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Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice — December 18, 2013

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

I finally made a Chinese food dish that tasted just like take out. It was even delicious as leftovers. Happy Eating!

Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

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Baked Sweet and Sour Chicken with Fried Rice

The chicken coating:

3-4 boneless chicken breasts

salt + pepper

1 cup cornstarch

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup canola oil

The sweet and sour sauce:

3/4 cup sugar

4 tbs ketchup

1/2 cup vinegar

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp garlic salt


Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees. Rinse your chicken breasts in water and then cut into cubes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dip chicken into the cornstarch to coat then dip into the eggs.  Heat your 1/4 cup oil in a large skillet and cook your chicken until browned but not cooked through. Place the chicken in a 9×13 greased baking dish. Mix all of your sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl with a whisk and then pour evenly over the chicken. Bake for one hour and during the baking process you will need to turn the chicken every 15 minutes.

Fried Rice:


3 cups cooked white rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)

3 tbs sesame oil

1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed)

1 small onion, chopped

2 tsp minced garlic

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1/4 cup soy sauce


On medium high heat, heat the oil in a large skillet or wok.  Add the peas/carrots mix, onion and garlic. Stir fry until tender. Lower the heat to medium low and push the mixture off to one side, then pour your eggs on the other side of skillet and stir fry until scrambled. Now add the rice and soy sauce and blend all together well. Stir fry until thoroughly heated!   **You could really play around with this rice too! Try adding some diced ham, or green onion 🙂 Yum!

Utensils Used:

Marinated Flank Steak and Cheesy Broccoli Orzo — December 17, 2013

Marinated Flank Steak and Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

The Albertsons near us has the best meat department around town. Now I didn’t say it was the best I have ever had. It’s hard not to be biased when I grew up with Omaha Steaks. However, Albertsons does a deal once in awhile where they have buy one get one free on packages of steak. They aren’t the most amazing steaks, but for half off, who can complain?

I put these in the marinade the morning I was going to cook them and they were so flavorful! Orzo side dishes are my favorite. Turns out I found a recipe Scotty and I can agree on. He told me this is his favorite side dish. Happy Eating!

Marinated Flank Steak


Marinated Flank Steak


one flank steak (size is your choice)
1 1/2 C. oil
3/4 C. soy sauce
1/4 C. Worcestershire sauce
2 T. dry mustard
2 1/4 t. salt
1 T. ground pepper
1/2 C. red wine vinegar
1 1/2 t. dried parsley
2 crushed garlic cloves
1/3 C. lemon juice


Combine all ingredients in large casserole dish or Ziploc bag & mix well.

Score steak lightly with a knife in a criss-cross pattern on both sides, and marinate overnight.

Broil or grill on high, about 5-7 minutes on the first side then flip and cook additional 2-5 minutes for rare to medium rare.

Transfer steak to cutting board, and tent loosely with foil.  Allow to rest 5 minutes.  Slice thin on a bias across the grain.

Note: The marinade can be saved in refrigerator & re-used within a week, or frozen for later use.

Cheesy Broccoli Orzo


Cheesy Broccoli Orzo

Recipe thanks to Iowa Girl Eats

Serves 3-4


1 cup orzo

1-1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets

1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

1 Tablespoon butter

1/4-1/2 cup 2% milk



Add orzo to a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 3 minutes then add chopped broccoli and cook for 2 more minutes, or until orzo is tender. Drain well (broccoli florets are notorious for holding onto water) then return to the pot. Add cheeses, butter, and 1/4 cup milk then stir well and add more milk if needed. Season with salt to taste.

Utensils Used:


Taco Pasta —

Taco Pasta

Two things that I love for dinner are tacos and pasta. Mix these two things together and I am a happy gal. Happy Eaitng!

Taco Pasta


Taco Pasta

Recipe thanks to The Girl Who Ate Everything

1 pound ground beef or turkey

8-12 ounces medium pasta shells or other small dry pasta shapes

1 small onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 (14 oz.) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, drained (if making this for kids you might want to use just plain diced tomatoes)

1 packet (4 tablespoons) taco seasoning

3 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet or sauté pan, cook the ground meat over medium-high heat until no longer pink. A few minutes before the meat is cooked through, add the chopped onion to the skillet. Once the meat is cooked through, mix in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the diced tomatoes and taco seasoning and let simmer over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes.

Stir in the cooked pasta, cream cheese, sour cream and reserved pasta water, and continue stirring until the cream cheese is melted and the sauce is well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over medium-low heat 3-5 minutes to reduce the sauce a bit if it is still too thin.

Toss in the cilantro right before serving for some fresh color and flavor. Serve with a green salad.

Utensils Used:

Cane’s Sauce —

Cane’s Sauce

If you have been lucky enough to eat Raising Canes you know how amazing it is! The coleslaw, the fries, the Texas toast, the crispy chicken, and THE sauce. Scotty is pretty much obsessed with this place and wants to get it every time we go home. If you don’t have a Raising Canes near you either find a state that has it or make your own sauce at home. Scotty was my biggest critic on this recipe. I knew he would tell me the truth since we loves the real thing so much and he said, “Wow, this actually tastes like it!” Score one for wifey! Happy Eating!

