Friday, March 30, 2012

Sichuan Dan Dan noodles

  • Another Friday is here! Made this about a month ago, and it was delicious and reminded me of pad thai, and it's simple!
I found the recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces wide rice noodles
  • 3 Tbs vegetable oil
  • 3/4 pound ground pork
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbs chopped peeled ginger
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbs soy sauce
  • 4 tsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 Tbs chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced

Directions:
  1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, cook the noodles according the package directions.
  2. In a large skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook until partially cooked but still half pink. 
  3. Add ginger and continue cooking until pork is cooked through and starting to brown.
  4. Stir in chicken stock, chili oil, red wine vinegar, soy sauce, tahini, and fresh ground pepper. Season with a little sugar, then bring to a boil and simmer until the sauce thickens, 7-10 minutes.
  5. Add noodles to the skillet and toss well in the sauce. Once noodles are heated through, taste for salt and sugar. Transfer to bowls and top with peanuts and scallions. Serve immediately.

Enjoy your weekend!
Cathy


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Best Chicken Marinade EVER


My hubby is obsessed with chicken and he is always looking for new marinades. We found one similar to this but tweeked it to fit our likes.

Ingredients:


  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs. mustard
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbs. black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely minced fresh parsley 


Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together oil, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, wine vinegar, and lemon juice. Stir in mustard powder, salt, pepper, and parsley. Use to marinate chicken before cooking as desired. The longer you marinate, the more flavor it will have.



Note: You can freeze the marinade when done using it and reuse it in the future.

Enjoy!
Christy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Wok Steamed Collards and Quinoa

So when I made this, it actually didn't smell very good. Usually you know something will taste good when it smells good, and when it smells bad, well that's not a good sign at all. When my husband came through the door, he secretly thought the same thing, "what on earth is she making?"
Well to both of our surprises, it tasted delicious! You can find the original recipe here over at the 'VeganYumYum' site (with more appetizing pictures demonstrating every step!)
We actually WILL make this again, and it's a great dish and very different from our usual.
Here we go: Serves 2-3
1 Block Tofu, extra firm, 14 oz
Sweet Chili Lime Sauce
3 Tbs Sugar
3 Tbs Reduced Sodium Tamari (or soy sauce)
1 3/4 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
1/2 Zest of the Lime
1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes (or 1-2 fresh hot chilies, minced)
1 Clove Garlic, pressed, optional
1/4 tsp Salt
4 Mint Leaves, chiffonaded (optional, I didn't have these and it was still good)
Quinoa
3/4 Cup Quinoa, rubbed/rinsed in cool water, drained
1/2 Zest Lime
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp Salt
1 1/3 Cup Water
Wok Steamed Collards
1 Bunch Collard Greens, middle veins removed, washed
2-3 Tbs Water
1 Pinch Salt
1 tsp Lime Juice
Directions
  1. Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a pot that has a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn off heat. Do not open lid. Let steam for 10 minutes before serving.
  2. Prepare the sweet chili lime sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together until the sugar and salt is dissolved.
  3. Drain tofu and cut it into small squares or triangles.
  4. Heat a well-seasoned cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat. A 10″ skillet will fit all the tofu, so if you’re using a smaller skillet, you’ll need to do this in batches. In order to properly “dry fry” the tofu, you’ll need a pan the tofu won’t stick to even without any oil. 
  5. Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu. The liquid will squeeze out and boil away, and the tofu will begin to turn golden. The more water that evaporates, the sturdier the tofu will be, so be gentle at first to prevent the tofu from breaking up. After several minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side. After about 10 minutes of dry frying proceed to adding the sauce (step 7 is how to finish the tofu).
  6. While dry frying the tofu, stack the collard leaves on top of each other, 3-4 at a time, and roll. Slice the roll in 3/4 inch segments. Run your knife through the chopped collards to make smaller pieces, then add them to a wok with the water, lime juice and salt. Cover with any lid that will contain the collards and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the collards are steamed and tender.
  7. To finish the tofu, you want to heat the pan and the tofu over high heat, making sure the tofu is hot all the way through. Add the sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat. The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze. If it isn’t bubbling up and forming a glaze, turn the heat back on high and cook until it glazes.
For plating, arrange the collards atop of a bed of quinoa. Add tofu over the top, drizzling any leftover sauce over the dish. Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves.
Enjoy!
Cathy

Friday, March 23, 2012

Chocolate Scotcheroos


I absolutely love these. I remember the first time I had them. I kept going back for more...until they were all gone, awesome. The original recipe was found here.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 6 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup butterscotch chips


Directions

  1. Butter a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and corn syrup, and bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, and stir in peanut butter. Mix in the rice cereal until evenly coated. Press the mixture into the prepared pan.
  3. In a glass bowl in the microwave, melt the chocolate and butterscotch chips, stirring occasionally until smooth and well blended. Spread over the top of the bars. Chill until set, then cut into bars.

