Saturday, October 29, 2011

Sesame Chicken {Gluten Free}


OK, so, I recently discovered I should be eating Gluten Free (GF) because of Celiac like symptoms I've had the last few years. After having pizza one night I googled why I was so bloated from it. A light went off, and I decided I will not eat gluten anymore. It's been nearly 2 weeks and I have not felt better in ages and all I know is it's working for me. Thank goodness for today's resources there are many recipes and sites for gluten free information (I like celiac.com for info). Wow, having to revamp your eating and recipes is not as easy as you think, cleaning out my pantry was an eye opener to how many things gluten is in. Only I have decided to go GF, so the kids and Mr. are not, but they eat GF dinners I prepare. I guess now they'll know they are. haha. I have tried a few recipes already and plan to blog about them so others can find them and know they are just as good as gluten recipes. One thing I was afraid to give up was Asian cooking, my soy sauce, noodles, etc...but nope! you can safely use GF Tamari sauce, eat rice noodles and even make GF wrappers. This is GF Sesame Chicken over rice. It was delish. If you're not GF, you can surely use regular soy sauce.


Sesame Chicken {Gluten Free}
slightly adapted from Gluten Free Mommy

1 1/2 lbs of chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup plus 1 Tablespoon of San-J’s Wheat-Free Tamari Sauce
2 1/2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar plus 1 teaspoon
1 cup gluten-free chicken broth
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch plus 2 teaspoons
2 egg whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup canola oil
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
Red Pepper flakes
3 TBL sesame seeds
4-6 green onions, chopped
4 C cooked jasmine rice

In a medium bowl, combine sugar, 1/4 cup of the tamari sauce, 2 1/2 Tbl vinegar, and chicken broth. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine chicken pieces, remaining 1 Tablespoon of tamari, and 1 teaspoon of vinegar. Marinate chicken for at least 30 minutes. Once the chicken has marinated, add egg whites and cornstarch and stir until well-blended.

In your wok (or large skillet), heat oil over med-high heat. Cook chicken (in about 3 batches) until golden on both sides- this will take 3-5 minutes. Remove chicken from wok with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Cover with foil to keep the chicken warm. If you have more than a couple tablespoons of oil left in the wok, discard the remaining oil ( leave just a few tablespoons in the wok).

Reduce the heat to med. Cook the garlic and pepper flakes for about a minute. Then add tamari sauce mixture. Increase heat to med-high and cook sauce for about 15 minutes. Stir remaining two teaspoonfuls of cornstarch into a little water and whisk it into the sauce. Once the sauce is thickened and bubbly, add the chicken and sesame seeds. Top with green onions and serve over jasmine rice.


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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pork Pot Stickers with Dipping Sauces


Here's another great recipe from online friends, Kai and Jaden, as well as the Food Channel. I made Kai's Pork Pot Stickers with Jaden's Chinese Dipping Sauce and Chuck's Spicy Orange Sauce. I also made Jaden's Quick Noodle Stir Fry from her cookbook (another version is on her site).
Whatever you call them, gyōza, Chinese dumplings or pot stickers, they're delish. I prefer mine steamed (see how I did mine below), others may like them pan fried so they turn crunchy on the outside. I can't remember how many pot stickers I made but it used the whole pack of wrappers.


Kai's Pork Pot Stickers
slightly adapted from his YouTube

1 lb ground pork
1 TBL crushed garlic
1 TBL sugar
1 tsp sesame oil
1 TBL hoisin sauce
1/4 C. chopped bok choy
3 TBL diced green onions
1/4 C. shredded carrots
1 egg

Combine all until mixed well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Dumpling wrappers
1 egg yolk

Add 1 tsp. of pork filling to each dumpling wrapper. Using your finger, add some egg yolk around the edge of the dumpling and fold in half, pleat if you like (Kai shows you how in his video) and seal. I cooked some and froze some for later.

Using a bamboo steamer (wish I had gotten a tiered one), line steamer with liner (see below), place covered steamer over a large stock pot with about 1/2 way full of water, bring to simmer. Add pot stickers in steamer, cover and steam for 10 minutes. Any longer and the pork will over cook. Serve with dipping sauces.

my first time making pot stickers



Spicy Orange Sauce

1/4 cup mirin
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon chile flakes
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 2 oranges
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 tablespoon honey
1 small clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cornstarch diluted in a little water

In a small saucepan, whisk all the ingredients and bring to a boil. Let simmer until it thickens, about 1 minute. Set aside.


