add more). Divide rice and beans among plates. Top with some apple salsa and chicken if desired.  Garnish with additional cilantro and lime wedges. Serves 4-6 ( This fed my family of 6 with left overs for the next day. Granted Hugh and Daisy didn't eat an adult size portion.)


For my chicken because I didn't want to stand out and grill in the cold!
I used thawed chicken tenders sprinkled with coarse kosher salt and a little pepper. Broiled on (third rack down) on a low broil setting for 10-15 minutes until done and juice ran clear.

Asian Noodle Soup

We tried this Asian Noodle soup for a quick lunch this weekend and everyone enjoyed it. Jack loved the base of this soup and had many new variations he wants to try.

4 oz Shiitake mushrooms, stems removed (I used my dry Shiitakes and rehydrated them prior to adding)
2 cans chicken broth (14.5 oz each)
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons garlic, finely minced
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh ginger or 1 teaspoon ground dried ginger
1 cup angel hair pasta, broken into pieces (I measured mine out to 2.5 oz)
3/4 cup skinless boneless chicken breast, shredded or cubed tofu (4 oz) - (3 Costco chicken tenders)
1/2 cup carrots, julienned or thinly sliced
1/2 teaspoon Asian sesame oil
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced (optional)

In a medium saucepan, over medium heat, combine chicken broth with 1 1/2 cups water, the soy sauce, garlic, and ginger; bring to a simmer.  Add mushrooms, pasta, chicken or tofu and carrots; simmer until mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in sesame oil, and desired green onions.


Recipe sources--Mushroom Council via Cooking.com

Pumpkin Cobbler

This tasty fall dessert has many names! Pumpkin Cobbler, pumpkin crumble, pumpkin pie cake, and more. If you like pumpkin pie it is almost guaranteed that you will enjoy this little piece of indulgence. I got this recipe from my talented friend Nicole. I modified it by cutting the melted butter down and added chopped pecans! I love nuts in my desserts.

Pumpkin Cobbler

3 eggs- beat until frothy
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
2/3 cup sugar
1 (15 oz) can pumpkin
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Combine all the ingredients and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

One box (18.25 oz) Yellow cake mix (or I have seen white in other recipes)
1/2-1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
3/4 cup melted cup of butter.

Sprinkle pumpkin mixture with the try cake mix, followed by the nuts, and then drizzle with the melted butter.

Bake at 325, for 45-60 minutes or until the tope is golden brown and a knife o skewer can be inserted in the center and comes out clean.

Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a sweetened whipped cream.

Apple Crisp

Nothing says its fall like the smells of apples baking in the oven! Here is one of our favorite classics.

Apple Crisp

Apple Filling (What I use for my freezer apple crisp filling in the fall)
6 cups cored, sliced, peeled apples
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons All-purpose flour or 1 Tablespoon quick Tapioca
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8-1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 Tablespoon lemon juice

Mix together all ingredients and pour into a greased 9 x 13 pan.

Topping
1 cup oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup chopped pecans, optional
1/2 cup butter, melted

Mix together well and crumble over the apple filling. Bake as desired-oven or crock-pot.

I put this in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes or in my crockpot for 2 hours on high or 4 hours on low.

Serve warm or cold, but at our house its always al-a-mode!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Scrambled Egg, Tomato, and Avocado Sandwiches

I made this for Jack's breakfast-in-bed Father's Day. It got a 5 Star rating from Jack and the kids. It has become a breakfast favorite for everyday as well as special occasions; we also love it for dinner.  We love the mayonnaise on other sandwiches too. (Thank you emeals.com for another great favorite!)

I love to use my English muffin bread from Bountiful Baskets for this sandwich too! This is a classic that you are bound to fall in love with if you love eggs for breakfast.

Mayonnaise spread:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (or more to taste our favorite is Sriracha)
1/2 teaspoon season salt

Eggs:
4 large eggs, beaten
8 slices of your favorite bread toasted
1 avocado sliced
1 tomato sliced

Spread mayo mixture on your toast, top with eggs, tomatoes, and avocado if desired. ENJOY!

Serve with a fruit salad side

1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup halved seedless grapes
1/4 cup blueberries
1 banana, sliced
2 Tablespoons sugar

Toss fruits together and serve.