20 April 2012

Thai Chicken Salad

Mixed greens
Chopped cooked chicken
Orange and red bell pepper, chopped
Carrot, shredded
Fresh cilantro, chopped
Wonton strips
Peanuts, chopped
Asian ginger/toasted sesame dressing {we made this using Kraft brand, but any Asian salad dressing will do}

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large salad bowl. Drizzle salad dressing on top and toss salad until evenly coated. Serve immediately. Enjoy!

Recipe Source: For the Love of Cooking

18 April 2012

Sweet and Sour Chicken {Baked}

3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil

3/4 cup sugar
4 T. ketchup
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 T. soy sauce
1 tsp. garlic salt

Cut the chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Fry in a little oil until brown but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sauce ingredients together in a bowl and pour over chicken.

Bake for 1 hour at 325 degrees. Turn chicken every 15 minutes so it is evenly coated with the sauce. Serve over white or brown rice.

* I double the sauce ingredients.

Recipe Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

10 February 2012

Little Smokies

1 bottle barbecue sauce
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup ketchup
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup chopped onion
2 (16 oz.) packages little hot dogs

Stir together barbecue sauce, brown sugar, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, onion and pepper in a separate bowl. Pour sauce over little hot dogs in the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 2 hours, or until ready to serve.

Can use toothpicks for serving.

30 November 2011

Sesame Beef With Chinese Vegetables

1 lb. gound beef
Stir fry vegetables {I used the frozen kind from Costco}
Stir fry sauce {I used Kikkoman}
White rice
Sesame oil
Garlic salt
Crushed red pepper flakes
Sesame seeds

Brown ground beef in a few drops of sesame oil in a large pan or wok; drain off fat. Add vegetables to the pan {if they are frozen make sure they are unthawed first}. Add a lot of pepper, a little bit of garlic salt, and crushed red pepper flakes according to desired spicinesss. Cook thoroughly. Add the entire bottle of stir fry sauce and mix well. Let simmer on med-low heat for about 20 minutes. Serve over white rice and garnish with sesame seeds.

28 November 2011

Deviled Eggs

1 dozen jumbo eggs {hard boiled}
Equal parts of mayonnaise and mustard
2 T. diced pimentos
Dash of salt
Dash of onion salt
Dash of garlic salt
2-3 drops of hot sauce
Paprika {for garnish}

25 November 2011

Harvard Beets

2-16 ounce cans sliced beets
1 cup white vinegar
1 1/2 cup white sugar
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
Salt to taste

Drain the beet liquid into a medium saucepan. To the liquid add vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; stir in beets and cook until heated through.

07 July 2011

Crock Pot Sweet and Sour Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup sugar
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. Worcestershire sauce
4 T. soy sauce

Place chicken breasts in lightly greased crock pot. Combine other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8-10 hours. Serve over hot sticky white rice.

Recipe Source: Ivory Family Favorites Cookbook, pg. 148

(p.s. of all the cookbooks I own, this one is hands down my favorite and is used most frequently! It's such a fun cookbook with great tips & tricks, and every recipe is delicious! It can be purchased through Make-A-Wish Foundation :)

06 July 2011

Korean Beef With Broccoli

I don't think this is the best picture in the world, but don't be deceived; this dish is delicious! It's also really quick to make, is inexpensive, and the best part is, it tastes gourmet! This is definitely one I'm going to add to my meal rotation :) Enjoy!

1 lb. lean ground beef
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 T. sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. crushed red peppers
Black pepper
Broccoli florets
5 green onions, diced
White rice

Heat sesame oil in a wok or a large skillet on the stove. Brown hamburger and garlic together. When the hamburger is almost done add the broccoli. Saute broccoli and hamburger together. Add brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger, black pepper, and crushed red peppers. Simmer for a few minutes to blend the flavors together. Serve over sticky rice and top with green onions.

05 July 2011

Spiral Pasta With Cabbage, Peppers & Poppy Seed Dressing

I have NO IDEA what the "real" name for this salad is! All I know is that my Aunt Wendy made it for a bridal shower, and I loved it so much I decided to bring it to this year's 4th of July family reunion. I thought the red bell peppers in it made it looks pretty patriotic :)

16 oz. spiral/corkscrew pasta
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 head green cabbage, sliced into bite-size pieces
1 bottle poppy seed dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions. Rinse under cold water. Toss pasta with vegetables and coat with the poppy seed dressing. Easy peasy!

04 July 2011

Southwestern Baked Beans

These are hands down the best ever, EVER baked beans I have tasted. And they weren't difficult to make either. Recently I was asked to bring some baked beans to a family BBQ. Typically, I am a big fan of the baked beans recipe in the Lion House Cookbook, but due to a recent move all my cookbooks are still boxed up in the garage somewhere. So... in light of that I resorted to one of my favorite online recipe sites, The Pioneer Woman. Ree Drummond never fails me! I only adjusted the recipe slightly. This is now my new favorite recipe for baked beans. They are perfect for all those BBQ's and summer picnics, enjoy and eat away!

