Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Crock Pot General Tso’s Chicken

This was easy to make and tasted great.  I forgot to put the sesame seeds on top.  I ate this plain, but served it over rice to Don.

Crock Pot General Tso’s Chicken 
adapted from https://lifemadesweeter.com/

2 Tablespoons cornstarch 
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste
1 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2-3 pieces), cut into bite-sized chunks
Oil for browning about 3-4 tablespoons 
4 - 5 dried red chili peppers to taste or leave out if desired; 
Toasted sesame seeds and chopped green onions for garnish (optional)

1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce 
1/3 cup water
2 Tablespoons low carb sweetener Beth used splenda
2 Tablespoons Hoisin sauce 
1-1/2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
3 cloves garlic minced
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes more or less, to taste
1-1/2 teaspoons red chili garlic paste or 1/2 - 1 teaspoon dried red pepper chili flakes instead 

2 Tablespoons cornstarch or arrowroot powder 
3 Tablespoons water

In a large bowl or large zip-top bag, combine chicken, cornstarch, salt, and black pepper until well-coated. Set aside.

Make the sauce In a medium bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the sauce, set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken (in batches) about 2-3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Transfer chicken into the slow cooker. Pour sauce over top.

Cover and cook on LOW for 2.5 - 4 hours or HIGH for 1.5 - 3 hours. 

About 30 minutes before serving, whisk together the corn starch and water in a small bowl and very gently stir into the slow cooker (This is to avoid breaking up the breading on the chicken).
Toss in the dried red chili peppers or red pepper chili flakes. Cover and cook on HIGH for another 20-30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened up. 

Sprinkle with sesame seeds, green onions and serve over rice, quinoa or zoodles, if desired.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

White Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies

These were delicious! If you like pistachios, you will love these.

White Chocolate Chip Pistachio Cookies
Debbie S.  Allrecipes.com

1 cup butter, softened
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup white sugar
2 large eggs eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup pistachios-can lightly crush them
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F . Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

Beat butter, brown sugar, and white sugar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition; stir in vanilla extract.

Mix flour, baking soda, and salt together in a separate bowl; gradually stir into the creamed butter mixture until dough is just mixed. Fold pistachios and white chocolate chips into the dough.

Use a small cookie scoop and put dough onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven until edges begin to crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool cookies on the baking sheet for 2 to 3 minutes; transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Friday, September 25, 2020

Instant Pot Chili Garlic Noodles

Jenna made these and they were delicious!

Instant Pot Chili Garlic Noodles 
adapted from https://foodiesterminal.com/

8 oz  spaghetti noodles broken into half 
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
1 bell pepper thinly sliced
1 medium carrot thinly sliced 
2 tbsp Avocado oil

For the Sauce
3 1/2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 tbsp Hoisin Sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce.
1 tbsp Rice vinegar
1 tbsp sesame oil 
1/2 tbsp brown sugar

2 cups water or chicken broth

1/2 tsp lightly toasted white sesame seeds 
3 green onions, chopped, green parts only

Set the Instant Pot on SAUTE function and set it on NORMAL heat settings.

Add oil and add chopped garlic when the oil becomes moderately hot. Saute for just 30 seconds.

CANCEL the SAUTE function and add in the liquid.(water or chicken broth)

Now, add the spaghetti noodles in  zig zag pattern. 

Layer the sliced veggies on top of the noodles.**** If you prefer crisp crunchy veggies do not add them now.(see note at end of recipe) Do not STIR anything in the pot.

Cover the lid of the Instant Pot and seal the valve. PRESSURE COOK on HIGH for 4 minutes for al dente noodles that won't fall apart and 6 minutes for softer noodles.

Once the pressure cooking cycle is over wait for 3 minutes of Natural Pressure Release and than release the rest of the pressure manually. Open the lid of the pot carefully.

You'll be left with little liquid and softer veggies.

CANCEL the PRESSURE COOK function and de-tangle the noodles gently with the help of a fork and in the process mix in the cooked veggies with the noodles.