Note: in the picture I tried "icing" melting butterscotch chips on the top but it looked horrible...seriously. So instead melt the butterscotch chips and dip a spoon into the melted chips and drizzle over the chocolate topping.

Enjoy !!
-Christy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spinach Cheese Bites

These are so stinkin' good! This is a mama B original and she used to make them all the time when we had company over. They are so quick and so easy to make.


Ingredients

  • 6 oz. swiss or havarti cheese, grated
  • 1/2 to 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 package of fresh spinach, chopped finely
  • 2/3 cup mayonaise
  • 8 English Muffins (plain or cheese)
Directions
1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl to form a thick paste.
2. Slice the muffins in half. Spread the paste mixture onto each muffin slice.
3. Bake 10-12 min at 350 degrees F
4. Cut each slice into quarters.

Note: If you wash the spinach leaves, make sure they are completely dry before chopping them. Also, This can be prepared early in the day to be baked later that night. 

Enjoy !!
-Christy

Monday, March 19, 2012

Nanaimo Bars

oh baby--eat me

Oh my...these are amazing. Is it bad that my hubby and I ate a whole 8x8 pan of these in 3 days?? I hope not. Now he's on a diet. Anyways, there were so good that I decided to make these for my sister-in-laws baby shower last Sunday. This is a Canadian classic and they are delicious. Found the recipe here.

Ingredients

  • Bottom Layer
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup flaked coconut
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds (optional)

  • Middle Layer 
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons custard powder
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar

  • Top Layer 
  • 4 (1 ounce) squares semisweet baking chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons butter

Directions

  1. In the top of a double boiler, combine 1/2 cup butter, white sugar and cocoa powder. Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Beat in the egg, stirring until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the graham cracker crumbs, coconut and almonds (if you like). Press into the bottom of an ungreased 8x8 inch pan.
  2. For the middle layer, cream together 1/2 cup butter, heavy cream and custard powder until light and fluffy. Mix in the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Spread over the bottom layer in the pan. Chill to set.
  3. While the second layer is chilling, melt the semisweet chocolate and 2 teaspoons butter together in the microwave or over low heat. Spread over the chilled bars. Let the chocolate set before cutting into squares.

Note: You can use Vanilla Pudding Mix instead of the custard powder but, it will be much sweeter.

Enjoy !!
-Christy

Friday, March 16, 2012

Whole Wheat Pancakes

These pancakes bring me back to my freshman year of University. My roommate Meagan (who has a scrapbook design business of her own) quite often would be our little mom, wake up earlier than the rest of us, and make us these pancakes or cinnamon rolls. I have always LOVED these and have been making them ever since.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 Tbs oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • Chocolate chips (optional, but recommended)
  1. Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another.
  2. Add the wet to the dry, and mix until combined.
  3. Lightly oil your non-stick pan, and drop about 1/4 cup of batter at a time.
  4. When the surface starts to bubble, flip it for another 30 seconds-1 minute.
  5. Serve with fresh fruit, malpy syrup, and whatever other toppings you love.

We make these for 2 adults and 2 kids, and have some leftovers. I love leftovers!

For your enjoyment, here we are, freshman year roommates. Boy did we have fun...
 Chef Meagan is the pimpette up there to the left (Meag you crack me up) and next to me on my birthday!


Enjoy!
Cathy

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Chicken Tikka Masala--hubby original

So this one day I was craving chicken tikka massala, and my husband just whipped this right up using his brilliant mind. It is AMAZING. Definite keeping this recipe....and him!!!!

Marinade:
  • 3 cloves pressed garlic
  • 1/2 inch ginger, diced
  • 4 Tbs lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs oil
  • Salt to taste
  • 5 chicken drumsticks, de-boned (or 1/2-1 lbs boneless chicken) and chopped


Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbs butter (or oil)
  • 1 Tbs coriander
  • 2 tso cumin
  • 1-2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground mustard (dry)
  • 1 tsp chili pepper flakes
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 3 Tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 tsp sugar
  • 1 medium carrot, cut into matchsticks and boiled half way
  • 2 medium potatoes, diced, boiled half way
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt
  • 1-2 Tbs chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Basmati rice
Directions:
  1. Marinade the chicken, at least 1-2 hours
  2. In a medium skillet over medium heat, cook the spices (coriander, cumin, tumeric, chili powder, dry mustard, red chili peppers) in the butter for about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the onion, garlic, ginger, and marinaded chicken, and cook for 5-7 minutes
  4. Add the tomato paste, water, sugar, carrot, and potatoes. Simmer for 15-20 minutes
  5. Remove from heat, add remainder or ingredients (yogurt, cilantro, lemon juice, salt, pepper)
  6. Serve over basmati rice (we use 1.5 cups of dry rice, 3 cups of water, and 1/2 tsp of salt).

