Orange Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry
Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Recipe created by Jamie Cooks It Up!
4 chicken breasts
3/4 C flour
1/4 t salt
2 T olive oil
5 large carrots
2 bell peppers (red, green or orange...you choose)
6 stalks celery (I will use a little less next time my kids weren't crazy about it)
salt and pepper to taste (again with the "you choose")
3/4 C fresh orange juice (I use from concentrate and it works fine)
1/4 C soy sauce
1/2 t ginger
2 t rice vinegar
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 t sesame oil
pinch red pepper flakes (Optional if you don't like the kick! Jack and I like it; kids not so much.)
2 T corn starch
1 C chicken broth
Cut those chicken breasts up into 2 inch cubes.
Combine the flour and the 1/4 t salt in a small bowl, and toss until coated.
Heat up a large skillet. When it's nice and hot add 1 T oil and put your
floured chicken into it. Toss the chicken in gently, now.
Cook your chicken until it is golden all over. (About 10 minutes)
While your chicken is cooking up, chop up your veggies. Make sure they are about the same size.
When your chicken is pretty and golden, take it out of the pan and place it on a nice plate.
Add another T of oil into the hot skillet. Add your veggies and cook over medium high heat
until crisp tender...about another 10 minutes.
When your veggies are crisp tender add your thickened sauce and chicken into the pan.
Serve over a bed of rice.
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Thursday, December 16, 2010
This is a quick and simple dinner that my kids just love. I got the recipe from my mother-in-law a few years back. I don't make it very often, but my kids and husband probably wish I did. Chalk up a point for one that everyone loves, but it's not the healthiest dish there is--probably why it taste good.
Easy Pretzel Turtles
Rolo candies - one bag has about 55 candies
Pecan halves - or optionally peanuts, cashews, and m&m's
Optional: almond bark or white chocolate for drizzling
Get Ready for some simple holiday fun!
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place pretzels on a parchment lined baking sheet. I like to use parchment paper or my silpat for easy handling, but you can also put them on foil or directly onto the cookie sheet.
Unwrap your Rolo candies and place one on top of each pretzel (a great step to keep the kids busy).
Place pan in the oven for 3-4 minutes. Any longer is probably too long. You just want the chocolate on the outside to look glossy and melty, but they should still hold their shape.
Remove pan from oven and take a pecan and gently press it right into the center of the chocolate candy.
If you want to get fancy you can give them a little drizzle of almond bark or white chocolate. Just melt some in a plastic baggie and nip the corner off to drizzle. A little goes a long way; used a half a square of almond bark or 1/4 cup white chocolate chips melted.
Spoil yourself and eat a few of these babies warm off the pan. Mmmm-YUM! Wait for the rest to cool and harden before you pack or plate them up.
Mix it Up: For parties, simply for color, or for the non-nut lover in your family do them with all M&M's on top. Kids love how colorful and fun they turn out to be. Try them with cashews and peanuts or those mini Hershey's kissables are cute too.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Lynnette's Peppermint Bark see her picture and read about the inspiration behind how and why she made 25 batches of this peppermint bark to become the candy bark expert!
Peppermint Bark adapted from Bon Appetit
17 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
6 ounces coarsely crushed candy canes
7 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate
6 tablespoons whipping cream
¾ teaspoon peppermint extract
Take your very best non-warped cookie sheet, turn it upside down and cover securely with foil. Using a ruler, mark a 12x9-inch rectangle directly on the foil. (I use the tip of a sharp knife.)
Very, very gently melt the white chocolate in a microwave safe bowl. Start low, go slow, and stir frequently. Pour 2/3 cup melted white chocolate onto the prepared rectangle on the foil. Using an offset spatula, spread the chocolate evenly to fill the rectangle. Sprinkle with ¼ cup crushed peppermints. Chill until set, about 15 minutes.
In a clean bowl microwave the bittersweet chocolate, cream, and peppermint extract until just melted. Stir until smooth. Cool to barely lukewarm. Pour this chocolate mixture in long lines over the white chocolate rectangle. Using a clean offset spatula, spread the bittersweet chocolate in an even layer. Refrigerate until very cold and firm, about 25 minutes.
Gently rewarm the remaining white chocolate and pour over the firm bittersweet chocolate layer. Spread to cover. Working quickly, sprinkle remaining crushed candy canes over the top and gently press to make sure they are embedded into the white chocolate. Chill just until firm, about 20 minutes.
Lift foil and bark off of cookie sheet. Peel away foil and discard. Place bark on a cutting board. Using a long sharp knife cut bark crosswise into 2-inch wide strips. Cut each strip crosswise into 3 sections, then each section diagonally into 2 triangles. Or make up your own geometry and cut into desired size and shape. If the bark seems resistant to cutting just let it sit until it comes to room temperature, then proceed.
Chill in an airtight container. Let stand 15 minutes at room temperature before serving. Keeps about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
Notes on the recipe: How many batches of this do you have to make to call yourself an expert? Does 25 count? I took 15 batches to a cookie exchange one year. I won’t be doing that again anytime soon, but I did learn some valuable tricks:
-You can use white chocolate chips instead of baking chocolate, but you won’t be able to cut the bark into shapes because the chips contain more stabilizers than baking chocolate. Instead of cutting the bark just break it into random shapes.
-I have a very strong preference for Ghiradelli chocolate in this recipe, both white and semisweet. Other brands of white chocolate don’t melt very well.
