Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Spicy Orange Chicken over Fried Rice

This Spicy Orange Chicken over Fried Rice comes from Rebekah over at workingwifedinners blog. I found it about 6 months ago.

I absolutely love this meal. I try to do as much as I can ahead of time to make it easier come time for cooking. I used 1 egg instead of egg whites and just used shredded carrot for the veggie in the rice stir fry. I didn't have green pepper and husband isn't a huge fan of green, so I used red. If I'm lazy or don't have much time, I'll just serve the chicken over cooked rice. Real ginger is best, but if you have to use ground ginger, than use between 1/4 and 1/2 of a teaspoon.

I'm not entirely sure what it means by chilli, but I just use chilli sauce, the kind some people use for kielbasa in a crockpot recipe. I would say this recipe isn't spicy as in hot to your mouth spicy. It definitely has more flavor in it if you use real ginger. I should probably find out what it means when it calls for chili.

I will continue to make this again and again. The chicken came out so tender. Of course you don't want to cook it for too long and risk over cooking the chicken. The last step calls for cooking/simmering the chicken in the sauce mixture until done. Any time you finish chicken by simmering it in a liquid combination, chances are your chicken will come out juicy.

Recipe found here:

Spicy Orange Chicken over Fried Rice

Thanks Rebekah!!!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Chocolate Hazelnut Pear Cake.

The first time I made this cake, it was for valentines day. I made it exactly as it was instructed by Deborah over at italianfoodforever. Which includes pouring a hot yummy pear compote over each piece witha dollop of homemade whipped cream on top. However, this time, I made it in my tiara pan for my dads birthday dinner. This puts a nice indent in the middle of the cake for things like strawberries, fruit ect. So most of the pear compote juice was drained and the pear mixture from the pan was placed in the middle. I was afraid that too much juice would soak the cake and ruin it. I cut the powdered sugar down to 1/4 cup for the creamed frosting on top. I thought 1/2 cup was too sweet, but 1/4 cup was perfect. It was refrigerated until ready to serve. The family devoured this cake!!!! They loved it.

Chocolate Hazelnut Pear Cake derived from
Chocolate Hazelnut Cake With Pear Compote

Roast Chicken

Today was my dads birthday dinner. Roast Chicken, mashed potatoes, carrots, gravy, homemade rolls and a special chocolate hazelnut pear cake. I will write more about this cake in a separate category.

Although roasting a chicken is pretty easy and I have done it many ways, I can't stop going back to the guidelines posted by the wonderful young couple over at Boston Chef. I actually have a few recipe's from there site that I have made many times.

The chicken sat in a brine solution for 6-8 hours, than filled with lemon slices and garlic, brushed with melted butter, and salted. More details on how it was done over at Boston Chef Roasted Chicken.

What did I do different? Well I chopped up about 1/4 cup of carrots, celery and onion in my mini chopper and put that on the bottom of the pan. I also filled the pan with probably a good 1/2 inch of water and than place the chicken on top of that. I also put in carrot chunks into the pan so the carrots would cook along side the chicken. Here it is all ready to be put into the oven.

I used the same recipe located at my site under homemade pizza for the rolls. I added some oregeno and garlic powder to the mix though. You can use that recipe for pizza, rolls, and calzones. It was so good. Too bad I didn't take a picture of the rolls just coming out of the oven. I did take a picture of the dough rising oh so nicely.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

homemade pizza

As with a bunch of my recipes, I have many successful pizza dough recipes. I recently found this one and it's my new favorite. It comes from Mari over at Once Upon a Plate. Thank you so much Mari.

Pizza dough recipe

I actually made the dough a couple weeks ago, took it out of the freezer this morning.
I made two pizza's. A sauce, cheese and ham one. I also made a greek one, which consisted of feta cheese, kalmata olives and Alfredo sauce. I only took a picture of the sauce and cheese one since I was veryyy hungry and started gobbling the greek one right away. The ham slid to one side too. : )

I actually owe it to my brother Kenny for teaching me how to make pizza dough. All dough recipes are fairly similar. I just so happen to find this one recently and really liked it. I will post other pizza dough recipes, such as my brothers at another time. I think I have 3 all together. Years ago when my brother got a new KitchenAide mixer, he gave me his old one. Its great, thanks Ken for such a wonderful kitchen tool. I used it to make this pizza dough. I let it knead longer than the recipe called for. I also let it rise, since I used a regular dry active yeast packet.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chilli and Corn Bread

Today I made homemade Chilli and corn bread. I would of bought the Jiffy corn bread, but I wasn't making another trip to the store. I do have a good recipe for cornbread that I hve made for Thanksgiving. It includes stuffing and I think it was a little involving. So instead I found this easy one and it came out great. Corn Bread Recipe.

