Monday, November 30, 2009

Panda Express Orange Chicken

I love Panda Express Orange Chicken and this recipe is pretty darn close.  Yum!
45 min | 15 min prep
  • 2 lbs boneless skinless chicken, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • white pepper
  • oil (for frying)
  • 1/2 cup cornstarch, plus
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed hot red chili pepper
  • 1/4 cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil

Orange Sauce for Stir Fry

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons water
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 orange, zest of
  1. Place chicken pieces in large bowl.
  2. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well.
  3. Stir cornstarch and flour together.
  4. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
  6. Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.
  7. (Do not overcook chicken).
  8. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.
  9. Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat.
  10. Add 1 tablespoon oil.
  11. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.
  12. Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions.
  13. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds.
  14. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil.
  15. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.
  16. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken.
  17. Heat until sauce is thickened.
  18. Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired.
  19. Serve over jasmine rice.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

I love this recipe!  It's also good with that left-over turkey from Thanksgiving!

1 chicken
4 cans Cream of Chicken soup
1 white onion, chopped
6 jalapeno pepper slices, chopped
1 small can mushrooms, drained and chopped
1 pkg. flour tortillas
16 oz. sour cream
1 large package Mexican-style shredded cheese

Boil chicken in a large pot. While boiling, chop onion, jalapenos, and mushrooms. Sauté in a skillet until flavors are mixed well. Set onion mixture aside.In a large bowl, combine 3 cans Cream of Chicken soup and the sour cream. Mix well and remove enough of the mixture to cover the top of the 9'x13" baking pan. Set aside. (You should have a small bowl and a larger bowl set aside with the chicken soup and sour cream).
Once chicken is done, cool and debone chicken into small pieces. Put chicken pieces and onion mixture in with the large bowl mixture. Mix well.
Get your baking pan and tortillas out. Cover the bottom of the baking pan with a thin layer of the small bowl mixture. Put about 2 large spoonfuls of the large bowl mixture into each tortilla and roll it up and place it in the pan until full.
Cover enchiladas with the mixture from the small bowl. Cover with a thick layer of cheese.
Bake at 350°F for 30-40 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixtures are bubbling.
Feeds family of 4.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Simple Chili

This recipe came from my friend Cindy.  Looks tasty!  Thanks!
1 can light red kidney beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can corn
1 can olives
1 can diced or stewed tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce

Ground beef (However much you want to get rid of. I usually say less is more and big chunks are better). Cook this through with onion, and peppers, and garlic if you like them. Add 1 package chili seasoning (or less to taste) to meat after you drain the grease off.

Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes.

Serve with scoops corn chips and sour cream.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Right from Olive Garden Website!  Yum!

2 fresh artichokes
1 lemon, juice squeezed
1 tsp salt
1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, drained and sliced

1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
8 oz mascarpone cheese, room temperature
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour, sifted
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
1 Tbsp fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
5 green onions, chopped
Salt to taste
Ground black pepper to taste
1 6-oz pack fresh spinach, chopped
8 slices crusty Italian bread
Extra virgin olive oil (to drizzle)
Preheat oven to 325ºF.
  1. BOIL artichokes in 3 quarts water with 1 tsp salt and lemon juice.
  2. COOL artichokes. Clean, peel, remove center “choke” and slice artichoke.
  3. FOLLOW Dip Preparation steps below using fresh artichokes.

  1. MIX all ingredients in a large bowl, except bread and extra virgin olive oil.
  2. COAT a large non-stick baking pan with pan spray; fill pan with mixture. Bake at 325ºF for about 25 minutes or until bubbling and center is hot.
  3. DRIZZLE both sides of bread with extra virgin olive oil. Grill bread on both sides.
  4. SPRINKLE top of heated dip with parmesan cheese. Serve hot with grilled bread.

Alfredo Sauce

Right from the Olive Garden Web-site!  Yummy!

1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup imported Parmesan cheese, grated
1/2 cup imported Romano cheese, grated
6 egg yolks from fresh jumbo eggs
Salt and black pepper to taste

  1. HEAT milk and cream in a heavy bottom saucepan until it begins to simmer. Turn off heat. Slowly whip in cheese, then remove from heat.
  2. PLACE egg yolks in a separate bowl and slowly whip in a portion of the hot milk and cream mixture. Slowly add egg yolk mixture back into remaining cream mixture. Place back on very low heat and continually stir until simmering. Take sauce off heat so it thickens. (This will increase temperature of egg yolks, known as tempering).
  3. SEASON to taste with salt and black pepper. Serve over your favorite pasta.

Easy Crock Pot Black Beans

Wanna use up those dry beans??  Don't want to soak, pre-soak, blah, blah, blah.....
Here's an easy way to cook them.  You can cook any variety of bean this way and it works great.

3 cups dry black beans
9 cups water

Rinse beans and add to crock pot.  Add water and cook on low 7-9 hours or until beans are soft.  So much easier than soaking, boiling, etc...  Great for soup, burritos, salad, chip dip, etc.