10 slices of bacon, cooked and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 medium onion, diced small
1/2 of a green pepper, diced small
3 large cans {28 ounces each} baked beans {I used Bush's, but any brand will do}

3/4 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tsp. dry mustard
3-4 shakes of liquid smoke

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Fry the bacon in a deep, large saute pan until bacon has released about 1/4 cup drippings. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Add onions and pepper to drippings in pan and and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix all the sauce ingredients in a separate mixing bowl. Add beans and all remaining ingredients to the pan and simmer. Pour beans into a greased 9 x 13 inch ovenproof pan. Bake until beans are bubbly and the sauce has the consistency of pancake syrup, about 2 hours. Let stand to thicken slightly and serve.

Recipe Source: adapted slightly from The Pioneer Woman.

29 June 2011

Bourbon Chicken

This chicken is kind of like a general tso's, and is so delicious! I'm not sure why it's called 'Bourbon Chicken' because there isn't any bourbon in it, but whatever the reason, I'm glad I stumbled across this gem of a recipe!

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 T. oil {for pan frying the chicken}
Cornstarch {for dusting the chicken}

1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/4 cup apple juice
1/3 c. light brown sugar
2 T. ketchup
1 T. cider vinegar
1/2 c. water
1/3 c. soy sauce

Cut chicken into bite size pieces and lightly dust with cornstarch. Heat oil in a wok or frying pan and and fry chicken bits until lightly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside.

In a bowl combine all sauce ingredients. Pour into wok or frying pan and bring to a boil. Add chicken back into the pan. Reduce heat ans simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve chicken over piping hot white sticky rice. Enjoy!

Recipe Source: adapted from Blog Chef

18 June 2011

Beef & Vegetable Stir-Fry {EASY!}

I know I have posted several stir-fry like recipes, but of all of them, this one is the easiest to prepare because I just use the bottled stir fry sauce you can buy in the oriental section of any grocery store. For this particular recipe, this is the sauce I used. I also used beef in this recipe, but chicken, shrimp or tofu would be really good too. We were just in a "beef" mood at our house the other night :)

1 pound of beef {or any kind of meat you want}
Stir-fry sauce {I used Kikkoman, but any brand will do}
White rice

Favorite Vegetables:
Snap Peas
Baby Corn
Bamboo Shoots
Water Chestnuts
Etc... {you get the idea!}

Cook beef in a skillet or wok on the stove. When it's almost done, add vegetables and cook. When the vegetables are almost cooked add the stir-fry sauce {I use the whole bottle, but when I make this I make a pretty big batch too so we can eat it the next day}. Stir together and let simmer on low heat for 20 minutes. Serve over piping hot sticky white rice.

p.s. to make this dish even easier and less expensive, you can also use pre-packaged frozen stir fry vegetables found in the freezer section of any grocery store.


30 May 2011

Olive Cheese Bread

I like to read cookbooks in bed at night the way most people read the novels and magazines. So when my youngest sister Sarah recently turned 18 and requested linguine with clam sauce for her birthday dinner, I recalled this recipe from the Pioneer Woman Cookbook and thought it would go along perfectly with our linguine. I was luckily able to snap this shot as the bread flew off the serving plate! This olive cheese bread is divine and will be made again!

1-14.5 ounce can black olives, drained
1-6 ounce jar pimiento-stuffed green olives, drained
2 green onions
1 stick of butter, softened
1/2 cup real mayonnaise
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 loaf crusty French bread

Chop the black and green olives and the green onions. In a large bowl combine the butter, mayonnaise, cheese, olives and onions. Stir until thoroughly combined. Slice the French bread in half lengthwise. Spread the olive cheese mixture in an even layer on each half. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 325 degrees until the cheese mixture is thoroughly melted and beginning to turn light brown and bubbly. Cut into diagonal slices and serve immediately.

Substitute drained, chopped artichoke hearts and grated Parmesan cheese ~ yum!

Sarah. Me. Indiana.
{After eating our olive cheese bread}

Happy Birthday Sarah! :)

26 April 2011

Shredded Chicken Tacos {Slow Cooker}

{Sour cream, anyone?}

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts {it's o.k. if they're still frozen}

1-14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

Diced white onion

1 packet taco seasoning

Favorite Toppings:


Shredded cheese




Salsa/hot sauce

In a medium size bowl, mix the diced tomatoes, diced onions and taco seasoning together. Place the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour the tomato mixture over the chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Before serving, shred the chicken with forks and mix all together in the slow cooker. Serve in warm flour tortillas with your favorite toppings.

** THIS is my new favorite hot sauce. It is SO addicting! I search out Mexican recipes I can make just so I can have an excuse to eat it! :)**

20 April 2011

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Salad Ingredients:
Red onion, thinly sliced
Strawberries, sliced into thirds
Almonds, toasted

Dressing Ingredients:
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
2 T. white vinegar
1/3 c. sugar
1 T. vegetable oil
1 tsp. poppy seeds

16 April 2011

Slow Cooker Chili Dogs

I love this recipe in the sense that it takes exactly 1 minute and 47 seconds to prepare. No kidding. Make it and time yourself ~ you'll become a believer! Oh, and it's super delicious too :)

4-6 hot dogs

2 cans chili

1 can cheddar cheese soup

Shredded cheddar cheese

Hot dog buns

Place hot dogs in the bottom of the crock pot. In a separate bowl, mix together the chili and the cheddar cheese soup. Pour chili and cheddar cheese soup mixture over hot dogs and cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. When chili dogs are done, put over hot dog buns and top with shredded cheddar cheese. Enjoy!