I have tried making many different Chilli recipes. For some reason, everytime I make chilli, I try a different recipe. A few I've made more than once. I saw an interesting recipe in a Penzey's spice magazine I get in the mail. I get them because I ordered spices from them in the past. It includes baking beef short ribs bone in and sausage in the oven before putting into the pot of chilli. However, it also included a spice called Chilli 9000, which I didn't have. So I followed the recipe and used McCormicks chilli package instead. I did end up adding some extra caynene and some hot paprika that I had when it was almost done. I like it hot. The McCormicks chilli packages come in original, mild and hot. The recipe didn't include kidney beans, so I also added these. I like beans in my chilli.

2.5 lbs beef short ribs, bone in
2 lbs italian sausage. You can use hot if you want. If you happen to find Chorizo sausage - that's suppose to be a nice hot mexican sausage.
1 large onion minced
1 tsp minced garlic
14.5 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes
14.5 oz cans of pureed tomatoes
4 cups water
salt to taste
McKormicks chilli seasoning packet.
1 can of kidney beans. dont drain - it adds flavor. add more if you like a lot of beans.

Note, recipe actually calls for two 14.5oz cans of crushed, diced and pureed tomatoes. I accidently didn't' see this. It still came out great. Nice and thick. If you would rather it more soupy - than add more of the tomatoes or include 2 cans each. I would also add more beans if your adding more tomatoes. You'll get more servings too. I used less sausage than it called for, because it seemed like a bit much. No wonder LOL

  1. preheat oven to 375
  2. wash and pat dry the ribs. rub with salt and pepper. Place in foiled lined baking pan. Bake for 1/2 hour.
  3. take casings off sausage and add to pan when 1/2 hour is done. cook for another 1/2 hour.
  4. take meat out of the oven and place meat in large stock pot and add all the ingredients.
  5. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. I keep the lid on most of the way. I leave it open a little so it doesn't boil over. It also helps thicken up the sauce.
  6. 1/2 hour before its done take out short ribs and sausage and cut into bite size pieces. Put them back into the pot. Discard the bone. You can also add some fresh cilantro at the end. I added a little mozzerella cheese in my bowl. : )

Monday, September 21, 2009

apple pie

I'm not a big baker, but occasionally I will bake goodies. A few weeks ago, I chose to make a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie using Lori's Rhubarb pie recipe over at allthesplatters. I just replaced some of the rhubarb ingredients with strawberries. I made my first homemade pie crust for that pie. She provides a wonderful pie crust recipe. Thank you for making my first pie crust experience stress free. : )

So today, I used the same pie crust with one small addition (about 2 teaspoons of sugar) to make an apple pie. I took the kids apple picking yesterday, so I thought a homemade apple pie was in order. I served it with vanilla icecream and it sooo good.

Lori's pie crust recipe:
Make sure you double the crust recipe shown. I feel safer doing one, and than the other. probably more work, but I just feel safer that way.

The apple pie recipe comes from thibeaultstablerecipes.
She also has a very similar pie crust recipe. I love the simplicity in Lori's pie crust recipe. I can't believe how easy it is to make a pie crust.

I'm pretty busy taking care of my 3 and 2 year old, so only had time for one picture.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

chuck roast

I'm sure a lot of people are familiar with this simple way to cook a chuck roast. So simple yet sooo delicious. The best part, no need to make gravy. It's automatically made for you.

The packet to the right has a 2.5 chuck roast with a can of cream of mushroom soup and a package of dry onion soup mix. All tightly wrapped in tin foil.

The packet to the left has sliced potatoes and carrots. Some olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme.

Water thrown into the bottom of the pan and a few orange slices thrown into the mix. I threw them in because - well I felt like being different.

It was cooked in the oven on 350 for a good 2 hours.
I took the tinfoil off and threw everything back into the same pan before serving.

Note* I absolutely loved this, husband loved the chuck roast, but said there was some flavor in the potatoes and carrots he wasn't use to. Although cooked in a separate packet, at the end it was thrown into the pan with all the lovely juices. I don't know if it was the orange flavor or the thyme. We've had and enjoyed orange chicken before and there was only one orange sliced up in there.

Friday, September 18, 2009

OHenry Bars

OH MY! my moms O'henry bars. I used to love these growing up. I'm sure some of my neighborhood friends will remember. I usually can't stop eating them. I made them for a party my husband and I are going to tonight.


2/3 cup margarine
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
3 teaspoons vanilla
4 cups instant oatmeal (quick oats)

Mix ingrediants above together.
Spread into 13*9 greased pan
Bake for 15 minutes
Let cool.

In a saucepan melt 6oz chocolate chips and 2/3 cup peanut butter.

Spread mixture over cooled oatmeal mixture and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Thanks MoM

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Chicken Fra Diavlo

Tonight I made an oldie, but goodie. I can't even count how many times I've made this. A coworker and friend gave this to me at least 8 years ago. His name is Casey. Thank You for sharing it with me.