Spaghetti Sauce Italiano

    8 oz. bulk Italian sausage
    4 oz. lean ground beef
    1 med onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
    1/2 tsp. bottled minced garlic
    1 can tomatoes, cut up (16 oz.)
    1 can tomato sauce (8 oz.)
    1 can sliced mushrooms, drained (4 oz.)
    1 sm. green pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
    2 tbsp. quick-cooking tapioca
    bay leaf
    1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning, crushed
    1/8 tsp black pepper
    6 oz. packaged dried spaghetti

    Dash salt

  • Cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic in a large sillet until meat is brown and onion is tender. Drain off fat.
  • Meanwhile, combine the undrained tomatoes, the tomato sauce, mushrooms, green pepper, tapioca, bay leaf, Italian seasoning, black pepper, and salt in a 31/2 or 4-quart Crockery Pot. Stir in meat mixture.
  • Cover; cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. (Or, cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.) Discard bay leaf.
  • Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Serve meat mixtue over spaghetti.
Makes 4 to 5 servings.

Cranberry Pork Roast

    boneless rolled pork loin roast (21/2 to 3 pounds)
    1 can jellied cranberry sauce (16 oz.)
    1 tsp. dry mustard
    1/4 tsp. ground cloves
    1/2 c. sugar
    1/2 c. cranberry juice
    2 tbsp. cornstarch
    2 tbsp. cold water

    salt to taste
Place pork roast in a slow cooker.  In a medium bowl, mash cranberry sauce; stir in sugar, cranberry juice, mustard and cloves.  Pour over meat.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours or until meat is tender.  Remove roast and keep warm.  Skim fat from juices; measure 2 cups, adding water if necessary, and pour into a saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat.  Combine the cornstarch and cold water to make a paste; stir into gravy.  Cook and stir until thickened.  Season with salt.  Serve with sliced pork.
Yield: 4-6 servings

Beef Fajitas

    beef flank steak
    onion, chopped (1 cup)
    green sweet pepper, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

    or 2 jalapeño peppers, chopped
    snipped fresh cilantro
    chili powder
    ground cumin
    ground coriander
    bottled minced garlic
    stewed tomatoes (8 oz.)

    flour tortillas (7-onch.)
    lime juice (up to 3 tsp.) (optional)

    Shredded colby and Monterey Jack cheese (optional)

    Guacamole (optional)

    Sour Cream (optional)

    Salsa (optional)

  • Trim fat from steak. Cut steak into 6 portions. Combine steak, onion, green sweet pepper, jalapeño peppers, cilantro, chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic, and salt in Crockery Pot. Add undrained tomatoes.
  • Cover; cook on low for 8 to 10 hours. (Or cook on high for 4 to 5 hours.)
  • Set oven to 350°. To heat tortillas, wrap them in foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until softened. remove steak from cooker and shred. return steak to cooker. stir in lime juice, if desired.
  • To serve, use a slotted spoon to spoon steak mixture onto warm tortillas. Top with cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa, if desired. Roll up tortillas.

Beef and Pasta Casserole

    1 lb. ground beef
    onion, chopped
    1 tsp. salt
    1/4 tsp. garlic powder
    1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 c. flour
    11/4 c. hot water
    2 tsp. beef bouillon granules
    2 tbsp. red wine
    1 pkg. shell macaroni (6 oz.)
    1 can mushrooms, drained (4 oz.)
    1 c. sour cream
In skillet brown the ground beef and onion.  Drain; place in crock pot.  Stir in salt, garlic powder, Worcestershire sauce and flour.  Add water, bouillon and wine; mix well.  Cover and cook on low for 2-3 hours.  Cook macaroni per package directions.  Add cooked pasta, mushrooms and sour cream to Crockery Pot; stir to mix.  Cover and cook on high for 10-15 minutes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Apples


4 large sweet potatoes (3lbs)
3 Tb unsalted butter, softened
2 Tb heavy cream
1/2 c applesauce
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 apples, peeled and cored
3 Tb sugar


Place sweet potatoes on a parchment-lined baking sheet; pierce each several times with a fork. Bake until very tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 50 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Cut open potatoes and scoop out flesh into bowl of an electric mixer, fitted with paddle attachment. Add 2Tb butter and cream and beat until smooth. Add the applesauce and ginger. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to an oven-proof serving dish and bake at 375 F until heated through (10 minutes).
Cut the apples into 1″ pieces. Melt the remaining Tb butter in a non stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add apples and sugar; saute until golden and nicely caramelized, about 8 minutes. Top potatoes with apples and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Raspberry Pecan Turkey Breast


1 (3 to 4 lb) boneless turkey breast, fully thawed
10 oz. raspberry jam
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1/2 cup pecan pieces
Fresh raspberries and pecan halves, for garnish


Place the turkey breast in the slow cooker.  Mix the raspberry jam, mustard, and pecan pieces together and spoon over the turkey.  Cook for 6 to 8 hours on the low setting, occasionally spooning some of the jam mixture back over the turkey breast.  Garnish with fresh berries and pecans before serving.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mexican Butternut Squash Soup










  • 2  teaspoons  olive oil
  • 2  cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 3/4 pound)
  • 1/2 onion-chopped
  • 1  cup  chopped red or green bell pepper
  • 1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles
  • 1  teaspoon  dried oregano
  • 1  teaspoon  chili powder
  • 2 cans  vegetable broth
  • 1  (15.5-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans
  • 2 TBL fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup  minced fresh cilantro


Heat oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat. Add squash and next 5 ingredients (squash through chili powder); saute 2 minutes. Add broth, corn and beans; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in lime juice and cilantro.