-When melting the chocolate make sure the bowls and spoons are completely dry. Moisture can cause the chocolate to seize. I avoid wooden spoons for stirring because they can hold water, especially if they were put through the dishwasher recently.
-Pay attention to the chilling times – this helps the layers adhere to each other.
1 package hot chocolate mix
3 Hershey Kisses
1 candy cane
Place in a small ziplock bag or in a new mug.
Attach this poem:
"Was told you've been real good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
You'll need to warm the spirit
So here's a little Snowman Soup
Complete with stirring stick
Just add hot water, sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick!"
Chocolate Orange Logs (Lion House Christmas)
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Saturday, November 6, 2010
This morning I was asking my boys what we should make for dinner tonight. They said, "Pasgetti" so we might just have spaghetti and meatballs. I was curious what they thought of last nights Lemon Chicken, so I asked. How many stars was last nights dinner. One star, four stars...? Cameron replied 5 stars, Quin piped up and said 8 stars! Then Cameron said 100 stars. The number kept climbing so I said, "Did you guys really like it?" Their eyes got as big as their smiles as the nodded their heads. So folk I guess this one is a keeper. For me it is a keeper because it is so quick and easy and I always have everything on hand to make it. Once again this is a recipe my sister Echo, who is a great cook recommended. (I think she is going to get her on Label...guess that's like my cooking Hall of Fame. ;-)) Echo said this is her go to meal when she is short on time and doesn't know what she is making.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
My sister-in-law gave me this recipe and said they really enjoyed it. We second the notion. If you like the smell of Italian food cooking, you will love this one. My kitchen smelled heavenly while I was preparing it and I couldn't wait to eat it. I knew Jack and I were going to love it because our favorite pizza flavor is the Margherita Pizza. Sure enough Jack loved it and so did I. Our kids love the noodles and chicken they are not crazy about tomatoes yet, but they are at least willing to taste them. I didn't have the grape tomatoes as listed, but had two home grown tomatoes that I was saving to try this dish with. There's nothing like a home grown veggies!
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Okra and Tomatoes
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown, 2006
1 pound okra, rinsed and trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped red onion (I used sweet onion as usual.)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 cups peeled and chopped tomato
1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
1 teaspoon freshly ground grains of paradise* or black pepper (I used the black pepper)
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cardamom (I don't have cardamom so I used 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon)
Cut each okra pod in half lengthwise and set aside. If there are any pods longer than 4 inches, cut them in half crosswise and then lengthwise.
Heat the olive oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions along with the salt and cook until they begin to turn golden, approximately 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the tomatoes and bring the mixture to a boil. Decrease the heat to low and add the ginger, pepper, cardamom and okra. Stir to combine. Cook, uncovered for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat, taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. Serve immediately.
*Cook's Note: Grains of Paradise are available online and in specialty spice markets. They have a zesty flavor reminiscent of pepper, coriander, and cardamom.
Monday, September 27, 2010
This dish was delicious! I found it on realmomskitchen.com who took it from foodonthetable.com. It was a hit with my family. We loved the sauce over pasta too. If you like things extra saucy you may want to double the sauce recipe. We served it with angel hair pasta--how could you go wrong in the eyes of kids and pasta lovers. We will make this again, but it was great to use our garden fresh basil. If you don't have fresh substitute 1 Tablespoon dried Basil in the sauce. Hope you get to please your pallet with this tasty dish.
Macaroni Grill Bread (Jamie Cooks it Up-blog)
Yield: 2 loaves
Time: 1 1/2 hours start to finish
1 1/2 t active dry yeast
1 C warm water
3 T olive oil
1/4 t sugar
2 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t McCormick Italian Seasoning Grinder
1/4 t cracked black pepper
3/4 T fresh rosemary, snipped
butter and salt
1. In the bottom of your mixer combine water, yeast and sugar. Mix it around a bit with a spoon and let it sit for 5 minutes.
2. Add the salt, oil and 1 C flour. Mix for 30 seconds to incorporate.
3. Add the rest of the flour about 1/2 C at a time, while the mixer continues to mix.
4. When all of the flour is incorporated mix on high for about 7 minutes.
5. While your mixer is doing it's fine work, get your herbs and seasonings ready to go. I like to snip rosemary with scissors. You don't want to eat any of the thick stem that rosemary comes on, only the little needles.
6. When your dough is done mixing add the rosemary, pepper and Italian seasoning. Mix just until incorporated.
7. Cover your mixing bowl with a kitchen towel and let it rise for about 40 minutes, or until doubled in size.
8. Divide the dough into 2 parts. Shape into balls and place on a sprayed cookie sheet, or a cooking stone with a bit of olive oil on it.
9. Spray a sharp knife with cooking spray and cut 2 slits in the top of the bread.
10. In a small bowl whisk an egg until frothy. Brush the egg all over the top of the loaf and into the cracks.
11. Place the loaves into a warm oven. (I set mine to 170) Let them rise until doubled in size, about 15 minutes.
12. Turn your oven up to 370 degrees and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
13. When the loaves come out of the oven, place them on a cooling rack. Brush butter over the tops and sprinkle a little bit of salt over the top of the butter. Be careful to not get too much. I always use freshly cracked salt. You can buy both salt and pepper crackers at Costco these days. Look on the spice aisle.
The end....hope you enjoy!