Now, set the Instant Pot on SAUTE and keep it at LOW.

Add the brown sugar in the light soy sauce and mix it to incorporate first and than add it to the pot. Finish adding 

Toss the noodles in the sauces for about 2-3 mins. Turn off the Instant Pot and garnish with the scallions and toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot with more Chili garlic Sauce and red pepper flakes if you prefer really spicy food. Enjoy!


For Crisp crunchy Veggies: Do not pressure cook the veggies along with the noodles. Instead add them to the cooked noodles before adding the sauces. Mix everything together, mix the sauces and saute for 2-3 mins. Than cover the pot and let the noodles rest for 5-10 mins. The residual heat will cook the veggies and keep them crisp and crunchy. Always thinly slice the veggies.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Whoppers Robin’s Egg Cookies

I had some leftover Easter candy and made these. We all liked them!

Whoppers Robin’s Egg Cookies
adapted from http://sparklesnsprouts.com/

3/4 cup butter, room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
1 bag Robin's Eggs 
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper, set aside

In the bowl of a stand mixer cream together butter and sugars until light, about 3 minutes, scraping down sides as needed.  Add in egg and vanilla, mixing until just combined.

Add in cornstarch, baking soda and flour mixing until dough starts to come together.  Add in crushed Robins Eggs and chocolate chips, mixing until it is combined well.

Using a small cookie scoop, place mounds on prepared pan.
Bake for 8-10 minutes. 

Let cool on pan for 5 minutes.

You can use Whoppers if you would like to make them year round.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Baked Balsamic Chicken

This was a quick and easy main dish.  Quite tasty.

Baked Balsamic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Beth used two, cut in half and pounded thin
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt — or more to taste

If the chicken breast is too thick, you can pound it with a meat mallet until it is 1/2-inch thick.

Combine olive oil, balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, oregano and black pepper in a bowl.

Place chicken in a baking dish. Pour the marinade over it, making sure it is evenly coated. Let is sit for 10 minutes if you have the extra time.

Preheat oven to 400 F. Bake chicken at 400 F for 25 minutes, or until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 165 F. This took an extra 10 minutes for me.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Apple Fritter Monkey Bread

 This was THE best breakfast!  I love apple fritters and this was the bomb!

Apple Fritter Monkey Bread

adapted slightly from https://iambaker.net/

2 medium apples, peeled, cored, and diced 
1 cup brown sugar, packed
2 tablespoons cinnamon

2 16 oz cans refrigerated biscuits, flaky
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup powdered sugar
2-3 tablespoons milk

Heat oven to 350°F 

Peel, core, and dice two apples.

In a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar and cinnamon. Add in the chopped apples and stir well.  

Grease a bundt pan or spray it with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, combine the brown sugar and melted butter.  Remove the biscuits from the tube and cut them each into six pieces.

Add the biscuit pieces to the brown sugar/butter mixture and gently toss them to coat.
Add 1/3 of the apple mixture to the bundt pan. Top with a layer of the coated biscuit pieces. Add another 1/3 of the apple mixture, followed by a second layer of biscuits, and top with a final layer of the remaining apple mixture.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Cool for about 10 minutes.

Mix the powdered sugar and milk, adding just one tablespoon of milk at a time, until you reach desired consistency. 

Invert the cooled bread pan on a plate and drizzle it with the glaze.

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Cajun Seasoned Pretzels

I made these and they were so salty.  I put them in a colander in the sink and shook off the excess seasoning and they were much better.  See my notes in bold in the recipe.

