Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I really like sweet and sour chicken in Chinese restaurants, but I don't really like all the breading on the chicken so I haven't ever tried to make this at home. But when I found this recipe at Simply recipes, I was excited to try it and it turned out great. It doesn't take to long to make, uses pretty basic ingredients, and it tastes great!

(For some reason I put an onion in the picture... and then realized that it was not on the list of ingredients. Now that I think about it, I might try adding it with the mix next time.)

Sweet and Sour Chicken
From: Simply Recipes

1 lb boneless, skinless Chicken Breasts, cut into chunks
1 egg white
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp cornstarch
1 can (10 oz) pineapple chunks (reserve juice)
1/4 cup juice from canned pineapple
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
2-3 Tbs brown sugar
2 Tbs Olive Oil
1 Red Bell pepper cut into chunks
1 Green Bell pepper cut into chunks
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger

1. In a bowl, combine the chicken with the egg white, 1 tsp salt, and cornstarch. Stir to coat chicken evenly. Let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature (or up to overnight in the refrigerator)

2. Meanwhile, whisk together pineapple juice, vinegar, ketchup, 1 tsp salt, and brown sugar to make the sweet and sour sauce.

3. Heat a large frying pan over high heat until a bead of water instantly sizzles and evaporates. Pour in 1 Tbs of olive oil and coat pan.

4. Spread Chicken in pan so it is in a single layer. Let chicken fry, untouched for 1 minuted until the bottoms are browned. Flip and fry the other side for another minute. Stir and let cook a few more minutes, then dish out chicken onto a clean plate, leaving as much oil in the pan as possible.

5. Turn heat to medium and add 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil. Let oil heat up, then add the peppers and ginger. Fry for 1 - 2 minutes.

6. Add the pineapple chunks and the sweet and sour sauce. Turn heat to high and when the sauce is simmering, add the chicken pieces back in.

7. Let simmer for 2-3 minutes until the chicken is cooked through. Cut into a piece of chicken to make sure it done, also taste sauce and add more brown sugar if needed.

8. Serve hot over rice if desired.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Easy Vegetable Soup

It is becoming soup weather here in Chicago, and ideally I would like to do soups from scratch, but that just doesn't happen when I work all day. This one is really easy and quite tasty! I got it from Taste of Home Magazine, and I chose to add a can of Black beans because I'm a black bean fan, so if you don't like them, feel free to leave them out.

(Sorry I forgot the pic of the ingredients!)

Easy Vegetable Soup
From: Taste of Home

1 lb Ground Beef
1 onion, chopped
1 can (28 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg (16oz) Frozen vegetable blend of your choice (I usually like something with corn in it)
1 can(16oz) Kidney Beans, undrained
1 can (15oz) Black Beans, undrained (optional)
1 can (14 1/2 oz) beef broth
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 clove garlic
garnish with shredded cheddar cheese & sour cream, with tortilla chips on the side

1. In a large sauce pan, cook beef and onion over medium heat until meat is no longer pink, drain.

2. Add the tomatoes, vegetables, beans, broth, taco seasoning and garlic and bring to a boil.

3. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes.

4. Serve with Shredded cheese, sour cream, and Tortilla Chips if desired.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Impostor Salad

When we first came back from California, I loved the salad we had out there, and I was trying to figure out what it had in it. I took a stab at it, and while I found out later it wasn't the same as my favorite salad, it was still pretty good! I realize now there wasn't any Mango in it, but I do like mango, so it was a nice addition to this particular salad. Since this is an impostor salad of my favorite, that is what I decided to call it.

Impostor Salad

Cucumber (peeled)
Olive oil
Lime Juice


1. Roughly chop the Tomatoes, cucumber, Mango, and Avocado.

2. Place in a bowl, and dress with Olive oil, Lime Juice, and a dash of Basil. Enjoy!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Warm Black Bean Chip dip

I'm a sucker for appetizers, and this one had everything I liked. I'm not sure where this came from, but it is tasty.

