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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Not Out of a Box Scalloped Potatoes

Gosh....I've been such a slacker this month!! I've only posted like 4 or 5 posts....but I really have been sick. It's not that I haven't cooked anything....cuz I totally have. Then I take pictures of it, load it to my computer and then I don't post anything because I've exerted all my energy getting to that point....I know....slacker!! But pneumonia really takes a lot out of you!! My family should be thankful I love to cook....cuz they mighta been real hungry if I didn't!! ;)

Sometimes you just need to eat down home, yummy for your tummy, hearty comfort food. I would definitely say that scalloped potatoes fall into that category!! What's better than ooey gooey cheesy potatoes? Um......not much!! These potatoes made me happy.....;) Oh....the chicken I made was purty tasty too!!

5 potatoes, sliced into thin slices
3 T flour
3 T fat (butter, oil, shortening, bacon fat...that's what I used)
2 cups milk
3 cups of cheese, any kind ie: cheddar, jack, pepper jack, swiss, mozzarella etc
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp season salt
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

Grease a 1 qt baking dish with butter and preheat oven to 425 degrees. It's not necessary, but I stuck my potatoes in the microwave for 7 minutes before putting the casserole together. Next, in a small saucepan, place the fat and flour and cook over medium heat for about 3 minutes stirring with a whisk. Whisk in milk and continue whisking for about 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens. Add 2 cups of cheese, nutmeg, season salt, and dijon mustard. Mix well until all cheese is melted. Begin layering your casserole with potatoes in a single layer. Top with 1/3 of the sauce and 1/3 of the remaining cheese. Continue two more times then top with the panko bread crumbs. Bake for 20-25 if you pre microwaved the potatoes and 50-60 minutes if the potatoes were raw.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Chinese Mango Chicken

Ok....first of all I would like to apologize for my absence! I have been sick....very sick. Originally I got a cold, I was sneezing like every five seconds and crying out of one eye etc. I had that for like a week and then it went away. Well my husbands cold turned into pneumonia for him and after a week of a clean bill of health for me......I got we he had.....with a vengeance. :/ So I have been battling that now for a week and it has been just super fantastically awesome. Needless to say....I'm a little behind on my blog posts. ;)

With that said..........Who doesn't love Chinese food??? Not it!! I love Chinese food and I am always looking for more authentic ways to make it!! I definitely found a way!! This was sooooo good I just  love the sweet and salty tastes mixed together!! Have you ever eaten Doritos and peanut m&m's at the same time? If not you should try it!! Ok....that was random....but I typed sweet and salty and it took be back in time to the day I first tried that!!

Any neighbor Marcie had gone on this trip to Los Angeles and posted a picture of mango chicken that she ordered at a Chinese food restaurant. She said it was the best thing she ever tasted. Well I don't know about any other foodies out there.....but when someone says those words.....for me....its like a challenge. So I started researching recipes, then came up with this....

3 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts, sliced into bite sized pieces
2 Fresh Mangoes, peeled and sliced

1 Small Onion, chopped into 1" cubes
6 Green Onions, sliced diagonally

1/2 of a Red Bell Pepper, cut into 1" squares
1/2 of a Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into 1" squares
1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
4-8 Thai Dried Red Chilies
2″ Piece of Fresh Ginger,
 peeled and grated on microplane
2 Tbsp Chinese Rice Wine
2 Tbsp Chinese Rice Vinegar
1 Tbsp Soy Sauce

1 Tsp Sesame Oil
2 Tsp Cornstarch

3 Cloves Freshly Grated Garlic
1/2 Cup Sugar (I used xylitol)

1/2 cup chicken stock/broth
1 Cup Tempura Flour + enough water to make a slightly stiff batter
Vegetable Oil for deep frying
2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil

1. Mix the Tempura Flour with water in a bowl to form a slightly stiff batter.
2. Add the chicken pieces and ensure all the pieces are coated with the batter.

3. Heat the vegetable oil for deep frying in a large pan or deep fat fryer. When the oil is hot, add the chicken pieces in small batches and fry until golden brown. Remove the chicken pieces and drain on kitchen towels. Set aside.
4. Put the Soy Sauce, Rice Wine, Rice Vinegar, Sugar, Sesame Oil, Chicken Broth, Fresh Grated Garlic and Corn Starch into a bowl and mix well.
5. Pour the 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil into a wok and place over a medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the White Onion, Red and Yellow Peppers and Ginger. Fry for 3 minutes.
6. Add the sauce mixture from the bowl and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 or 3 minutes, adding a little extra water if necessary.
7. Add the Chicken pieces, Green Onions and Mango. Continue cooking for about 3 minutes, stirring well. Stir in Cilantro and serve immediately.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Shrimp and Grits....oh my....