11 April 2011

Panda Express Mushroom Chicken

This is a CopyKat recipe of the mushroom chicken at Panda Express. It is one of my favorites! Now it is such a treat to be able to make it at home :)

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts

cornstarch (for dusting)

1 T. vegetable oil

1 T. sesame oil

2 T. soy sauce

1 T. balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tsp. ground ginger

1 package fresh mushrooms

4 small zucchini

Cut chicken into 1 inch chunks and lightly dust with cornstarch. Halve zucchini and mushrooms and set aside. In a wok or a large skillet heat the vegetable oil and sesame oil and fry the chicken until a golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towels. Add zucchini and mushrooms to the skillet and stir fry for a few minutes. Add soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, garlic and ginger stirring to coat and stir fry until mushrooms and zucchini are fully cooked. Return the chicken to the pan and coat with sauce, heating thoroughly. Serve over sticky hot white rice.

10 March 2011

Shrimp and Vegetable Asian Stir-Fry

Obviously I have been really into cooking a lot of Asian dishes lately that are served over white rice. This is one of them! Another yummy and healthy stir-fry recipe that is surprisingly quick and easy to prepare. All you have to do is chop up your favorite vegetables and throw some white rice in the rice cooker (or make on the stove) and it's done! :)

4 T. soy sauce
4 T. ketchup
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 cloves garlic, minced
pepper to taste

Favorite Vegetables
onion, sliced (white or purple)
red bell pepper, chopped
red cabbage, thinly sliced
mushrooms, quartered
zucchini, chopped
celery, chopped
carrots, chopped

1 lb. uncooked shrimp, deveined
4 T. canola oil
2 T. soy sauce
cooked white rice

Prepare the sauce in a bowl, and let the uncooked shrimp marinate for at least 30 minutes. Set aside and chop your favorite vegetables for the stir-fry.

Heat 2 T. canola oil in a skillet. Add favorite vegetables plus 2 T. soy sauce and cook. Remove from stove when finished and put in a separate bowl/on a separate plate. Add 2 T. canola oil into the same pan and cook shrimp plus marinade. When the shrimp is cooked, add the vegetables and stir-fry everything together. Serve over hot rice.

P.S. If you're not a shrimp fan, chicken or pork would be really yummy too in this dish, I was just in a "shrimp mood" the other day :)

01 March 2011

Sweet and Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Vegetable Stir-Fry

Another delicious recipe that tastes like take out! This is the first time I have ever made stir-fry without using a seasoning packet. Making the sauce homemade is super easy, and this dish was surprisingly quick to throw together!

I chopped the vegetables up in the afternoon and put them in a Tupperware, and I let the chicken marinate in the fridge all day. When dinner time rolled around I put everything on the stove in a pan and viola, dinner was served!

2 boneless skinless chicken breasts

2 T. soy sauce

2 T. rice vinegar

3 T. vegetable oil

1 T. ground ginger

1 medium red onion, cut into thin strips

1 can pineapple chunks (save the juice!)

3 green onion, chopped

1 green pepper, chopped into big chunks

3 cloves minced garlic

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry Sauce

5 T. red wine vinegar

5 T. sugar

3 T. tomato sauce

3 T. pineapple juice reserved from can

½ tsp. salt

Combine sweet and sour sauce ingredients in a bowl and set aside.

Cut the chicken into chunks. Place in a large Ziploc bag and toss with the soy sauce and vinegar. Let it marinate for at least 15 minutes, but the longer it marinates the better it will taste.

Cook the chicken in vegetable oil in a pan on the stove for 3 minutes. Set aside in a separate bowl the chicken and all the liquid.

In the same pan cook in vegetable oil the onions, green pepper, and when they’re done add the drained pineapple and cook for 1 minute longer. Add the garlic and ginger; cook everything together. Return the cooked chicken and liquid to the pan. Stir in the sweet and sour sauce and stir fry together for 2 minutes. Serve piping hot over white rice.

27 February 2011

Layered Fiesta Dip

This delicious Mexican dip is very similar to 7-Layer Dip... except for it only has 5 layers :). I like this recipe because it's quick to throw together and doesn't involve any chopping of the tomatoes, olives, and green onions like the traditional 7-layer bean dip does. This is what we snacked on this evening during our little Academy Awards family party/get together. It's pretty addicting!

1 can refried beans
sour cream
2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese {or plain cheddar cheese will work just fine too}

Heat up the refried beans for 2 minutes in the microwave. Spread them evenly in an 8x8 baking dish. Spread guacamole on top of the beans, then the sour cream, then the salsa, and top with the shredded cheese. Cover with foil and put it in the refrigerator to let it "set." Serve with tortilla chips.