Sunday, June 28, 2009

General Tso's Chicken with Coconut Rice

General Tso's Chicken
1 pound chicken thighs, boneless
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
freshly ground black or white pepper, to taste
Cornstarch, as needed
2 tablespoons dark soy sauce
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
2 teaspoons Chinese rice wine or dry sherry
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons chicken broth or water
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons cornstarch for thickening sauce, optional
3 green onions (spring onions, scallions)
5 to 10 small dried red chilli peppers, according to taste
3 - 4 cups oil for deep-frying and stir-frying, as needed
1. Cut the chicken into 1-inch cubes. Combine the chicken cubes with the egg, soy sauce, and pepper. Add enough cornstarch to nicely coat the chicken, using cooking chopsticks or your fingers to mix it in.
2. Combine the sauce ingredients in a bowl, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside. Thinly slice the green onions.
3. Heat the oil in a wok to between 350 and 360 degrees Fahrenheit (175 - 180 degrees Celsius). Drop the chicken cubes into the hot oil, a few pieces at a time, and deep-fry until crispy (3 to 4 minutes). Remove the chicken cubes and drain on paper towels.
4. Drain and clean out the wok. Heat 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the sliced green onions and the dried chili peppers. Stir-fry until aromatic (about 30 seconds).
5. Add the deep-fried chicken cubes back into the wok. Stir-fry until the chicken cubes are browned (about 1 minute).
6. Push the chicken up to the sides of the wok. Give the sauce a quick restir and add into the middle of the wok. If you added cornstarch to the sauce, stir it continually for 1 - 2 minutes to thicken.
7. Mix the sauce with the chicken. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes, stirring, until the chicken is nicely coated with the sauce. Serve immediately.

Coconut Rice

6 servings

• 2 cups jasmine rice
• 1 1/2 cups water
• 1 cup canned unsweetened coconut milk
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Rinse and drain rice in cold water. Place in a saucepan with water, coconut milk, and salt. Place the pot over high heat and, bring the liquid to a boil. Stir and reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cover the pot tightly with the lid. Continue cooking for 15 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat and let stand 10 minutes, covered. Fluff with fork and serve.
I used my rice cooker following the above recipe and it turned out perfect

Wasatch Mountain Ranger Cookies

"Using paper CD holders is a great way to individually package Large Cookies"

from A Taste Of Salt Lake CookBook
1 c. butter, softened ( I use ½ butter and ½ shortening)
1 c. sugar
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 ¾ c . all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/8 tsp. salt
2 c. Rice Krispies or corn flakes
2 c. regular oats, uncooked

Options:( I just used coconut in the cookies pictured above)
1 c. chopped pecans, walnuts or peanuts(unsalted and roasted)
1 (6 oz.) pkg. butterscotch morsels, chocolate chips or peanut butter chips
1 c. flaked coconut
3/4 c. raisins

Preheat oven to 350*

Cream butter; gradually add sugars, beating well. Add eggs,and vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour and next 3 ingredients. Fold in oats, cereal, add any of the options or combination of options and fold into the dough. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2" apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until browned

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grilled Chicken Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce

Grilled Chicken Pasta in a Tomato Cream Sauce from Amanda's Recipes
1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Montreal Steak seasoning
1/2 pound penne pasta
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 to 1 tsp salt & pepper (to taste)
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
6-8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded
Rinse chicken breasts in cold water. Layer between sheets of wax paper and pound to even thickness. Season both sides with Montreal Steak seasoning. Preheat grill for medium high heat, lightly oil grate, and grill chicken breasts on medium high heat for 6-8 mins each side. OR heat 2 tbsp butter & 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once the butter and olive oil is nice and hot, add chicken breasts and cook 5 mins each side. Set chicken aside to cool. In a large pot, boil water with 1 tbsp salt. Add 1/2 lb penne pasta noodles and boil according to package directions. Heat 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic is tender, but do not let the garlic turn brown (about 3-5 mins). Add the chicken broth to the pan and allow to reduce by half. Meanwhile, slice chicken. Once the broth has reduced, stir in tomato sauce. Add the heavy cream and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to low. Chop the parsley and basil, add to sauce and mix well. Drain pasta and add to sauce. Stir well to coat. Serve pasta on plates, top with sliced chicken.

Bread Machine Recipe for Macaroni Grills Rosemary Herbed Bread

Bread Machine Rosemary Herbed Bread Like Macaroni Grill
• 1 cup water
• 3 Tablespoons olive oil
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
• ¼ teaspoon Italian seasoning
• 1 1/2 Tablespoons rosemary
• 1 Tablespoon yeast
• additional rosemary to garnish

1. Place ingredients, according to manufacturer's directions into your bread machine.
2. (some call for all liquids, or all dry ingredients first, so know your machine) Set machine to "dough cycle" and wait. (This takes most machines about an hour and a half for a full cycle).
3. Remove from machine when cycle is complete and place on a lightly greased baking sheet.
4. Shape dough by hand, into a rectangular mound, spreading kind of thin, maybe an inch or two of thickness.
5. Cover and let rise in a warm place for about an hour or until doubled in size. (This is a good time to go ahead and turn the oven on to preheat and help warm the kitchen).
6. Brush with a little olive oil, sprinkle with rosemary and salt if desired. (This is the way its done at Macaroni Grill).
7. Bake at 375°F for 20-25 minutes until crust is golden and crispy. Bread is meant to be a flatter shape and not a high rising bread.
8. Have everyone tear their pieces of bread with their hands,and serve with olive oil flavored with fresh ground pepper.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Graham Break- Aways

