Sweet and sour chicken (or pork)

I’m not going to post a Menu Plan Monday because I am loosely following a menu I have created to share with you on Saturday.  In preparation for that menu, I went through my old posts and found this oldie but goodie. When I looked at the blog post, I noticed there was no picture of the finished dish.  So I’ve decided to remedy that.

Today begins the Chinese New Year.  Rather than ordering Chinese food from a restaurant, I decided to cook up one of our favorite dishes at home.  I think the two biggest differences was the chicken was not battered and there was no red sauce.  This dish was still big on taste.

IMG_0242

This is a simple 15 minute meal if you used already cooked chicken or pork!  When my hubby tasted it, he told me it was better then the sweet and sour chicken that you get in Chinese restaurants.  Now that”s saying a lot.

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb of diced up chicken or pork (already cooked)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces (I used a red pepper.)
  • 1 cup onion, cut into thin wedges (I cut mine into bigger pieces today.)
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oil in a wok or large skillet over medium high heat.
  2. Stir fry green peppers an onion in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or till crisp tender.
  3. Remove from wok or large skillet.  Add more oil, if necessary.
  4. Reheat chicken or pork in skillet.
  5. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
  6. In a small pan, combine the juice, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil; cook about 1 minute or till thickened, stirring constantly.
  7. Return green pepper and onion to skillet.  Stir in pineapple and the thickened sauce.
  8. Cook and stir until heated through.
  9. Serve with rice, if desired.

This post is linked to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

This post is linked to Miz Helen’s Cottage’s Full Plate.

Pumpkin Granola

I love granola especially when I make it myself. Recently I discovered how it is easy it is to make. I’ve made Apple Crisp Granola and now Pumpkin Granola. It’s wonderful with Greek yogurt.

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Pumpkin Granola

adapted from Finding Joy in my Kitchen

Stars of the recipe:

  • 4 1/2 c. oats
  • 2 1/2 c. Rice Krispy Cereal
  • 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon (I put more than that in mine.)
  • 1/4 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 c. applesauce
  • 1/4 c. maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 c. pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 c. shredded unsweetened coconut (sounds weird but is delicious in it)
  • 1/2 c. Craisins

Steps:

  1. Mix the oats, rice krispies, coconut, and pumpkin seeds together in a large bowl.
  2. Stir in spices and salt.
  3. In a different bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. Add the pumpkin puree.
  4. Combine the dry and moist ingredients and stir to coat.
  5. Spread on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray.
  6. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Stir after 15 minutes.
  7. Allow to cool and then add Craisins.
  8. Store in a sealed container.
  9. Enjoy with yogurt, milk, or by itself!

Printable Recipe

 

This post has been linked to Eat at Home – Ingredient Spotlight.

Apple Crisp Granola

I pretend to be a cereal eater. I buy cereals and most of them go to waste before they are eaten. Since the texture of milk in my cereal really bothers me, I eat dry cereal. That can get real boring quick. My husband and sons love cereal with milk. So I’m the odd man out in my family.

However, I enjoy eating granola in Greek yogurt. The pieces of the granola don’t get soggy like they do in milk. So making homemade granola can be cost efficient. Homemade granola can also be adapted to my taste and preference. I also know what exactly in it so there is no mystery ingredients. Plus it’s delicious!

So when this recipe crossed my inbox, my curiosity peaked. So I got the few ingredients I needed to make the granola. I made it on a Sunday morning before church. I took some with me to eat during the refreshment time so I wouldn’t eat any of the not so good goodies. When I shared some of it with my fellow church goers, they were impressed with the taste. As was I.

The granola combines the flavors of fall. Cinnamon and nutmeg tickle your taste buds. Apples scream fall! There are also a few surprises hidden in the granola.

Apple Crisp Granola

Rachel Cooks

Stars of the Recipe:

  • 3 c. oats (old fashioned or quick cooking)
  • 1 c. chopped raw walnuts
  • 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp. packed brown sugar
  • 4 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 4 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 c. chopped dried apples

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Farenheit.
  2. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray or line with parchment.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the oats, walnuts, coconut, salt, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  4. In a seperate microwavable bowl, stir together the canola oil, vanilla, and honey. Heat in microwave for 45 seconds on 50% power.
  5. Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients. Stir until everything is well coated.
  6. Spread granola in an even layer over the baking sheet.
  7. Bake for 15 minutes, stir, and then bake for 15 to 20 more minutes, until golden brown.
  8. Let cool completely. Stir in dried apples once granola has cooled.
  9. Store in airtight container.
  10. Enjoy!!!!
This post has been linked to Eat at home – Ingredient Spotlight.

Charleston Cheese Dip

On New Year’s Eve, I was looking at Mommy’s Kitchen’s blog.  She had listed a cheese dip named the Charleston cheese dip.  The name alone intrigued me because Charleston, South Carolina is on my list of favorite places to visit.  My mother-in-law was born there and would spend summers there while growing up.

