Thursday, January 26, 2012

Broccoli Chicken

I made this for my family for the first time last night, it was delicious!!  If you do not want to velvet the chicken and fry it in oil, it would be fine stir fried at a high heat with minimal fat.  I might also add some freshly grated ginger as well, the recipe is easily adapted to other veggies ect.  

  • Sauce:
  • 2 tablespoons oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dark soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • To Cook Broccoli:
  • 1 pound broccoli
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar, or to taste
  • Other:
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon water
  • 2 cups plus 4 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil, for frying
  • 3/4 - 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • To Velvet Chicken:
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


1. Cut the chicken into 3/4 to 1-inch cubes. In a bowl, mix together the egg white, cornstarch and salt. Add the egg white mixture to the chicken cubes, tossing or using your fingers to coat the chicken in the mixture. Marinate the velveted chicken in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
2. While the chicken is marinating, prepare the sauce and vegetables: for the sauce, mix together the oyster sauce, light soy, dark soy, and water in a small bowl and set aside. In another small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water thickener and set aside. Wash and drain the broccoli. Cut the stalk diagonally into thin slices. Cut the flowerets into 3 or 4 pieces. Crush the garlic.
3. Preheat a wok. Heat 2 cups oil in the wok until it reaches 275 degrees Fahrenheit. (Test the heat by placing a piece of chicken in the wok - it should float). Add the chicken cubes, and let cook until they just turn white (about 30 seconds), using a wooden spoon or chopsticks to gently separate them. Quickly remove the chicken cubes from the wok as soon as they turn white, and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
4. Drain the oil out of the wok or preheat a second wok on medium high to high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. When the oil is hot, add the crushed garlic and stir fry for 10 seconds.
5. Add the broccoli, sprinkle the salt and sugar over, and stir fry briefly, turning down the heat if necessary to make sure it doesn't burn. Add the 1/2 cup water, and cook the broccoli, covered, for 4 - 5 minutes, until it turns a bright green and is tender but still crisp. Remove from the wok and drain.
6. Clean out the wok and heat 2 more tablespoons oil. Add the broccoli and the velveted chicken, stirring and tossing to cook the chicken through. Add the sauce and cornstarch mixture in the middle of the wok and stir quickly to thicken. Mix everything together and serve hot over steamed rice.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


This is my very favorite Waffle recipe!  I always double the recipe and freeze for busy school day breakfasts!


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat waffle iron. Beat eggs in large bowl with hand beater until fluffy. Beat in flour, milk, vegetable oil, sugar, baking powder, salt and vanilla, just until smooth.
  2. Spray preheated waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray. Pour mix onto hot waffle iron. Cook until golden brown. Serve hot.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Words cannot describe the yumminess of these amazing nuggets of .....YUMM

1 1/2 cups warm water (about 110 F)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dry yeast
3 ounces (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
3 quarts water
3/4 cup baking soda
1 whole egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon cold water
coarse sea salt

On low speed, mix the water, sugar, yeast, and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook until combined. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Add the salt and 4 1/2 cups of the flour and mix on low speed until combined.  Increase the speed to medium knead until the dough is smooth and begins to pull away from the side of the bowl, about 3 to 4 minutes. If the dough appears too wet, add additional flour 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough clears the sides of the bowl.  Remove the dough from the bowl, place on a lightly floured surface and knead into a ball with your hands.

Spray a bowl with cooking spray (or oil with with vegetable oil), add the dough and turn to coat.  Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm spot until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 425 F.  Spray two baking sheets liberally with cooking spray.

Bring the water to a boil in a small roasting pan over high heat and add the baking soda.

Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a flat surface. Divide the dough into 8 equal pieces, about 4 1/4 to 4 1/2 ounces each.  Roll each piece into a long rope measuring about 22 inches.  Cut the dough into one inch pieces to make pretzel bites.  Boil the pretzel bites in the water solution in batches of about 10-15 for 30 seconds.  Remove with a large slotted spoon and place the pretzel bites on the prepared baking sheets, making sure they aren't touching.  Brush the tops with the egg wash and season liberally with the salt.  Place into the oven and bake for 15 to 18 minutes, or until golden brown.


I have been making Hummus for years now, most of the recipes out there are the same with the exception of some, which exclude Cumin.  YOU NEED the Cumin folks, it is what gives Hummus its distinct flavor, skip ALL recipes that omit it!!  I have used canned garbanzo beans and cooked my own, either way is fine, just don't freeze your extra beans and expect to make good Hummus with them at a future date! Nope it doesn't work, freezing does something to the beans to make them gritty, I learned the hard way.  I also do not think I have made it the same way twice, its a very forgiving food as long as you have the basic ingredients. I posted a pic of my breakfast this morning, nothing better than homemade Hummus on a homemade bagel....YUMMY


1-2 Large cloves garlic
2 Cups Cooked Chickpeas (reserve liquid)
2 Tbsp Tahini
1/4 C. Lemon Juice
1/2 Tsp. Cumin
Large pinch Cayenne (to taste)
Salt to taste
Smoked Paprika for sprinkling on top. (optional)

Add all ingredients in the food processor, add reserved liquid from beans or water (I always forget to save the liquid), mix until you achieve the desired consistency.
Told you it was EASY!  Serve with toasted pita bread, tomatoes, cucumber and red onions.  