Warm Black Bean Dip

8oz Cream Cheese
1 can Black Beans (drained)
1 can of Ro*tel (drained)
Shredded Cheese
Tortilla Chips

1. Spread 8 oz of cream cheese in the bottom of a pie plate

2. Drain one can Black Beans and spread on top.

3. Drain on can rotel and pour over Black Beans.

4. Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 350 for 10 min (until cheese is melted)

5. Serve hot with tortilla chips.

Sunday, October 5, 2008


For those of you who don't know, Elote is a popular street food served in Mexico, it is corn on the cob (or off if you prefer), with a special mixture of toppings. Since I love corn... and I love the Mexican corn (Elote) you can get at some authentic mexican restaurants around here, I tried to create it in my own home (adapted from this recipe). It was good, although I think I like the ones I have had in restaurants better. :)

From: Food Blogga

several ears sweet corn
1/4 cup mayonaise
1/2 tsp lime juice
1/8 tsp chile powder
2/3 cup Parmesan Cheese
salt - to taste

1. You can bowl or grill the corn on the cob if you like, but I tried cutting it from the cob and cooking it with a little olive oil in a frying pan.
2. If you want to cut off corn from the cob, I was told once to use a bundt pan, and place the corn cob in the middle, when you cut them off, it falls off into the pan. This was a TON easier, and less messy, than when I tried to balance it on the edge of a bowl, or hover in the bowl. (see pic below)

3. For the sauce mix the mayonaise, lime, chile powder, and salt.
4. Spread over grilled/boiled corn, or mix it in with your corn off the cob then sprinkle with parmesan cheese! (I found out that this made way to much for us, I could definitely cut it in half and had plenty)

*** I actually accidentally mixed in the Parmesan cheese, instead of sprinkling, but it was still good ***

Margarita Pie

A few months ago we were at cookout at a friends house, and one of the guests brought Margarita Pie for dessert. It was very cool and perfect for a hot summer night. I know it is no longer summer anymore in Chicagoland, but I think it could also be a perfect dessert for a Mexican fiesta which I tend to have all year around! She shared her recipe with me, which I am thankful for, and now I'm sharing it with you!

Margarita Pie

8 Tblsp Butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup crushed pretzels

1/3 cup lime juice
1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed Milk
3-4 Tblsp tequila
2 Tbsp triple sec
1 tub cool whip

*** Note: I don't really like tequila, so I bought a very tiny bottle as you can see (this ended up being the perfect amount), and since the didn't have any tiny bottles of triple sec, I just went without. I think it tasted the same. Pretty sure you could make this without any alcohol and it would taste very similar. ***

For the crust:
1. crush pretzels into bite sized pieces and measure out 1 1/4 cup/
2. Melt Butter
3. Mix sugar with butter, then add pretzels and coat.
4. Press into bottom of an 8x8 square pan

For the Filling:
1. Stir together all ingredients in bowl
2. Pour over pretzel crust
3. Freeze for several hours or overnight.
4. Serve!

PS - I think some zest from the lime would have been a great addition to the top of the pie... would make a little more colorful and interesting.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Garlic Zucchini Pasta

I got this recipe from My Wooden Spoon Blog. This recipe appealed to me because it looked very easy and I liked every single ingredient listed. While the end result was delicious, it did not look like how it was pictured in the original recipe (which you can see here). I couldn't get my zucchini to spread out and intermingle with the pasta, it just wanted to stay clumped together and I'm not sure why.

Garlic Zucchini Pasta
From: My Wooden Spoon

2 Large Zucchini
1 head Garlic
1 pkg Angel Hair pasta
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
Olive Oil


1. Shred Zucchini and mince Garlic.
2. Prepare pasta as directed on box.
3. While cooking the pasta Saute garlic in Olive Oil for a minute or two
4. Add the zucchini and saute 10 - 15 min. Longer
5. Add the cooked pasta and shredded cheese to the zucchini and mix well.
6. Salt and pepper to taste


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