I do know there are some variations to this recipe. Some more involving than others, but I love the simplicity in this recipe. This recipe is usually prepared with seafood, such as shrimp - but this one is made with chicken. Something I have frequently in our house.

I served this with brown rice and green beans from our garden. The green beans were cooked in a combo of tomato sauce and chicken broth.

Recipe Ingredients
  1. 2 tablespoons of butter
  2. 1/2 cup of white wine
  3. garlic
  4. fennel seeds
  5. crushed red pepper
  6. oregeno
  7. tomatoe sauce
  8. chicken cut into strips and floured. I used two chicken boneless breasts and whole wheat flour. I usually use white flour, but figured why not use the whole wheat flour. It gave it a nice golden look.
Cooking Instructions
  1. melt butter in pan
  2. add and cook garlic
  3. fill bottom of pan with wine
  4. add spices, probably about 2 teaspoons each. I don't usually measure these.
  5. let cook for a few minutes
  6. add chicken strips and cook until done.
  7. At the end add just a little tomatoe sauce into the pan and let cook for another minute. Just a very little.
I didn't have any sauce in the house. I ended up boiling some water and threw a few garden tomatoes into it for about 40 secs. I let cool and peeled them. Blended them and let it come to a boil. Lastly, I let the sauce simmer for about an hour.

note the picture above doesn't show all the ingredients involved. My 2 year old has a cold and wasnt feeling well, so I had to hold her almost the entire time while cooking. My poor baby and my poor arm ; ). I realized after I took the picture that I forgot a few things.

TIP: I like to cut the chicken when its still slightly frozen. It's so easy to cut. I will cut it horizontally so there is 4 chicken breasts instead of two and than I cut it into strips. Key, thinner is better. It allows for more uniform and quicker cooking.

turkey burgers

Last night I took a frozen turkey burger that I had made a few weeks ago out of the freezer. My friend Kelly gave me a wonderful recipe, however sometimes I switch some of the ingrediants around depending on what I have in the house. Original recipe is:

1lb ground turkey
1 egg
chopped up green onion
chopped up green pepper
spices such as salt and pepper
1/2 cup quaker oats or rolled oats.

mix and form into patties.

Note* Only use about a 1/4 of the pepper. Chopping up the entire pepper would be a bit much for a lb of ground turkey. When cooking the patty, I love to put a slice of american cheese on it, when it's almost ready to take out of the pan.

I have used regular onion instead of green as well as red peppers instead of green.
Even oatbran will do in place of the oats. I had the butternut squash soup leftovers as well.

Also, in the picture, youll see my kids favorite pizza and my cute little pizza plates. I got that idea from my brother kenny many years ago. He is a superior cook/chef and taught me a few tricks when I visited him and his wife in Calafornia years ago.

The kids pizza is just mama marys pizza crusts, what ever sauce I have on hand and grated sharp cheddar cheese. I keep a big block of it in the house for many things. My 2 year old, Chaunda likes it cubed for snacks.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Pork Roast for Two

Before I found this and even after I found it, I would continue to try different methods of cooking a pork roast, including on the stove in my dutch oven. However, I keep on going back to Jessica's recipe over at I love how the pork and the gravy comes out.

To go with it, I made mashed potatoes, homemade rolls and butternut squash soup using a squash a neighbor gave us from his garden.

I also usually wait until it hits between 150 and 160 degrees before taking it out of the oven. I try to take it out prior to 160 degrees though, especially with the smaller roasts. Yesterday's roast was taking out right at 160. I originally planned on taking it out a little sooner based on the links recommendations, but didnt get to it in time. I still came out very juicy.

Here is the link to this wonderful Roast Pork dinner.

When making the beef broth, I tried better than bouillon beef base for the first time. It has 680 mg of sodium per serving. At least its less than the cubes I was using.

I will add recipe link to the butternut squash soup later. The mashed was just russet potatoes boiled in water and than mixed with butter, milk and spices.

blueberry protein pancakes

Bear with me while I improve on taking pictures of my food. Hard to do things taking care of a 3 year old and a 2 year old. : ). This is just a quick picture taking when it was in the pan. I smothered some fresh blackberries, some benecol and sugarfree syrup on it afterwards.

Today I decided to make decadent blueberry protein pancakes. I do have a variety of pancake recipes that Ill eventually share, but I have been making these ones lately.
I do sometimes make a few changes to the recipe. Today, only one egg, a tablespoon of milk, 4 tablespoons of oatbran and a tablespoon of plain lowfat yogurt. I still used 1 scoop protein powder and of course the blueberries. It was the first time I added yogurt. I felt like being adventureous. Thank you for the recipe Galya.