Bon Appetit!!
Cathy

Monday, March 12, 2012

Peanut Butter No Bake Cookies

I loved when my mom made these. I could never wait until they were set and I would always get gooey  stuff all over me and I would burn my mouth cause it was still so hott. This is not my mama B's original but, it sure tastes like it.

Ingredients

Recipe courtesy Helen Ostrosky
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 tablespoons cocoa
  • 1 stick butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 3 cups oatmeal
  • Waxed paper

Directions


In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, the sugar, cocoa, butter and milk. Let boil for 1 minute then add peanut butter, vanilla and oatmeal. On a sheet of waxed paper, drop mixture by the teaspoonfuls, until cooled and hardened.


Enjoy !!
- Christy

Friday, March 9, 2012

Easy Hot Chicken Sandwiches

FRIDAY!!! I had a great week! Mostly because I got to meet my new nephew, Charlie, who came to visit all the way from Pennsilvania. Seeing my little brother and sister-in-law was nice too!

I was not in the mood to make dinner tonight. I was in need of some comfort food, and hot chicken sandwiches popped in my head. After a quick search for a great recipe (I wasn't in the mood for the cream of mushrooms soup version), I found my new french canadian friend, Ricardo Larivee. He is such a frenchy. This took 20 minutes, and the sauce was amazing!

In the end you will have:

  • 2 cups warm cooked chicken, shredded
  • 8-12 slices of sandwich bread
  • Hot chicken sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 can of peas, or frozen peas, warmed
Hot Chicken Sauce, ingredients:
  • 6 Tbs butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Pinch of cayenne (to taste)
  • 4 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbs ketchup
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 tsp onion salt
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper

Hot Chicken Sauce--how to make it
  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until golden, about 3 minutes. Add the spices and cook for 1 more minute. Add the remaining ingredients slowly and bring to a boil while whisking. Simmer gently, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Cover and keep warm.
To assemble:
  1. Place a piece of bread on your plate. 
  2. Drench the desired amount of chicken in the sauce, and place on the bread. 
  3. Add desired amount of peas on top. 
  4. Spoon more gravy on top. 
  5. Add a piece of bread, and drizzle more gravy.

Enjoy the comfort!
Cathy

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Orzo with Roasted Vegetables


If my mom says something is good, it means it's good. She always got compliments on her cooking growing up, and I used to ask her if I would ever be a good cook like her, and she always said she started-out terrible and burnt her first turkey dinner for her in-laws.
So this is an "expensive recipe" says my mom but worth it.

Recipe by: Barefoot Contessa Parties
INGREDIENTS    (serves 6)
  • 1 small eggplant, peeled and ¾ inch diced
  • red bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, 1-inch diced
  • red onion, peeled and 1-inch diced
  • garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp  salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup orzo (usually found in the pasta section, it looks like rice)
  • 4 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
  • ¼ cup pignolis/pine nuts, toasted in the oven (optional, since yes, they're expensive but SO good)
  • ¾ lb good feta, ½ inch diced (not crumbled)
  • 15 fresh basil leaves, cut into chiffonade
DRESSING
  • 1/3 cup  freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/3 cup  cold pressed olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the eggplant, bell peppers, onion and garlic with the olive oil, salt and pepper on a large baking sheet.  Roast for 40 min, until browned, turning once with a spatula.
Meanwhile, cook the orzo in boiling salted water for 7 to 9 minutes, until tender.  Drain and transfer to a large serving bowl. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper, and pour on the pasta while still warm so it absorbs into the pasta. 
When the vegetables are roasted add to the pasta, scraping all the liquid and seasonings from the baking sheet into the pasta bowl. Toss lightly and let cool to room temperature.  When almost ready to serve, add the scallions, pignolis, feta, and basil.  Check the seasonings, and serve at room temperature.
This dish is even better made in advance; just add the pine nuts, feta and basil leaves at the last minute.
Bon App├ętit!!!