Two months after I married my Hubby, we traveled with my mother-in-law, father-in-law, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law to Charleston.  We stayed in a beach house on Folly Beach with Hubby’s grandma.  I quickly got to know the family during that week.  I met Hubby’s family who live down there.  Most of all, I feel in love with Charleston.  It is a beautiful city rich in history.

Since then, I have been down there 3 more times.  The boys have been there 2 of the times.  Once when the Wee One was only 2 months old and the Imaginative One was 2 years old.  The other time was almost 3 years ago.  One of our not so good memories from that trip was the Wee One sticking his finger in the drain of the shower.  Fortunately my in-laws were also visiting Charleston that week and were down the road.  My sister-in-law came down and checked over his cut finger and determined the cut was not deep enough to warrant a visit to the ER.

Another memory from that trip was the Imaginative One’s fear of the ocean.  His cousin, 22 months older, told him that there were jelly fish in the ocean.  The Imaginative One refused to get into the ocean again because he was afraid he was going to get stung by jelly fish.  So aggravating!  One day he and I went over to the beach and were playing by these concrete barriers.  He gets up and had dog poop all over him.  Visitors were allowed to have dogs on the beach as long as they cleaned up after them.  This visitor just covered the poop with sand.  That was disgusting to clean up.

Folly Beach, Charleston, South Carolina

The shower drain the Wee One got his finger stuck in.

Anyway, back to the recipe.  I was looking at Mommy’s Kitchen’s blog entry and saw Charleston Cheese Dip and decided I would make it for New Year’s Eve.  It was easy to whip up and delicious to boot.  I didn’t have any Monterey jack cheese so I just used extra sharp cheddar cheese instead.  Since we don’t really like really spicy foods around here, I did not use any of the cayenne pepper.  Plus I don’t think we even have any in the house.

Charleston Cheese Dip

Mommy’s Kitchen

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1/2 c. mayonnaise
  • 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 c. grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. grated Monterey jack cheese
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 8 Ritz crackers, crushed
  • 8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the mayonnaise, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, Monterey jack cheese, green onions and cayenne pepper.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a shallow baking dish.
  4. Top mixture with cracker crumbs and bake for 15 minutes, or until heated through.
  5. Remove the pan from the oven and top with the bacon.
  6. Serve immediately with corn chips, bagel chips or crackers.

Printable Recipe

This post is linked up to Ingredient Spotlight.

Cranberry Relish – Crockpot Style

Today is Thanksgiving and I have a lot to be thankful for this year.

  1. My family and friends
  2. God showing me a talent. This talent has allowed me to see the beauty of his world in a way I’ve never seen it before.
  3. Laughter – Hearing the boys laugh brings joy to my soul.
  4. My students both current and former
  5. My health – During June I suffered terrible headaches. For three almost four weeks I had headaches that were persistent. Luckily a trip to the chiropractor helped relieve them. Then in September and most of October I had a persistent cough. Fortunately for me both are better.
  6. God giving me 2 boys who are bright and surprise me with their knowledge and insight about the world around them.

Now onto the recipe. On Sunday, my father-in-law informed us he was cooking a chicken for Thanksgiving. There was going to be only 6 of us for dinner and he didn’t want to deal with all the left-overs. The family convinced him that he needed to make a turkey. I wanted to help make the dinner so I decided what I was going to bring. One of them items was going to be homemade cranberry relish. Yesterday I stumbled on this recipe.

Earlier in the week I had created a list of things I needed from the store. One of the items was an orange for the relish. My husband went shopping but didn’t buy an orange. His reasoning was I had oranges at the house. I have grapefruit and clementines but no navel oranges. So I made a trip to Save-A-Lot to go get the oranges. Boy I’m glad I did. This recipe is easy and the end result was delicious.

Cranberry Relish

Stars of the recipe:

  • 2 oranges
  • 1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries, rinsed and picked over
  • 1 cup sugar
  • pinch cinnamon or Chinese five spice
  • 3 tablespoons water

Steps:

  1. Zest the oranges.
  2. Cut off the remaining outer peel and pith and discard.
  3. Cut the peeled orange sections into small chunks and add to the slow cooker along with cranberries, sugar, cinnamon, and zest.
  4. Add water.
  5. Cover and cook on HIGH for about 2 hours. (I had to put it on low for about 1/2 hour after cooking it on high.)

I hope you had a great holiday! What are you thankful for?

This post is linked up to Eat at home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

Printable Recipe

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies

I’m about simplicity especially when it comes to baking or recipes.  So when I saw this recipe in my inbox, I knew I needed to make these cookies.  Fortunately I had both ingredients at my house.

These cookies did not disappoint me.  They were delicious, moist, and easy to prepare.