Cajun Seasoned Pretzels
adapted from https://thecookinchicks.com/

18 oz mini pretzel twists 
1 pkg ranch dressing mix *1 oz  Beth would change this to 1 T
2 tbsp old bay seasoning Beth would change this to 2 t.
2 tsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 cup canola oil

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine the ranch mix, old bay, Cajun seasoning, and oil.
Pour mixture over pretzels and toss to coat thoroughly.  Use a large bowl for this step, but a large Ziploc bag works too.
Pour coated pretzels onto a cookie sheet and place in oven to bake 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes.
Remove from oven and allow to cool before placing in an airtight container.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

No Egg Homemade Ice Cream

We made this in July.  I found the recipe in a comment section from another recipe and it looked good enough to try!  It was good, just not as creamy as our stand by recipe.  

No Egg Homemade Ice Cream

2 cans of sweetened condensed milk

1 gallon or a little less of milk(to fill line on freezer)

1 pint whipping cream

sweetened fruit, if desired

1 1/2 T vanilla

Mix sweetened condensed milk, whipping cream and vanilla together.  Add fruit, if desired.  Add mix to the ice cream freezer and fill with milk to the fill line.  Freezer according to your ice cream freezer directions and enjoy!

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake-No Bake

 I made this in July when our friends Mark and Cindy came.  It was such a refreshing dessert and we all loved it!

Orange Creamsicle Cheesecake- No Bake
adapted from https://cincyshopper.com/

11 oz vanilla wafer cookies
1 1/2 cup sugar divided
6 tbsp melted butter
16 oz softened cream cheese 
16 oz heavy cream
1 3.3 oz box orange  jello
1 cup boiling water
zest from 1 orange
1 tsp vanilla 
1/2 cup powdered sugar

Put vanilla wafers in food processor and pulse until finely chopped.  Add 3/4 cup sugar and melted butter and pulse to incorporate.

Grease bottom and sides of 9" spring form pan.Press mixture into bottom and slightly up sides of pan.
 Place in freezer for 30 minutes. ***After reading comments, Beth decided to bake the crust for 10 minutes at 350.  Cool for 20 minutes.

Beat cream cheese and remaining sugar until smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine gelatin and boiling water. Whisk until dissolved.  Set aside.

Zest orange and set aside.

Whip heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.  Add 1/2 of whipped cream mixture to cooled gelatin and add orange zest. Whisk to blend. Set aside.

Fold remainder of whipped cream mixture into cream cheese mixture.  Spread 1/2 cream cheese mixture over crust.

Pour 2 cups of orange whipped cream mixture over cream cheese mixture.  Gently spread remaining  cream cheese mixture over orange mixture.

Pour remaining orange whipped cream mixture over cream cheese mixture. Use a butter knife and gently glide through cream cheese layers to swirl.
Refrigerate for at least 6 hours.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Sour Cream Banana Bread

This is a no fail banana bread this is awesome.  I have had the recipe card since I got married 33 years ago.  I assume the recipe was from my mom:-) 
Sour Cream Banana Bread

1/2 c shortening(butter)
1 c sugar
1/2 t salt
2 eggs, beaten
1 c mashed bananas
1/2 c sour cream
1 t baking soda
2 c flour

Beat butter and sugar.  Add salt, eggs, bananas, sour cream and soda.  Stir in flour.  Place in a greased loaf pan.  Bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad

This was such a good salad! Jenna made it and we all loved it. I really liked the peanut sauce!

Thai Peanut & Quinoa Salad


3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups water
2 cups shredded purple cabbage
1 cup grated carrot
1 cup thinly sliced snow peas or sugar snap peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
1/4 cup chopped roasted and salted peanuts, for garnish

Peanut sauce
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 lime, juiced (about 1 1/2 tablespoons)
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Cook the quinoa: First, rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh colander under running water. In a medium-sized pot, combine the rinsed quinoa and 1 ½ cups water. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil over medium heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer the quinoa until it has absorbed all of the water. Remove the quinoa from heat, cover the pot and let it rest for 5 minutes. Uncover the pot and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside to cool.

Meanwhile, make the peanut sauce: Whisk together the peanut butter and tamari until smooth (if this is difficult, microwave the mixture for up to 30 seconds to loosen it up). Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until smooth. If the mixture seems too thick to toss into the salad, whisk in a bit of water to loosen it up.