I've never made this before....well obviously I've made shrimp before, but never grits. And I must say I really liked it!! As you can see by the photo....we had asparagus too.

So grits are just like cream of my opinion. Just the savory way!! Good stuff. I just made them according to the package directions, then added 1/2 cup parmesan cheese and about 3/4 cup grated mozzarella cheese. Oh and I used chicken broth instead of water. Super easy and super delicious!!


1 lb cleaned deveined shrimp
2 T chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp season salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 tsp dried oregano

Mix all spices together then sprinkle over shrimp and mix around to cover evenly. Fry shrimp in hot frying pan with about 2 T of oil. Cook until cooked through about 7 minutes. Pour over grits and serve.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Teriyaki Chicken Burgers

Sometimes when I'm laying in bed at night, I get ideas of things I want to try and make and this burger is one of those ideas that came to life!! I'm just soooooo happy about it too!! There is just something about having an idea.....a vision if you will......and then seeing that vision come true!! *wiping tears* *sniff sniff*

lol....ok enough of the mushy stuff....lets talk burgers!! Oh.....btw....I made the english muffins here for these and you can either use those or use a bun for these burgers, whichever you like!!

Also, I ground down 5 boneless skinless chicken breasts for these, because I didn't have any ground chicken on hand. You could substitute ground turkey if you wanted to. I know I've mentioned this before, but by grinding your own, you do know exactly what parts of the chicken are in your ground chicken!! ;)

For the Burgers:
1 1/2 to 2 lbs of ground chicken or turkey
1/2 cup crushed pineapple, fresh or canned
1/2 cup red onion, diced finely
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 T teriyaki sauce (I made my own, recipe to follow)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
3 cloves garlic, grated on micro plane
1 tsp freshly grated ginger

For the teriyaki sauce:
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
1/4 - 1/2 cup sugar (I used 1/4 cup xylitol)
1/4 cup crushed pineapple (optional)
2 cloves freshly grated garlic
1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger

Teriyaki Mayo Sauce:
1/2 cup mayonnaise
3 T teriyaki sauce

1 tomato, sliced thin
6 pieces romaine lettuce
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
6 slices swiss cheese
6 english muffins or roll/buns of your choice

For the burgers:

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all burger ingredients in a large bowl and form into 6 burgers. Bake on baking sheet for 20 minutes. During the last minute place swiss cheese slices on burgers to melt.

For the sauce:

Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil. Then lower heat to medium and let simmer until reduced and thickened.

For mayo:
Stir mayo and teriyaki sauce together.

Spread mayo mixture on bun, then burger patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, and top with bun. Eat!!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Whole Wheat English Muffins

Yeah yeah yeah......I'm back......did you miss me??? I've been hoo...poor me!! Between my bum arm and having this stupid cold...Ive just felt like poo....and didn't feel like doing much of anything. Well.....except that I still cant stop doing that!! Now I'm all backed up on my blog posts, and I have like 5 to it might take me a day or two!! first post.....Whole Wheat English Muffins.....what can I say except....FABULOUS!!! These were super easy (in a couple of hour sorta way) to make!!! They came out way better than store bought, they were light and fluffy, they toast up perfectly and they freeze great!!! You should DEFINITELY make them!!

1/4 c. warm water
1 package dry yeast (or 1 Tbsp.)
2 c. whole wheat flour, plus more as needed during kneading
1 c. all-purpose flour (you may use all whole wheat flour, but you will have a denser muffin)
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 c. milk
3 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. honey
1 egg
cornmeal, as needed

Sprinkle yeast over warm water (110 degrees) and let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. I did this in the bowl of my Kitchen aid mixer.

In a large bowl, mix flours and salt. 

In a separate bowl, mix milk, oil, and honey.  Add egg and stir until well blended.  Add in yeast mixture.

Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in your stand mixer with dough hook attachment and let mixer mix it for 8 minutes.  If dough is too sticky to knead, add flour one tablespoon at a time.  Put dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. I always stick mine in the oven on warm and it works perfectly every time!!

Turn risen dough out onto a work surface that has been liberally dusted with cornmeal and pat or roll to about 1/2″ thickness.  Cut into approximately 3″ rounds.  If you wish, combine the scraps of dough into more muffins, handling as little as possible.  Cover muffins with a towel and let rise for 20-30 minutes.
Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium-low heat.  Sprinkle with corn meal.  Using a spatula, carefully transfer muffins to hot griddle.  Cook about 5 minutes on each side then add to baking sheet and bake in oven at 350 for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.