Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Easiest Chicken Fried Rice Ever!




This was one of those recipes I used to watch my mom make when I was young. So if I wasn't there hovering over her while she was cooking, I could smell the fantastic aroma from my room upstairs and all of a sudden I couldn't get downstairs fast enough to eat dinner. This meal is easy and for me, it’s a joyful meal; full of memories of my mom, her little red wok and the importance of family meals every night. It makes me so happy that my boys love (and I mean LOVE) this recipe. This is a great dinner that can easily be doubled for larger families and another great part is that it's not that expensive. Hope you and your family will try this one out soon and tell me how you like it! 

Jennifer 


The Easiest Chicken Fried Rice Ever!

½ pound of chicken (two breasts)
½ cup of white onion
½ cup of celery
½ cup of frozen peas & carrots
3 eggs
3 cups of rice
2 tablespoons of olive oil (for chicken and to sauté veggies)
10 (or more depending on taste) dashes of Soy Sauce

Preheat oven to 350 to cook the chicken. I trim the fat off the chicken, brush some olive oil on top and sprinkle some salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes. While the chicken is baking, cut up onion and celery, sauté in olive oil over a medium heat in a large skillet or wok. Cook rice according to box (I use minute rice). In a separate non stick pan scramble the 3 eggs until slightly wet.  When chicken is done, cut up in small cubes and add to skillet or wok. Then add cooked rice and egg and stir. Throw in frozen peas, carrots and Soy Sauce. Stir the entire mixture until well combined. If you like a crispier fried rice, turn up the heat  to medium high heat and let the mixture sit turning every minute or so to get desired crispiness!





Monday, February 25, 2013

Oatmeal Whoopie Pies




Yesterday was just about perfect for baking and hanging with the family. We had a late winter storm come through dropping about 10 to 12 inches in our area. When we got up there was already about six inches on the ground and the wind was blowing and causing drifts. It was honestly beautiful outside, a picturesque Colorado day. The boys spent a bunch of time playing in the snow with their Dad as I got the kitchen ready to bake! 

 Besides cuddling up by the fire I can't think of anything more cozy then trying out new recipes in the kitchen with the warmth of my oven and the laughter of my kids in the other room. I saw this recipe a few weeks back and knew it was one I had to test. This one went over like gang busters! I couldn't not get over how lovely these dreamy pies turned out. Hope you and your family will try them too- they're absolutely fantastic! I made mine a big large but you can scoop whatever size suits you best. Happy Baking!!

Jennifer 


Oatmeal Whoopie Pies
Ingredients

§  2 cups Brown Sugar
§  1/2 cup Butter, Softened
§  1/4 cup Shortening (Crisco)
§  2 whole Eggs
§  1/2 teaspoon Salt
§  1 teaspoon Ground Cinnamon
§  1 teaspoon Baking Powder
§  3 Tablespoons Boiling Water
§  1 teaspoon Baking Soda
§  2-1/2 cups Flour
§  2 cups Quick Oats


 Filling


§  5 Tablespoons All-purpose Flour
§  1 cup Milk
§  1 teaspoon Vanilla
§  1 cup Butter
§  1 cup Granulated Sugar


Preparation Instructions
*Cookie recipe adapted from The Best of Amish Cooking, by Phyllis Pellman Good.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream brown sugar, butter, and shortening. Add eggs and mix. Add salt, cinnamon, and baking powder and mix. Mix baking soda and boiling water, then add to the bowl and mix. Add flour and oatmeal and mix well.
Scoop dough onto parchment-lined cookie sheets so that you have rounded heaping teaspoons. Bake for 10 minutes, being mindful not to burn. Remove from oven, transfer to a cooling rack, and let the cookies cool completely.

(The Best Frosting I've Ever Had, by MissyDew)
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and heat, stirring constantly, until it's very thick. Remove from heat and let it cool to room temperature. Stir in vanilla.
Cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. You don’t want any sugar graininess left. Then add the completely cooled milk/flour/vanilla mixture and beat the heck out of it. If it still looks separated, you just haven’t beaten it enough. Beat it until it all combines and resembles whipped cream. It may seem to take awhile, but it will finally come together. 
Scoop a small amount onto cookies, pressing another cookie on top.