Steamy Kitchen's Chinese Dipping Sauce on page 29, has ingredients of soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, garlic, chilli garlic sauce and cilantro. I loved it.

I use all my counter space when I'm in the kitchen lol








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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna


Welcome from Pinterest! I've got lots to share with you on my blog.
Oh Pinterest! Thank you for your dinner ideas. This was pretty good, everyone liked it. It's a Cheesy Chicken Lasagna, but really it's Chicken Ranch Lasagna because it's got a ranch sauce in it. Next time I make this I'll used cooked penne pasta (not the full box) and do a casserole with it. I served this with Garlic Knots (Pinterest also, and with those next time I'd use my own roll dough recipe, and for the topping use melted butter, garlic and parsley) and green beans.

*Recipe updated 2/3/12 to include it GF and as a casserole.


Cheesy Chicken Ranch Lasagna
Adapted from Real Mom Kitchen

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. Hidden Valley dry Salad Dressing & Seasoning Mix (not the dip blend)
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken
1/8 tsp pepper
1 (16oz) lasagna noodles, cooked (I used 9 noodles)
1 1/2 to 2 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 1/2 to 2 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing and pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.  Layer half of lasagna noodles, chicken, sauce, and cheese in well-greased 9×13 pan. Repeat layers again. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let rest 10 minutes before serving.

This sauce may curdle on you when heating it, it's OK. Mine did not, because I kept it at a low heat after I let it come to just a boil, and stirred, stirred, stirred. You may not need the full 25 minutes, so when you can tell it's starting to thicken, it's OK to add to the dish. It may curdle after it's baked, but again, it's OK.

 
FOR A GLUTEN FREE CASSEROLE STYLE:
(for non GF, use regular pasta)

2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
1 (1 oz) pkg. Any Gluten Free Dry Ranch Salad Dressing (not the dip blend)
3 C. cubed, cooked, chicken (about 2 large chicken breasts)
1/8 tsp pepper
2-3 C. uncooked gluten free penne pasta
1 C cheddar cheese, grated
1 C mozzarella cheese, grated

Spray a 9x13 baking dish. Cook pasta until about 2 minutes under regular cook time (probably about 5-6 minutes). Drain, add to prepared dish.
Combine evaporated milk and Ranch dressing and pepper in a 3 quart heavy saucepan. Heat just to a boil then lower heat, stirring frequently until dry ingredients are dissolved. Simmer, uncovered, 25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sauce will thicken slightly.
Layer pasta, chicken, sauce, and cheese into dish.  Bake uncovered at 350' for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
Let rest 10 minutes before serving.





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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pork Spare Ribs with Dry Rub


I have cooked ribs before, but wasn't happy with how they turned out roast like. So when our now 14 yr old requested ribs for her birthday dinner, I cringed. Do we go out and get them, or do I cook them at home and mess them up? I knew I was over cooking them before (literally fell off the bone, no good for finger food), but I followed the recipe? So when a friend, Faye told me how she cooked hers, I decided to give them another go. I knew I also wanted a good rub to marinate them with so I found one and of course changed it up a little. I cooked these as she directed and they came out great. =)

ready for the grill

Pork Spare Ribs with Dry Rub
adapted from Faye and allrecipes

6 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
Hickory liquid smoke
2 racks of pork spare ribs

Mix all together except the liquid smoke and ribs. Pull the membrane off the back of the ribs. Rub desired amount (a few shakes per side) of liquid smoke into pork ribs. Then rub dry rub into the ribs. Wrap in saran wrap and for best results, allow ribs to marinate overnight. Cook ribs as desired. I roasted these, covered in a pan for 90 minutes in a 275' convection oven (300' regular), after the first 30 mins add 1/2 C. apple cider over the ribs. Once the meat starts to shrink back you'll know they are done. Then I snuck a little bbq sauce on them and grilled for a few minutes. Let rest a few, then cut and serve.

rubbed and ready to be wrapped



served with my potato salad and creamed corn

Tuesday Night Supper Club
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Sunday, October 9, 2011

How Do You Like Them Eggs?


I love eggs. They are probably the quickest breakfast you can make and there are many ways to prepare them. This is one of my favorite ways. I don't even know the name of it, but my parents made them this way too. I will call them steamed/fried eggs. They also remind me of Mc D's egg Mc Muffin eggs.