Monday, January 23, 2012

Bacon Jam and I am not a food photographer!

OK so this jam is good!  REALLY REALLY good and is best eaten with pretzel sticks, warm bread or simply on a spoon.  I would describe it as sweet, salt, slightly spicy smoked goodness.  I also want to add that the above photo and the photo's of my last few blog posts have been from my camera phone, you see, I had a bit of a accident with my good camera, its sitting in a large ziploc bag of rice and I am praying that it works again..ya ya it fell in the sink. :(  So, please don't consider these photo's as fancy foodie food photos..LOL  

1 lb good-quality bacon
1 small onion, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup coffee, cola or beer
1/4 cup maple syrup or honey

Roughly chop the bacon and cook it in a heavy pot; transfer to a bowl using a slotted spoon, draining off most of the drippings. Saute the onion and garlic cloves in the rest for 5 minutes, until soft and starting to turn golden.
Return the bacon to the pan, add the brown sugar, coffee and maple syrup and cook over medium heat for half an hour, or until deep golden and thickened to the consistency of jam.
If you like, cool and pulse in the food processor for a finer texture. Serve warm or cold. Keeps in a sealed container in the fridge for a week or two, if it lasts that long.

Sweet Potato Casserole Bars

This recipe is a winner!  I made these at holiday time and they were a HUGE hit.  I am not a fan of marshmallows on my sweet potato casserole but on this bar they make all the difference.  The bar itself is dense and moist and the crunchy marshmallows really bring it all together.

  • 3/4 c. canned sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • half of a 10.5 oz bag of mini marshmallows
I used Organic canned Sweet Potatoes, 1 med sweet potato scrubbed, baked and cooled will work as well. Either way you need 3/4 cup!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil, and spray with cooking spray.

Cream the butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl as needed.  Mix in the vanilla and the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger.  With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour, and mix until just incorporated.  Using a rubber spatula, fold in the sweet potato puree.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake 26-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.  Scatter the marshmallows over the top, being sure to cover the entire pan.  Preheat the broiler, and broil the bars until the marshmallows are dark golden-brown.  You may have to rotate the pan a few times depending on how evenly your broiler cooks.  

Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature before cutting into bars.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Beautifully simple red grapefruit.

I fell in LOVE with this grapefruit after cutting it AND yes, it tasted as good as it looks!
OH, I was testing my new blogger ap on my android phone, now sure what I think yet but, I will keep giving it a go if it means I will post more!


I have been making these yummy bagels for months now, they are seriously the most delicious bagels I have ever had (insert shameless bragging).  My desire to make the perfect bagel has been around for a LONG time, my first 5 attempts were ugly and moderately edible (everything is better with cream cheese). I think my fear of yeast and lack of knowing when the dough has been kneaded enough was the reason for my failures, and the fact that I kept them in boiling water far too long!  So, if I could give you any advice in regards to bagel making, don't have them in the water too long, you will have shriveled up hockey pucks with a hole in the middle.  


1 cup plus 1 Tbsp. hot water
2 1/4 Tsp. yeast (or 1 packet)
2 Tbsp Sugar
3 Cups Bread Flour
1 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. Sugar
1 egg (egg wash)
Corn Meal 
Various toppings, use your imagination

  1. Place hot water, yeast and 2 Tbsp. sugar in mixing bowl (I use my kitchenaide), let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add flour and salt, knead with dough hook or by hand until soft and elastic. This is a dense dough so it will be rather firm to the touch, I knead for about 3 minutes at med. speed.
  3. Cover with a towel and sit in a warm place, I have a proofing feature on my oven, usually takes about 30 minutes but, sitting on the counter might be 1-2 hours depending on temp in house.  You want to see that the dough has doubled in bulk.
  4. While the dough is rising, fill a large stock pot with water, once its to the boil add 4 Tbsp sugar and reduce heat ( you want it to be able to quickly get to the boil when the bagels are done proofing)
  5. Parchment paper line a large cookie sheet and lightly coat with oil, I use spray olive oil.
  6. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  7. Take proofed dough and cut it into 6 portions, roll into a ball and using your finger make a hole, you want to make it big enough because when they rise again the hole will get much smaller. Place on prepared cookie sheet, cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
  8. Get water back up to the boil.
  9. Place bagel top side down into boiling water, you want to boil them for NO MORE than 15 seconds on each side, place on a clean towel with a slotted spoon, repeat until all are done.
  10. Sprinkle corn meal onto the cookie sheet the bagels were on while rising, transfer bagels from towel to cookie sheet.
  11. Brush each bagel with the egg wash and sprinkle whatever toppings you desire, we like poppy seed, sesame seed, cinnamon sugar and onion.
  12. Bake for aprox 30 minutes