Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Chinese Chicken

A couple of days ago Mark was asking me what we were going to have for dinner and I told him that I wanted CHINESE! He laughed at me and said, "That isn't going to happen" because...chinese food is loaded with Soy Sauce. I have not had an ounce of chinese food in almost 3 months and I was in dire need. You are talking to a girl who normally has a "Panda Express Craving" about once a month.

He was talking to a determined girl and I decided I was going to make it happen! I searched and searched for a soy sauce substitute. To no avail. Not because they don't exist but because I had a lack of ingredients on hand. So I decided to just wing it.

When we were done eating my husband said,"Did you write this down? Because you need to remember it and make it again!"

Lucky for him I did write it down. And it was delicious. And I want to make it every week...for the next 6 months. :)

Here is what you need for the sauce:

1 Cup Orange Juice
1/2 Cup Chicken Broth
3 Tablespoons Honey
2 Tablespoons Rice Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp Salt
1 Tablespoon Balsalmic Vinegar
1 tsp Corn Syrup
1 tsp Ginger
1 small can crushed pineapple

1 Tablespoon Oil
2 Cloves Garlic Minced

2 Tablespoons Water + 1 Tablespoon Corn Starch Mixed

8 Small Button Mushrooms Sliced

In a small saucepan heat the oil on medium and cook the garlic until nice and golden and delicious. Then add all of the other above ingredients. (I mixed them beforehand-leaving the water/cornstarch separate until putting it in the pan) Turn heat down so it is just at a simmer and simmer for about 15 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

While that is simmering you need to make your chicken. Defrost 1lb. of chicken and cut into cubes.

Dip in a batter made up of:

2/3 cup flour
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup pineapple or orange juice

Warm up 1/3 cup of oil and add 1/2 of an onion cut into strips. Fry the onion for about 3 minutes on its own. Once the chicken is coated add it to the oil and onion.
Fry in about 1/3 cup of oil until golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

Serve with rice. Smother chicken in the delicious sauce.

I am serious people. Even if you are not Chinese food deprived you will want to eat this again and again. We were so sad when our leftovers were gone.

Tips from Kj:

You could add even more things to the sauce mixture. Mandarin oranges, green peppers, celery, the onion, zucchini etc. Anything you want just think Chinese stir fry and put it into the sauce. Pin It

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Honey Balsamic Salmon and a WINNER!

Okay 2 winners :) So I am going to keep this post short and sweet. I have an over the hill cake to decorate (Pictures to come) and candied yams to prepare. Today is my mom's 50th birthday and tomorrow...well you know, its THANKSGIVING!

So now to decide what I should tell you first? The Salmon Recipe or the winners?

I think I'll do the winners...because if I did the recipe first you might just scroll down to see if you won and miss out on simple salmon goodness. Or if I do the winners first I guess you might just see if you won and never scroll down to the goodness. I guess I can't win either way?? I promise that after you see if you won you really should scroll down and see how to make this:

Okay and now drumroll!!!! The winners are:

2 Caramel Apples go to: Hannah A. 
A box of 9 cupcakes go to: Megan H. 

CONGRATULATIONS! Be sure to check your email for instructions on how to retrieve your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated in my very first giveaway! And a HUGE thanks to Sweet Dreams Cupcakes and Treats for being a part of it. If you live in the Utah/Salt Lake County areas you need to keep her in mind if you need treats for any party or special occasion! She will not let you down :)

 I am hoping to have more giveaways in the future and if you could not enter this one because of location do not despair!  I will make sure to have one that can reach all readers...

On to the Salmon. Here is what you need:

2 Salmon Fillets
1 Tablespoon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup balsamic vinager

Pre-heat your broiler on high

Mix together the salt, mustard, and pepper. Sprinkle that on the tops and bottoms of the salmon. I like to press it in so it really sticks.

Then put your salmon onto whatever pan you are going to use. (I just used a cookie sheet covered in aluminum foil so it would be easy cleanup after)

Mix your honey and balsamic vinager together. I like to put it in the microwave so the honey really gets liquefied. Drench the salmon in the Balsamic honey mixture.