I came across a great baking blog called Lick the Bowl Good and found this super easy yummmy treat!
Graham Break-Aways from Kraft Foods

• 12 Graham Crackers, broken crosswise in half (24 squares)
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) Butter
• 3/4 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed
• 1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
• 1/2 cup Pecans, chopped
1). Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Arrange the graham crackers (I used cinnamon grahams) in a single layer in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan.
2). Place the butter and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes. Pour molten mixture over grahams...
3). And immediately spread to completely cover all crackers. Basically, that means don't take time out to take pictures because the sugary lava will harden quickly and it will be impossible to spread. Bake for 6-8 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly.
4). Once the sugar mixture is bubbly, remove from the oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips. Return grahams back to oven and bake for an additional 1-2 minutes until chocolate melts.
5). With the back of a spoon or an offset spatula, spread chocolate evenly over caramelly sugar.
6). Sprinkle with chopped pecans. Carefully press the nuts into the chocolate so they stick, but be careful because they're HOT!
7). Cool completely. Break into 24 squares and enjoy!
Other Variations: Substitute white, milk or dark chocolate for the semi sweet morsels. Use regular, cinnamon or chocolate grahams for the base. Sprinkle with peanuts, almonds, pistachios or even add dried fruit such as cranberries, cherries, apricots...or marshmallows! The possibilities are endless.

Cookie Carnival Strawberrry Shortcake Cookies

This month's cookie carnival challenge is "Strawberry Shortcake Cookies " from Martha Stewart.... I was totally excited to make these. They taste very similar to a biscuit shortcake/scone. We enjoyed them. I think they would be great as a "Brunch" item. I did shorten the baking time to 15 minutes and made 30 cookies using a medium pampered Chef scoop.....

Makes about 3 dozen.
12 ounces strawberries, hulled and cut into 1/4-inch dice (2 cups)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar*
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
2/3 cup heavy cream
* Sanding sugar, for sprinkling

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine strawberries, lemon juice, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and remaining7 tablespoons granulated sugar in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter, or rub in with your fingers, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in cream until dough starts to come together, then stir in strawberry mixture.

2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing evenly apart. Sprinkle with sanding sugar, and bake until golden brown, 24 to 25 minutes( I only cooked mine for 15 minutes). Transfer to a wire rack, and let cool. Cookies are best served immediately, but can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 day.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Super Fast Blender Salsa

"Finally a fresh-tasting salsa that you don’t have to wait till August to enjoy! Fresh cilantro, onion, and garlic disguise the fact that you have used canned tomatoes - not fresh. Don’t let that discourage you from trying this recipe. It reminds me of the salsa served in Mexican restaurants - with just enough kick"

Super Fast Blender Salsa from Prudence Pennywise
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 white onion, chopped
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapenos, undrained
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, with some tender stems
juice of 1 lime
salt, to taste
Combine ingredients in the blender in the order listed. Puree until smooth, or leave a little chunky, if desired.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Mini Churros

We had Taco Salads for dinner and thought this would make a great treat...hope you like them.

Cinnamon-Dusted Mini Churros as seen on Little Spatula
recipe from bon appetit May 2009

2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
6 Tablespoons plus 1 cup sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon finely grated orange peel
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon-divided
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
vegetable oil

Whisk together eggs, 6 T sugar, juice, peel, vanilla, and 1/2 t cinnamon. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir in flour. Place dough in pastry bag fitted with large star tip. Heat 1 inch oil to 355 degrees. Pipe 3-4 inch long strands of dough into hot oil. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until golden brown. Roll churros in a mixture of 1 cup sugar and 2 1/4 t cinnamon.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes

Finally a chance to try a new recipe. This last few weeks has been crazy with selling our house, looking for a new lot with acerage and moving into a rental.
We made these great cupcakes today. I saw them on my recipes Try them !!! It is great way to Jazz up those cake mixes.

Moist Chocolate Cupcakes and Chocolate Cream Cheese frosting
from Southern Living

Makes 2 dozen

1 (18.25-oz.) package German chocolate cake mix
1 (16-oz.) container sour cream
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Vegetable cooking spray
1. Beat first 5 ingredients at low speed with an electric mixer just until dry ingredients are moistened. Increase speed to medium, and beat 3 to 4 minutes or until smooth, stopping to scrape bowl as needed.

2. Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat with cooking spray; spoon batter evenly into baking cups, filling each two-thirds full.

3. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pans to wire racks, and cool 1 hour or until completely cool.

Chocolate-Mint Cupcakes: Prepare Moist Chocolate Cupcakes as directed. Prepare Chocolate Buttercream as directed, stirring in 1/4 cup finely chopped thin crème de menthe chocolate mints. Spread cupcakes evenly with Chocolate Buttercream. Garnish with shaved or chopped thin crème de menthe chocolate mints, if desired. Note: For testing purposes only, we used Andes Creme de Menthe Thins.

Southern Living, MARCH
Chocolate Cream Cheese Buttercream

Makes 3 cups

1/2 cup butter, softened
1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese
1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup (6 oz.) dark chocolate morsels ( I used 1 Cup plus 2 TBL Cocoa
1. Beat butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating at low speed until blended. Increase speed to medium, and slowly add milk and vanilla, beating until smooth.

2. Microwave dark chocolate morsels in a microwave-safe bowl at MEDIUM 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted and smooth, stirring at 30-second intervals. Gradually add melted chocolate to butter mixture; beat until blended and smooth.