Steam/Fried Eggs
3- 4 eggs
small amount of water
salt
pepper

Heat your small skillet over medium heat, spray with nonstick spray. Crack the eggs in the pan and if you like, break the yolks. Season with salt and pepper. Allow the eggs to heat up where you can almost see the whites turn solid, then drizzle a little water around the edges of the eggs, then add the lid to the pan. Let cook on low-medium for a few minutes until done to your liking. No need to flip the eggs, the steam will cook the tops. Allow the water to evaporate, then serve.


You can see Little Boy there eating his fave, scrambled eggs  =)


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Friday, October 7, 2011

Stuffed French Toast


Stuffed french toast, you'll want to make this for the weekend. Cream cheese and blueberry stuffed french toast. Yum. Of course you can use whatever berries you like. I loved this. I even froze some to have another time (just thaw a little then bake 350' for about 30 mins). I can't think of anything else to say about these, just go make some.  =)

Stuffed French Toast
adapted from Kelsey's Essentials

1 loaf Texas Toast bread (6-8 slices)
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup blackberry jam
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/2 cup fresh blueberries, plus more for garnish
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, plus 2 tablespoons not melted
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
3 large eggs
Powdered sugar, for dusting
Blueberry Syrup, recipe follows

In a small mixing bowl, combine the softened cream cheese, blackberry jam and lemon zest. Fold in the blueberries.

In a baking dish, whisk together the milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla, cinnamon and eggs.

In a large, heavy-bottomed skillet melt the 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat.

Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cream cheese mixture on a slice of bread and sandwich with another slice. Place each sandwich into the milk and egg mixture for about 10 seconds per side. Once the coated with the custard base, place them into the skillet to brown. Work in batches. Cook each sandwich of stuffed French toast until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes per side. If cooking a large batch, transfer the cooked French toast to a baking sheet and keep warm in a 200 degree F oven while you cook the rest of the slices. Repeat the process with the remaining French toast. Serve warm, topped with extra berries, powdered sugar and blueberry syrup.


Blueberry Syrup
makes just about 2 1/2 Cups

2 Cups water
2 Cups sugar
1 Cup blueberries

In a medium saucepan combine sugar and water. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar has dissolved, add berries. Allow to cool. Serve.



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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bento Box Lunches

This year I decided to make Bento Box lunches for our 3rd grader. I thought the fun foods would entice her to EAT all her lunch! But when she doesn't, that PackIt lunch bag keeps it nice and cool to snack on the way home. If you search Bento Box lunches you may find some really fancy ones, like making scenes or characters from the food. Well, I'm not getting that crafty with foods, just simple little finger foods in cute compartments.
Here are some photos of some of the lunches I have packed. It may look like a lot of food, but really it's just like a pinch of each thing. Maybe they'll give you an idea of what you can pack for your bento box.

{How to make the egg mold, click here for a how-to video, fwd to 1:53. Basically use a boiled egg, coled and peeled then place in a mold and into fridge for about 5 minutes, but I just do mine overnight}

{Top photo: ham & turkey w/bun kabobs, cheese kabobs, beef jerky, nuts & dried fruit trail mix, strawberries, PB pretzels and a star shaped boiled egg, plus yogurt for snack & water bottle} all tucked nice & neat in the Easylunchboxes.

{sandwich cut into rounds, cheese shapes, veggie chips, cut pickle, sliced orange, melon shapes and cereal bar for snack}
{PJ & honey, beef jerky, cheese shapes & crackers, cheese shapes w/ham kabob, cut pickle, olives and carrots}

{cheese shapes & ham kabob, boiled egg, homemade trail mix, beef jerky, plum, grapes & strawberries}

{ham & turkey w/grapes kabobs, boiled egg, plum, cheese shapes, melon shapes, fruit leather shapes, PJ pretzels, trail mix}

{salami roll ups w/ swiss cheese}

{boiled egg, PB & honey sandwich, cheese cubes, crackers, cut pickle & carrots, olives & beef jerky}

{great tip: use Glad Press'n seal to cover those messy items such as juicy pickles, pudding, applesauce, etc...don't forget to pack a spoon or fork}

all packed up ready to take to school

sometimes I secure the lunch box with a rubber band, the press'n seal won't give the lid a tight close

{not pictured here are the egg molds, see top photo}


Here is a list of items I use for my Bento Boxes:
-Packit cooler lunch bag
-EasyLunchboxes 3-compartment Bento Lunch Box set of 4
-Cookie Cutters/biscuit cutters, asst. sizes
-Stainless Steel Vegetable Cutters
-Silicone Muffin cups
-Plastic Egg Molds
-Bamboo Food Skewers
-Glad Press'n seal
-Rubber Bands


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