**recipe from the Pioneer Woman (Oatmeal Whoopie Pies)


Saturday, January 26, 2013

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos


                Lovely cloudy Saturday... doing laundry, light picking up since I cleaned earlier in the week and of course, time on Pinterest when the kids are getting their weekend video game time. I'm like so many other women out there that have found themselves completely addicted to the pinning site. I can't help it, it's like having hundreds of magazines at your fingertips and you can cut and save all of your favorite recipes, craft ideas, home inspirations and more. 
So my new thing now is actually trying some of the recipes I've pinned! 
OK, let me tell you... it has been a eye opening for sure. I've done two cupcake recipes that were complete and massive flops! And I've had a few other main dishes come out surprisingly well. I made some adjustments according to our tastes and whoa- what a fun family dinner. It's always great to try something new and even better when it actually turns out the way you hope!  
This one is slightly adapted from Marsha Warner.

Buffalo Chicken Taquitos

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
  • 4 to 6 soft taco, flour tortillas (depends on how full you fill them)
  • 8 ounces Philadelphia cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup of finely chopped celery
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • more hot sauce or ranch for dipping

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a small sauce pan over medium low heat, melt butter.
  3. Add onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper.
  4. Stir to combine and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add cream cheese and stir until melted and completely combined with butter and spices.
  6. Whisk in hot sauce and milk and simmer for 5 – 8 minutes. 
  7. Combine chicken* and celery into sauce and stir until combined.
  8. Lay out a tortilla; fill with about 1/3 cup chicken (or more depending on how many you want)
  9. Tightly roll up taquito and place on a greased baking sheet; repeat until chicken is gone.
  10. Brush taquitos with vegetable oil on all sides.
  11. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes until golden brown.

*I cook my chicken at 350 degrees. I trim the fat of the chicken breast, brush olive oil on it and then sprinkle a small amount of salt and pepper. Bake for 35 -45 minutes depending on the size of your chicken breasts. It's amazing how simple it is and how wonderfully juicy your chicken will turn out. 



finely chop celery


Add celery to butter, milk and cream cheese - 



add hot sauce to mixture 

finely chop or shred chicken 
and 
add to sauce 


Then -

Roll mixture in tortilla, brush with oil 

Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown! 



these are truly yummy treats! hope you try them out! - Jennifer 





Saturday, January 12, 2013

the best carrot cupcake ever!



Today seemed like a swell day to spend in the kitchen since the boys were caught up most of the afternoon with football playoff games. I've honesty never been a big fan of carrot cake or cupcakes. They've always been to dry for me or so full of  carrots that it didn't feel like it was a 'proper' sweet 'ol cupcake!

So after researching, avoiding, starting over, reworking one recipe and then searching again, I found what I think is an amazing carrot cupcake. I made some adjustments and these cupcakes turned out fantastic!





Ingredients

  • For The Cupcakes:

    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
    • 1 1/8  teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
    • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted
    • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 1/2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
    • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    • 1 1/2 cups grated carrots (or more depending on your taste)
  • For The Frosting:

    • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cup  unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 2 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a 12-cup standard muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg; set aside.
  3. In another large bowl, whisk together melted butter, brown sugar, egg, yogurt, and vanilla. Stir in carrots. Gradually add dry ingredients to butter mixture mixing until well combined. Divide among muffin tin. Bake 18 to 20 minutes depending on your oven (mine doesn't cook real evenly so I have to keep an eye on everything!)-Also-try to resist opening oven for at least 12 minutes to set these cupcakes or they may drop in the center. Rotate pan halfway through until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  4. Remove from pan to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. To frost: Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, butter, and confectioners' sugar until smooth; beat in vanilla and orange zest. Top each cupcake with 2 tablespoons of frosting and spread to cover.

     (adapted from Martha Stewart



Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes


      Sometimes its so darn hard to wait for the holidays. I think I'm worse than my kids! The leaves start to change around here and I'm ready for blankets, warm fires and the smell of baking cinnamon (not the oil, that actually makes me want to gag!- think of the store Michael's).
I must say it makes me so happy to not only get the house set up for the joy filled holiday season but having the aromas of the time of year just makes it even more special. 
This is one of those cupcakes that will make you happy the moment you start to stir in the pumpkin spice -- and it just gets better and better until these dreamy delights come out of the oven. 


Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes


1 8 oz pkg of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (room temp)

½ cup of confectionar’s sugar

2 eggs plus one egg white

1 ½ tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups of flour

2 tsp of pumpkin pie spice

1 ½ tsp of baking powder

½ tsp of salt

1 cup of pumpkin puree

¾ cup of sugar

½ cup of unsalted butter



 buttercream

2 sticks of unsalted butter

8 - 12 oz of 1/3 less fat cream cheese (depends on you)

1 pound of confectioner's sugar

1 tablespoon of vanilla


 directions
Preheat oven to 350.

Use an electric mixer combine cream cheese and confectioner’s sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add 1 egg white and ½ tsp of vanilla. Put in refrigerator until ready.

Whisk flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and salt. Using a mixer with a paddle attachment cream together pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, sugar, butter and 1 tsp of vanilla. Then combine the flour mixture with the pumpkin puree concoction.

Using an ice cream scoop layer the cupcakes with a small amount of puree first, then add a dollop of the cream cheese mixture and then more of the puree batter on top.

Bake for about 25 minutes –checking around 20 

For Buttercream
Beat butter and cream cheese with a mixer. Lower the speed and add confectioner’s sugar –slowly, about a cup at a time. Add vanilla and combine until smooth. Dust with more cinnamon.














Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Coffee Cupcakes with vanilla doughnuts


Yup, gotta admit it. I am a HUGE fan of cupcake wars... and well, I've been sick the past few days and I've had plenty of time to catch up on one of my favorite shows....

So I got the idea from the show about these fantastic mini doughnuts! I checked around on line and a few weeks back and I found the wonderful  Pan to assist me in making these delectable delights at Sur La Table.

Its only now, since I've got the time and I can't bake with being sick- that I can finally share this wonderful treat with you!!

The idea is to make a simple, coffee cupcake that isn't too sweet so you aren't able to enjoy the doughnut along with it.
This recipe is fantastic and a breeze to make. I used decaf only because I'm a wimp and too much caffeine makes me a nut... OK, well a jumpy nut.

Coffee Cupcakes

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup of milk
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup)
2 tbsp of coffee (instant)
1/2 of sugar
1/2 packed brown sugar
2 large eggs

Preheat oven 350○

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt- set aside.
Combine coffee (make ahead of time -follow directions on box) with milk.
Beat butter and both sugars until fluffy and light. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in flour mixture -alternating with milk mixture. Always start and end with dry mixture.
Put into liners- Bake about 20 minutes
Makes 15 cupcakes.
Basic Butter cream Frosting

2 (or more, depends on you) cups powdered sugar
2 sticks of soft unsalted butter
1 tsp of vanilla


Beat butter until smooth- add sugar slowly until you get the desired taste and consistency. 

Doughnuts 

1/2 cup of sugar
1 1/4 cups of cake flour
1 1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp of salt
1/2 of milk
1 egg
1 1/2 tbsp of butter (melted)
1/2 tsp of vanilla

Preheat oven to 450○ Spray non-stick cooking spray on pan

Sift flour, baking powder, salt. Stir in sugar. Add milk, egg, butter and vanilla until combined. Fill pan 1/2 full. Bake 4 to 6 minutes.





Yum!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Easy As Pie

Last week I had some left over spaghetti thawing in the fridge and some macaroni noodles just sitting there waiting for inspiration. I knew I could come up with something more interesting than just another spaghetti dinner, so I checked my cookbooks and looked online and found a recipe that sounded really easy and truly yummy! It's Spaghetti Pie!!

This meal turned out a lot better than I expected. Its perfect for this time of year as well; its a warm and hearty meal that pretty much everyone in the family should love.
Here is the recipe- I tweaked what I found online - hope you enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 (6 ounce) package spaghetti (I used macaroni noodles- use whatever you have)
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons butter (depends on you)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese (more if you want to sprinkle it on top)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I used lean ground turkey)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 oz of cream cheese
  • 2 tbsp of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375○ 
Brown your meat or meat substitute.


Add spice. Chop onion and garlic -add to meat. Pour in spaghetti sauce, let simmer for 10 minutes while the water boils for the noodles.
Then in a large bowl, mix cooked noodles, butter, egg and Parmesan cheese, incorporate well and press into a large dish or 10 inch buttered pie pan. You're making a sort of "crust" or base for the pie (I don't have a pie dish that large- so use what you've got, it still turns out well either way).
Spread ricotta and cream cheese over the noodles.


Then top with the meat sauce and then sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese -and more Parmesan if you like! Bake for around 20 minutes or until the top is brown.


What is so great about this dish is its just as good reheated for another meal!