Raising Cane's Secret Sauce!


1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp black pepper


Mix all of these ingredients in bowl.


Chicken Wings in BBQ Sauce — December 7, 2013

Chicken Wings in BBQ Sauce

With the cold temperatures outside and my Christmas crafts inside, I was not leaving the house tonight. I spent the day watching Christmas movies and making a Christmas wreath. It was the perfect, cozy Saturday and I didn’t want to disrupt it by pulling on layers and walking outside only to be blasted with cold wind. Instead, I chose to make dinner at home and watch the Big 10 Championship Game. This was the perfect recipe that allowed me to get right back to my crafting and be ready to eat by the time the game started. Happy Eating!

Chicken Wings in BBQ Sauce


Chicken Wings in BBQ Sauce

Recipe thanks to Crockpot Cookbook


4 pounds chicken wings

salt and pepper

2 cups BBQ sauce

1/3 cup honey

1 tablespoon mustard

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon red pepper sauce


Cut off and discard wing tips. Cut wing at joint to make two sections.

Sprinkle wing parts with salt and pepper. Place wings on a broiler pan. Broil 20 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker.

Combine BBQ sauce, honey, mustard, Worcestershire sauce and pepper sauce in a bowl. Pour over wings.

Cover; cook on Low 4-5 hours or High 2-2½ hours.

Utensils Used:

Carolina Barbequed Pork with Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw —

Carolina Barbequed Pork with Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw

We took the opportunity this weekend to go skiing in Santa Fe. I was like a giddy child going up the mountain. We drove through areas with beautiful houses, snow filled trees, and views that went for miles. We went with a group of about 10 people. We have only ever skied in Colorado, so we didn’t know what to expect, but we were pleasantly surprised. The trees were completely covered in icy snow due to snow fall the night before and -10 degree weather at the top. We were freezing, but we had an amazing day. I planned this recipe to make so we could eat it when we got home. We actually ended up going out for drinks when we got back so this was eaten today as leftover. It was very yummy, and the coleslaw was a refreshing add in. Happy Eating!


Caroline Barbequed Pork


Caroline Barbequed Pork

Recipe thanks to Crockpot Recipe Book


2 onions, quartered

2 tablespoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

4 to 6 pounds boneless pork butt or shoulder roast

2/3 cup cider vinegar

4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

hamburger buns

cole slaw, optional


Place onions in stoneware.

Combine brown sugar, paprika, salt and pepper rub over roast. Place roast over onions.

Combine vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes, sugar, mustard, garlic salt and cayenne stir to mix well. Drizzle 1/4 of vinegar mixture over roast.

Cover and refrigerate remaining vinegar mixture.

Cover cook on Low 10 to 12 hours or on High 5 to 6 hours. Remove meat and onions and drain. Chop or shred meat and chop onions.

Serve meat and onions on buns. If desired, top sandwiches with coleslaw. Pass remaining vinegar mixture to drizzle over sandwiches.


Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw


Apple and Poppy Seed Coleslaw

Recipe thanks to Damn Delicious

Yields 6 servings


2 cups shredded green cabbage

1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage

1/2 cup shredded carrot

1 Granny Smith apple, julienned

2 tablespoons mayonnaise

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

Juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


In a large bowl, combine the green cabbage, red cabbage, carrot and apple.

In a large glass measuring cup or another bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, poppy seeds, salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour mixture over cabbage mixture and stir using a rubber spatula until well combined. Cover and place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

Serve cold.


Utensils Used:

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup —

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Scotty isn’t exactly a lover of soup. He isn’t even a “like-er” of soup. However, Panera Bread has been able to bring him over to the soup lovers side of the world. He never used to eat the Broccoli Cheese soup, but instead would steal bites of mine. After hundreds of bites stolen on numerous different occasions, it was time for me to put my foot down and make him get his own bowl! Now whenever we go to Panera he always gets his own. I have to say that although this soup doesn’t actually taste like Panera Bread’s soup like the recipe says, it still was pretty good. Happy Eating!

Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup


Panera Broccoli Cheese Soup

Recipe thanks to Gregory Mancuso


1 tablespoon melted butter

1/2 medium chopped onion

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup flour

2 cups half-and-half cream

2 cups chicken stock

1/2 lb fresh broccoli

1 cup carrot, julienned

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

8 ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese

salt and pepper


Sauté onion in butter. Set aside.

Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

Add salt and pepper. Can be puréed in a blender but I don’t. Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Utensils Used:

Taco Chicken and Simple Spanish Rice — December 3, 2013

Taco Chicken and Simple Spanish Rice

I have been so giddy lately. I think I’m driving Scotty up a wall, but I just love this time of year. My mornings are now spent listening to Christmas music along with every other chance I get. I also love the different projects I get to do with my students that make their eyes light up with joy. This truly is the most wonderful time of year.

This chicken was very easy to make and had great flavor. The rice paired very nicely with the chicken. Happy Eating!