2 Ingredient Pumpkin Cookies
via cookiesandcups

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 box of spice cake mix
  • 1 – 15 oz. can of pumpkin  puree (make sure it’s not pumpkin pie mix

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or spray it with nonstick cooking spray.
  3. Dump the cake mix in a bowl.
  4. Dump the pumpkin on top of the cake mix.
  5. Mix them together until blended.  (Might want to use a hand mixer for this step.)
  6. Drop by heaping tablespoons about 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.
  7. Bake at 350 for 13 to 15 minutes.
    The dough does not freeze well.

Printable Recipe

Taco Crescent Bake

Another recipe, I found on Menus4Moms website.  It is easy to put together especially if you use taco seasoned ground beef that you have already cooked and then froze.

My picky hubby was surprised with how delicious this recipe was and how it didn’t taste too tacoey (made up word).  He does not like some of the spices used in Mexican cooking especially cumin.  As a result, I make my own taco seasoning so I can adjust the amount of spices.  When I make the taco meat, I also adjust the amount of taco seasoning.

Taco Crescent Bake

Stars of the recipe:

  • a can of crescent rolls (I like the seamless one but the regular works just fine.)
  • 2 cups of tortillas, roughly chopped, divided in 1/2
  • 1 pound of taco seasoned ground beef
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese (We love sharp cheddar here but mild cheddar would be okay.)

Steps:

  1. In a greased 9 by 13 baking dish, unroll crescent roll and press onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides .  (If using regular crescent rolls, press all the seams together.)
  2. Sprinkle 1 cup of the crushed tortillas over the crescent rolls.
  3. Spoon ground beef over the crescent rolls.
  4. Top with sour cream, cheddar cheese, and remaining tortilla chips.
  5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  6. Serve plain or with additional sour cream or salsa.

This is linked up to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

Printable Recipe

Sloppy Joe Pizza

Sloppy Joes on a pizza?!?!  Sounds weird huh?!?!  Guess what, the taste is out of the world.  Hubby and I both enjoyed the pizza.

Last week, I made sloppy Joes for dinner one night and then froze the left-overs with a plan to use the sloppy Joes on a pizza.  I used a store-bought pizza dough but feel free to use a homemade dough.  It really does not matter.  Then treat your mouth to an unbelievable treat.

Sloppy Joe Pizza

Stars of the recipe:

  • pizza dough (either store-bought or homemade)
  • leftover sloppy Joes
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • one or two stalks green onions

Steps:

  1. Prepare the dough according to your recipe (if homemade dough) or directions on the package (store-bought).
  2. Spread sloppy joes evenly on the dough.
  3. Place cheddar cheese on top of the sloppy joes.Garnish the top of the cheddar cheese with green onions.
  4. Bake according to recipe or directions.  (I baked mine at 400 degrees for about 8 minutes.  My dough was a Pillsbury Thin Crust dough.)
  5. Cut into pieces and enjoy!

This is linked to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

 Printable Recipe

Sweet and sour chicken (or pork)

This is a simple 15 minute meal if you used already cooked chicken or pork!  When my hubby tasted it, he told me it was better than the sweet and sour chicken that you get in Chinese restaurants.  Now that’s saying a lot.

(There is no picture because as soon as it was finished cooking, my hubby had to eat so he could get to work.)

Stars of the recipe:

  • 1 lb of diced up chicken or pork (already cooked)
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1 cup green pepper, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 cup onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 (15 oz.) can pineapple chunks in juice
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oil in a wok or large skillet over high heat.
  2. Stir fry green peppers an onion in hot oil for 2 to 3 minutes or till crisp tender.
  3. Remove from wok.  Add more oil, if necessary.
  4. Reheat chicken or pork in skillet.
  5. Drain pineapple, reserving juice.
  6. In a small pan, combine the juice, brown sugar, vinegar, cornstarch, and soy sauce.  Bring to a boil; cook about 1 minute or till thickened, stirring constantly.
  7. Return green pepper and onion to skillet.  Stir in pineapple and the thickened sauce.
  8. Cook and stir until heated through.
  9. Serve with rice, if desired.

This post is linked to Eat at Home’s Ingredient Spotlight.

Printable Recipe

Instant Oatmeal Mix

Usually I’m not a big oatmeal eater, however; when I saw this mix on Mommy’s Kitchen I decided I needed to try it.  Oh my goodness, it’s a lot better than the instant oatmeal you get at the grocery store.  I think I like it because I can add what I want to it so it’s unique to my likings.

Stars of the “recipe”:

  • 2 and 1/4 cup of instant oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup dried milk powder
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp of cinnamon  (I added more because I love the taste of cinnamon.)
  • 1 cup of raisins or any other dried fruit (I used blueberry flavored craisins in mine.  I also added chopped pecans to my mix.)

Directions:

  1. Mix all of the ingredients together and store in a airtight container.
  2. Label the container with the directions on how to prepare the oatmeal.

To Prepare OatMeal:

  1. Scoop 1/2 cup oatmeal into a bowl and mix with 1/2 cup water. You may need a bit more water if you like you oatmeal thinner.
  2. Microwave on high for 1 minute stir and enjoy.

This post has been linked to Eat at Home – Ingredient Spotlight.