Place in oven and broil for about 10-15 minutes or until the salmon gets nice a flaky.

Put the salmon on your plate and then cover it again with the sauce that is in the pan. Then die and go to heaven as you eat it! :) I LOVED this recipe. I really just love salmon but when you have the right seasonings it is like a party!

Tips from Kj:

HAVE A HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Eat a lot and don't feel can exercise later. haha

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quinoa Salad

Quinoa...what is that?? That is what I first thought when someone said they had something made with Quinoa. It sounded weird, possibly healthy, and like it could be made of chicken hearts or something. Who knew what it was. Come to find out it is a GRAIN! :) Great. I love grain and rice and everything so I got this recipe from my neighbor and gave it a go. (First she brought me some and it was absolutely I just had to make it myself!) And lucky me it was soy and dairy free which is always a bonus! Because, then I can eat it. ha

We had this with Salmon and it was amazing. Stay tuned for my salmon recipe it is coming up next. Also keep your eyes peeled for a GIVEAWAY on Sunday!! I am so excited about it so be sure to check in!

You need:

Salad Mixture-

1 1/2 cups cooked Quinoa
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans
1 1/2 Tablespoons Vinegar
1 1/2 cups cooked corn
3/4 cup chopped bell pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro


6 Tablespoons Lime Juice
1 Teaspoon Salt
1 1/ tsp Cumin
1 1/2 tsp Corriander
1/3 cup olive oil

Pepper to taste

Basically cook the quinoa according to the package directions. Then add the salad mixture ingredients. Mix the dressing in a separate bowl and then add that to the salad mixture. Voila! Now when we got this from her originally we were unsure if it was supposed to be warm or cold. So we tried it both ways. I personally liked it the best when it was warmed up! But you can have it cold too and it is very good!

Did I mention I am posting a giveaway on Sunday? Silly me! I did..but I thought I'd tell you one more time :)

Tips from Kj:

As you might have noticed there were no black beans in my salad. I didn't have any. So neither did my salad. The great thing is that it was still very good!

You also have a lot of freedom with what you add to this salad. Try tomatoes, cucumber, avocado, chicken etc.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes

I am in love with sweet potatoes. They really are one of my favorite foods. Slathered with butter and cinnamon sugar and then sprinkled with a little bit of salt. Oh yum! Right now I am banned from butter but I still have my cinnamon so it is okay.

Our little guy had some sweet potatoes for his first solid food experience and we decided to have some right along with him.

 Ours were just a little more delux.

Bake your sweet potatoes (after you wash them of course) in an oven set to 350 for 1 hour. Take your potatoes out, cut them in half, and scoop out the insides into a bowl.

Then you need:

1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoons Cream Cheese
1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 1/2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Milk

Mix all of those things with the sweet potato insides. (You can use a blender or just a potato masher)

Scoop back into the potato skins and bake still at 350 for another 10 minutes. Then take them out and sprinkle a little bit of salt on the top of each potato. I promise the salt makes them so delicious!

Now how did I eat these you ask? Being banned from butter and goodness and all? I just mixed in the cinnamon, milk (rice milk) and brown sugar and scooped that into my potatoes. Then I added the rest of the delicious ingredients to my husbands potatoes. Mine were still VERY good! So if you want your potatoes to be a little more healthy take the dairy free road my is still a good road. Just maybe like going to Disneyland but not California adventure. My husband on the other hand? He got to go to both parks. haha And if you can go to both should!

Tips from Kj:

If you want these to be more savory instead of sweet add some garlic and sour cream to your potatoes instead!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Taco Seasoning Anyone??

I am here to tell you that you never need to buy a taco seasoning packet again in your life. I know I just made your whole day. You're welcome.

Okay,  so I realize I probably didn't make your day but maybe I made your dinner tonight! Whenver we don't know what to have for dinner we almost always have tostadas (recipe HERE) or tacos or burritos of some sort. Mainly because we always have the ingredients for those things on hand. Or we have hamburgers with sweet potato fries. I adore making hamburger concoctions...but that is a different post for a different day.