Taco Chicken


Taco Chicken

Recipe thanks to Plain Chicken


2 Tbsp taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)

1 tsp dried oregano leaves

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup salsa

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 lb)

1/4 cup barbecue sauce

2 Tbsp chili sauce


Combine first 5 ingredients.   Pour over chicken and let chicken marinate in the refrigerator for several hours (I let the chicken sit in the refrigerator all day).

Combine barbecue and chili sauce.  Set aside.  Place chicken on grill; cook 10 to 15 minutes, until done.  Baste chicken with barbecue sauce mixture once on each side before removing from grill (during the last few minutes of grilling).

*If you don’t want to grill the chicken – Pan sear the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side and then bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, basting with the bbq mixture.*


Simple Spanish Rice


Simple Spanish Rice

Recipe thanks to Budget Bytes

Serves: 8 (1/2 cup)


1 cup long grain rice

1 tsp (1 cube) bullion

1 can diced tomatoes with chilies

1 can tomato sauce

1 tbsp chopped garlic


Place the dry rice into a pot and rinse with running water. Pour off as much of the water as possible without losing rice down the drain (I use my hand to hold the rice in place… oh yeah, always wash your hands first!).

Add the chicken bullion, tomatoes w/chilies, tomato sauce, chopped garlic and one cup of water to the pot. Stir to combine.

Put a lid on the pot and bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.

As soon as the mixture comes to a rolling boil, reduce the heat to low so the mixture is just barely simmering. Let the mixture simmer for about 30 minutes then remove from the heat, keep lid in place and let sit until ready to eat. Fluff with fork just before serving.

Utensils Used:

Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini — December 1, 2013

Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini

I live with a man who hates leftovers. When he heard that I was planning on making an entire Thanksgiving dinner for the two of us, he was very worried to say the least. I for one love Thanksgiving leftovers, or I have in the past at least. This year was a bit of a different story. man am I sick of Thanksgiving food! Luckily I found this recipe that used up some of our turkey and tasted way different than it has the past 4 days. Happy Eating!

Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini


Leftover Turkey Tetrazzini

Recipe thanks to  Ready Set Eat

6 servings (about 1 cup each)


8 ounces dry spaghetti pasta, uncooked

PAM® Original No-Stick Cooking Spray

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 cups chopped cooked turkey

1 can (10 oz each) Ro*Tel® Original Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies, undrained

1 can (10-3/4 oz each) condensed cream of mushroom soup

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese, divided


Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Meanwhile, spray large skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium-high heat.

Add onion; cook 3 minutes or until softened. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes more or until mushrooms are tender and lightly browned.

Add turkey, undrained tomatoes, soup, water and half of cheese to skillet; stir to combine. Stir in cooked pasta; heat until mixture is hot and pasta is coated. Top with remaining cheese.

Cook’s Tips

Break dry spaghetti in half to make stirring and serving easier.

Utensils Used:


Secret Ingredient Veggie Dip and Spinach Artichoke Tartlets —

Secret Ingredient Veggie Dip and Spinach Artichoke Tartlets

The morning of Thanksgiving I ran in the Hobbler Gobbler 10K race. It was a great way to start the day full of eating. By the time we got back from the race we were hungry, but dinner wasn’t going to be ready for 6 more hours. I made two different appetizers to tide us over. The grocery store was all out of won ton wrappers so I used egg roll wrappers instead. Since these are quite a bit bigger than won ton wrappers I used regular sized muffin pans instead. The veggie dip tasted just like the kind you would find in the tubs at the store. Happy Eating!

Spinach Artichoke Tartlets


Spinach Artichoke Tartlets

Recipe thanks to Mommy Savers

1 14-oz. can artichokes, drained and chopped
1/2 of a 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed and drained (re-freeze the remainder to use the next time)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 C. sour cream
1/4 C. mayonnaise
1/4 C. cream cheese, softened
1/4 C. Romano cheese, grated
1/4 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
Wonton wrappers
Parmesan or Romano cheese
Mini muffin pan(s)


Combine all ingredients except for the Parmesan cheese and mix well.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spread the dip in a baking dish and top with Parmesan cheese.  Bake until completely heated through and the cheese begins to bubble and brown.

Serve with crackers, cocktail rye, tortilla chips or even veggies.  Looks great in a homemade bread bowl.

Spray the mini muffin pan(s) with nonstick cooking spray. Place a wonton wrapper in each one, molding and pressing to fit the sides. Preheat oven to 350. I bake the wontons part way without the dip inside first (5-7 minutes), otherwise the bottoms and sides won’t cook through. Place a teaspoon or so of the dip inside the tartlet. Top with a pinch of cheese and cook until the tartlets start to brown (about another 7-10 minutes).

Secret Ingredient Veggie Dip


Secret Ingredient Veggie Dip

Recipe thanks to Food

Yield: 2 cups


1 cup Miracle Whip light
1 cup light sour cream
2 teaspoons dried dill weed
1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Stir all together and chill.
Don’t forget the secret “Worcestershire sauce”.

Utensils Used:


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