Friday, February 22, 2013

Chicken Fried Rice

I love Chinese food.  There is this little restaurant in this town where we shop now and then that serves this fantastic House Special.  It's rice with everything but the kitchen sink. So when we make this at home, it feels just like eating out, only we're in the comfort of our own home.  And we even buy the little Chinese fortune cookies to add to the experience.

Ahh, there really is nothing like cooking at home.






Chicken Fried Rice



Minutes to Prepare: 10 Minutes to Cook: 30 Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 12 ounces boneless chicken breast, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 can (6.5oz) sliced mushrooms
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 cups cooked white rice
  • 4 egg whites or 3 whole eggs
  • Your favorite soy sauce


Directions:


  • Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat,  Add chicken, heat until cooked, about 5 minutes. Place the cooked chicken in a large bowl and set aside.
  • Add the onions, mushrooms, carrots, garlic, and ginger to the pan, turn the heat to high, and cook until the onions are translucent.  Add onion mixture to chicken bowl.
  • Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and the eggs. Cook over high heat, stirring constantly, until eggs have almost set. Add the rice, stir to combine, then add the chicken and vegetables. Cook another two minutes, until the eggs have fully cooked. 


It's ready to eat!  Just put in a bowl or plate and add your favorite soy sauce on top =) This meal is so comfort foody and delicious!  We make it on special days and occasions.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Black Bean Soup

We had this soup last night and it was so good I just had to share!  Plus, with such few ingredients it makes it pretty fast to make.  I served this with a salad on the side.  It was wonderful.  

It has been so cold in Oklahoma the last couple days I was so happy to be able to curl up with a warm bowl of soup.  That's one of my favorite things about winter.  All the wonderful soups!





Black Bean Soup

Makes About 6 servings
Adapted from a recipe found at Eatingwell

Ingredients You'll Need:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups fresh corn off the cob
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 15-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
  • 3 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup prepared salsa (I used Pace Picante Sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 6 tablespoons sour cream (optional)



Directions:


  • Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions, corn, chili powder, and cumin  and cook, stirring, until the until the onions are translucent.  
  • Add beans, chicken broth, salsa and salt. Bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • Remove from the heat and stir in lime juice.
  • Transfer half the soup (about 4 cups) to a blender and puree.  My blender is made out of plastic so it really didn't matter that it was hot.  But if you have a glass blender use caution when dealing with hot liquids.
  • Stir the puree back into the saucepan. It's ready to eat now.
  • And don't forget to top it with a tablespoon of sour cream.  It really add another flavor to the soup! 




What it looks like when all the kiddies are in the pool and the flavors are really starting to get along together =)

This soup is very flavorful.  I bet it would go great with a slice of warm bread and butter as well.  Yummmm

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Blueberry Zucchini Bread

I love blueberries.  I never knew that before my sister started experimenting with all these delicious recipes that ask for fresh blueberries. In fact, the only kind of blueberries I'd ever eaten were the blueberry pie filling from a can, which is good, but nothing like the fresh stuff.

Fresh blueberries are just so YuM!  I'm truly happy I discovered them =)  Which makes me even happier that my sister decided to make this bread.  It took her a couple tries.  You know how adapting recipes goes.  You make the way they want and it don't work out. You make it the way you want and BaM!  The cosmos align and all works out.  Okay, that isn't usually how it goes, but it's nice when it does! ;)





Blueberry Zucchini Bread

Adapted from a recipe on Allrecipes 
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cook Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes
Ready In: 2 Hours
Servings: 24
Makes 2 loaves

Ingredients You'll Need:

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries


Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly butter 2  5x9x2 loaf dish (1.5 quarts) pans.
  • In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, oil, vanilla, sugars, and zucchini. 
  • In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients;  flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. 
  • Add dry ingredients a little at a time into egg mixture until it is well combined.  
  • Gently fold in the blueberries. 
  • Transfer to the prepared loaf pans, filling each about half way.  Tap gently on the counter to knock out air bubbles.
  • Bake for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center of a loaf comes out clean.  Cool 20 minutes in pans, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.


This bread is blueberry heaven!  I hope you enjoy it!  It is perfect for rainy days!


Orange Butter

Homemade butter.  Could there be anything more divine?  Sigh.  Okay okay, I'll get a hold of myself.  But it won't be easy!  This stuff is so good.  It leaves a happy citrussy tingle on your tongue and goes oh so magnificently if I do say so myself on French bread.  Plus, it has this slight orange color going for it, which makes it pretty and girly.  And I'm okay with that. =)






Orange Butter

Ingredients You'll Need:


  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon orange juice(juice of one orange. Roughly 2 Tbps)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel
  • 1 ½ to 2 tsp powdered sugar. (taste for sweetness)


Directions:


  • In a medium bowl combine all ingredients.  Blend well.


Keep in mind that it will set back up, so you can take this opportunity to put it in a mold of your choice and have little molded butters for your afternoon tea/coffee, special occassions.  I did this but the molding didn't turn out so well so I'm going to be hunting for cutsie candy molds in the near future!  I'll share once I have a mold I'm proud of =D  I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Herbed Polenta

Polenta is so easy to make, and it is so delightful.  I love using herbs from the garden, especially rosemary, so this was a lot of fun to make.  It's relatively fast to make and is super yummy.






Herbed Polenta


Cook: roughtly 25 min
Yields :6 servings

Ingredients You'll Need:


  • 6 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 1 3/4 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan(from shaker)
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • 6 Tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 Tablespoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper


It's best to have everything pre-measured and ready to go. I generally try to do this on all recipes, but sometime I just forget and run around the kitchen in a panic trying to get things done while trying to do the recipe at the same time.  With the cornmeal needing to be stirred almost constantly, there will not be time measure it out on the fly. So do it now and save yourself a huge panic attack lol.

Directions:


  • Bring the chicken broth to a boil in a heavy large pan. Add 1 teaspoon salt. Gradually whisk in the cornmeal.
  • Reduce the heat to low and cook until the mixture thickens and the cornmeal is tender, stirring often, for about 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the heat. Add the cheese, milk, butter, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and pepper, and stir until the butter and cheese melt. 
  • Transfer the polenta to a bowl and serve.  It will firm up as it cools.




recipe adapted from one found on cookingchanneltv



I've made this several times and am really happy with the results.  I hope you enjoy making it as much for your family as I have mine!

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