I used to buy the taco seasoning packets until we didn't have one one day and I decided that it couldn't be that hard to make taco seasoning right? It just needs to be a little spicy and I had chili powder so I decided to do some experimenting. Now I have figured out what I guess I will call "Kj's Taco Seasoning" So original right? Thank you.

Here is what you need:

2 Tbsp Chili Powder
3/4 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Onion Powder
1/2 tsp Oregano
1 Tbsp Cumin
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp Salt

Mix it all together and keep in a sealed container.

When you want to use it simply mix about 2 tablespoons in with your ground beef as you are cooking it. (Or more or less to your liking. I have found that 2 tablespoons is the magical amount for me)

If you want it to be more saucy you can add 1/4-3/4 cup water depending on how saucy you want it to be.

Tips from Kj:

Make A LOT of this at once and then you will always have it on hand!

If you are missing an ingredient that is okay! Sometimes I don't have an ingredient so I just don't worry about it and carry on. As long as you have 2 tablespoons of something spicy in there it will work!

You can use this on chicken/steak and make fajitas just make sure you do add about 1/4-1/2 cup water to make it a little more saucy!

If I have one I like to sautee an onion in about a tablespoon of oil before cooking my burger.

CHECK CH CHECK CHECK CHECK...CHECK IT OUT! (Anyone know what song that was supposed to be? haha)

I wanted to throw a shout out to a great blog I think you should check out! (Hence the song) They are an entertainment blog with great DIY ideas for weddings and parties. It is wedding week on their blog and they are having some awesome giveaways this week! Here is the link:

To Entertain

Hope you like it and if you are like me....I can never resist a great giveaway! :)

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Honey Garlic Pork Chops

A while back my hubby's parents came to visit us and our new little guy. They graciously gave us some meat from Costco that we normally wouldn't buy ourselves. (Well at least not on our College Student Budget we wouldn't! Trust me we love meat and would buy all kinds of meat all the time if we could! Give me about 7 more months and we will be officially out of our college student budget and you will be able to feast your eyes on even more delectable culinary masterpieces...I hope.) I have been having a lot of fun trying different things with the meat we have had. Tonight I decided it was time for some chops. I even bought applesauce just to celebrate our chop eating. Even though it will never be the same as my mama's homemade chunky applesauce with pork chops. YUM!

These chops were amazing without applesauce and delicious with. So if you don't have any applesauce never fear!

We had rice with these. I swear that my husband is the king of rice. We have a rice maker. I could put the rice in and the EXACT same ingredients he uses and the rice would rebel against me. Then he would come along doing the same thing I did and out comes rice goodness that could be served in a restaurant. I don't know how he does it...the rice whisperer.

All you need for these chops is some mustard, honey, pepper, and garlic powder. And Pork Chops of course. They are seriously easy peasy like a cake! (Once a girl I knew worked in a classroom with a teacher that was teaching spanish to the students but learning english. As you hopefully know by now the english language and our slang can be a little out there and hard to understand if you are learning it. I know first hand because I am a teacher and sometimes I would realize how crazy our language is as I try to explain silent letters and other nuances to my 7 year old second graders. Anyway back to the story she got confused one day and said "Easy Peasy Like a Cake!
 Instead of piece of cake. It stuck as something we said a lot in my college classroom...

Here are the exact ingredients:

2 Pork Chops

1/4 cup mustard
1/4 cup overflowing with honey
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tablespoon oil
1/4 cup water

Mix the first 4 ingredients in a bowl.

Heat your oil over medium heat in a frying pan for 2 minutes. Add your pork chops and cook for 1 minute on each side. Then put half of your sauce on top of the two chops. Cook still over medium for about 3 minutes flip over and put the other half of your sauce on top. Cook for another 3 minutes. Cook for 2 more minutes flipping one more time. Add water and turn temperature down to medium low. Let simmer for about 3 minutes. Now your chops should be done and ready to eat!

Tips from KJ:

You can use about 2 cloves of real garlic instead of garlic powder.

Experiment with different kinds of mustard! Use spicy mustard for an extra kick! Pin It