Monday, July 18, 2011

Chinese Honey Chicken

We've been in the mood for some really good Chinese food lately, but we're trying to save money and not go out to eat. While looking online for something to make for dinner tonight, I came across this and thought it would be perfect. It came out really good.. like something you'd find in a restaurant.

Serves: 4

  ~ 1 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts or tenderloins
  ~ 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  ~ 1/4 cup flour
  ~ 1 teaspoon baking powder
  ~ 1/2 cup water
  ~ 1/2 teaspoon salt
  ~ 2 eggs
  ~ 1 1/2 teaspoons oil
  ~ 2 teaspoons ginger
  ~ 3 tablespoons garlic (I used about 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
  ~ 1 teaspoon salt
  ~ 3 tablespoons honey
  ~ 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
  ~ 1/2 cup water
  ~ 1 teaspoon cornstarch (mixed with 1 teaspoon water)
  ~ sesame seeds (optional)

1. Beat all batter ingredients together in a large bowl until smooth. Cover and put in refrigerator for at least a half hour.

2. Heat a deep fryer (or oil in a large frying pan) to 350 degrees.

3. Cut chicken into 1" chunks and add to batter bowl, making sure each piece is completely coated.

4. Add chicken to pan and fry until batter becomes firm and crispy. Drain on a paper towel.

5. In another frying pan, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil, garlic and ginger. Stir fry for about 30 seconds, then add the salt, honey, vinegar and water. Mix well (I used a whisk).

6. Combine 1 teaspoon of cornstarch with 1 teaspoon of water and add to the sauce. Allow sauce to simmer for 2 minutes or until it looks thick.

7. Add chicken to sauce pan and make sure each piece gets completely coated. Sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.


Friday, July 8, 2011

Blueberry Muffins

Blueberries are one of my favorite fruits. It's like potato chips.. you eat one and before you know it you've eaten all of them. Blueberries were crazy cheap at our favorite grocery store last week so I bought a bunch... and what better to make than blueberry muffins!

Makes: 1 dozen (I doubled the recipe and made 12 big muffins and 24 mini muffins)

  ~ 1 3/4 cup flour
  ~ 1/3 cup sugar
  ~ 2 teaspoons baking powder
  ~ 1/4 teaspoon salt
  ~ 1 egg, beaten
  ~ 3/4 cup soy milk
  ~ 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  ~ 3/4 cup blueberries, washed (I used the whole container when I doubled it)

1. Pre-heat oven to 400°.

2. In a medium bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with a wooden spoon.

3. Using the spoon, create a bowl out of the dry mixture.

4. In a separate bowl combine egg, soy milk and oil. Pour wet mixture into the dry mixture "bowl".

5. Stir until moistened... not too much though. Lumps are good. Fold in blueberries.

6. Spoon batter using an ice cream scoop into muffin pan (if you're not using muffin papers, spray the pan with cooking spray). Each muffin cup should be approximately 2/3 full. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of each muffin.

7. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

8. Allow the muffins to cool for about 5 minutes and serve warm with butter.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book: Bridal Edition

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Teriyaki Tuna Bowl

I'm always looking for healthier dinners.. and inexpensive dinners. A year ago I tried "Meatless Mondays", but I started slacking after a couple weeks. Sometimes I found I was just too tired on Monday to plan a special meal and it has historically been a day of a go-to easy quick meal. But I would still try to do a meatless meal every once in awhile. It's tough because we're both big meat eaters.. so for us to feel full and happy after a meatless meal, it better be good. I've found that tuna is a good substitute. Sometimes I can put it in stuff and it tastes just like chicken.

Today was a really really hot day.. not only too hot to cook, but too hot to eat a hot dinner. I bookmarked this recipe back during my Meatless Mondays days, and it's basically a cold dinner, so I gave it a shot.

I liked it. I liked how long it took to make. I liked that it wasn't burning hot. And I liked the taste. Not the best dinner ever, but good. Ryan didn't agree. He ate all of his, but he said it wasn't one of his favorites. It reminded me of these tuna packets that Bumblebee used to make a couple years ago with a couple large pieces of teriyaki marinated tuna. Ryan liked those... this wasn't that different.

And it's healthy! According to the Bumblebee website, only 230 calories per serving. And I made half as much rice as they did, so it was probably a little bit less than that.

Serves: 2

  ~ 1 can of tuna, drained
  ~ 3 carrots, julienned
  ~ 1 cup broccoli
  ~ 2 cups rice, cooked
  ~ 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce (or a little less.. depends on how strong of a flavor you want)

1. Prepare rice according to package directions.

2. In a sauce pan, boil or steam broccoli and carrots.

3. When the vegetables are cooked, spoon the rice into the bottom of a bowl or dish. Top with the vegetables and tuna.

4. In a microwave dish, heat up teriyaki sauce for 15-20 seconds... just until slightly warm. Drizzle over bowl.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Double Chocolate Oreo Chunk Cookies

I made these for a couple bbq's over 4th of July weekend. They went over really really well.. as in they disappeared within minutes! And of course, like the blogger I got the recipe from, I also taste tested them while I was making them. Seriously delicious cookies!

One of the bbq's was also for my aunt's birthday, and she is the biggest Oreo fan I've ever met, so they were perfect for her party! They were Oreo fan approved!

Makes: 3 1/2 dozen cookies

  ~ 2 1/2 cups flour
  ~ 1 teaspoon baking soda
  ~ 1/4 teaspoon salt
  ~ 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
  ~ 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  ~ 2 cups granulated sugar
  ~ 2 eggs
  ~ 2 teaspoons vanilla
  ~ 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  ~ 1 cup chopped (or crushed) Oreo cookies (about 8 Oreos)

1. Pre-heat oven to 375°.

2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda, salt and cocoa.

3. In a mixer bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix until well blended.

4. Gradually add flour-cocoa mixture until everything is well combined.

5. With a wooden spoon, mix in Oreos and chocolate chips.

6. Using a tablespoon, drop cookies onto a cookie sheet (I usually use an ice cream scoop to get evenly sized cookies).

7. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack (I played around with these times and found that 9 minutes in the oven and 3 minutes cooling worked the best for me).

8. Eat a couple, just to test them before anyone else gets their hands on them!

Source: Two Peas and Their Pod

Friday, July 1, 2011

Glazed Lemon Chicken and Rice

I love anything lemon, and while this was really good, it didn't have enough lemon for me. The glaze smelled amazing though!! Next time I make it I'll be adding more lemon juice.

Serves: 2

  ~ 1/3 cup water
  ~ 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  ~ 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  ~ 2 tablespoons honey
  ~ 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  ~ 1 cup uncooked instant white rice
  ~ 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
  ~ 1/2 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces
  ~ 1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine water, lemon juice, cornstarch, honey and lemon peel. Stir until cornstarch is dissolved.

2. Cook rice according to package (for me it was 1 cup of water for 1 cup of dry rice, cooked in the microwave for 5 minutes).

3. In a medium-sized skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the cubed chicken when the oil is hot enough. Cook until brown.

4. Stir glaze mixture again (in case anything settled while you were cooking the chicken), then pour into the skillet.

5. Constantly stir the glaze until all of the chicken is coated and the glaze has thickened.

6. Serve over rice.

Source: Betty Crocker