In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked quinoa, shredded cabbage, carrot, snow peas, cilantro and green onion. Toss to combine, then pour in the peanut sauce. Toss again until everything it lightly coated in sauce. Taste, and if it doesn’t taste quite amazing yet, add a pinch of salt and toss again. 

Divide into individual bowls and garnish with peanuts.

This salad keeps well, covered and refrigerated, for about 4 days. If you don’t want your chopped peanuts to get soggy, store them separately from the rest and garnish just before serving.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Oatmeal Cake

Don's mom saw this recipe on line and asked me to make it for her, so I did!  It was quite tasty!
Oatmeal Cake 


1 cup rolled oats
1 1/4 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
3 tablespoons heavy cream
3/4 cup shredded coconut
powdered sugar, optional

Preheat oven to 350ยบ F and lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking dish with butter or non-stick spray. 

Place oats in a heatproof bowl and pour boiling water over them. Set aside to let soak for 20 minutes.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg and set aside.
In a large bowl or mixer, cream together butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes, or until fluffy and lightened in color, then beat in eggs and vanilla extract. 

Fold soaked oats into egg mixture, then mix in dry ingredients until incorporated and smooth.
Pour batter into greased baking dish and bake for 40-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

While cake bakes, mix melted butter, brown sugar, cream and shredded coconut together. 

Remove cake from oven and pour topping evenly over the top, then return cake to oven and broil for 2-4 minutes, or until bubbly and golden. 

Remove from oven and let cool at least 10-15 minutes before serving.

Saturday, September 5, 2020

Easy Tomato Sauce to Can

We use a LOT of tomato sauce at our house.  I decided to try this super easy BALL/Kerr recipe.  It couldn't be easier to do!  I made 25 jelly jars the first batch and got 20 the second batch.  It is a cool recipe since you just use as many tomatoes as you want or have!
Easy Tomato Sauce to Can

lemon juice

Prepare the tomatoes.  I just run mine through a food mill BEFORE cooking to get rid of seeds and skin.  You can blanch the tomatoes to get skins off and then cut them up. 

Cook for 2 hours.  While cooking, I put jars through the dishwasher so they are hot and get my lids and rings hot.

I use jelly jars and put 1/4 t salt and 1/2 T lemon juice in each jar.  I then ladle the cooked tomato sauce into the jars and put the lids and rings on.

Water bath for 30 minutes.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Crustless Taco Quiche

I made this up for lunch one day since I had hamburger thawed.  It was very good!

Crustless Taco Quiche

1 # hamburger, browned with 1/4 c onion. 
1 pkg taco seasoning
1 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
8 eggs
1 T ranch (dry)
1 c sour cream
1 can chopped green chilies
1 t salt
1 t pepper

Preheat oven to 350.
Brown hamburger with onions.  Add taco seasoning. 

Mix eggs, sour cream, ranch, salt and  pepper and green chilies together. 

Place hamburger in greased pie plate.  Top with cheese.  Pour egg mixture over top.   Cover with voil and bake 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake 25 minutes more.

Serve with salsa.

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Ranch Chicken with Broccoli and Bacon

This was easy to make for a quick dinner and tasted great! I used 1 large chicken breast and sliced in half and also in half horizontally! I got 4 pieces out of a very large chicken breast!

Ranch Chicken with Broccoli and Bacon
4 chicken breasts (use 4 thin chicken breasts, or use 2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half, horizontally)
2 cups broccoli florets, chopped Beth used frozen and thawed and microwaved for 4 min 
4 strips bacon, cooked, chopped
1/2 cup Ranch dressing
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/3 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Add chicken breasts to the casserole dish.

Top with chopped and blanched broccoli florets.  Top with chopped cooked bacon.  Spread Ranch dressing on top.

Top with shredded Cheddar and Mozzarella cheese.

Bake, uncovered, for about 20-30 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. The cooking time will depend on the thickness of your chicken breasts.