Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mongolian Beef- Easy and tastes just like PF Changs

1 lb of flank steak or cube steak, thinly sliced crosswise
1/4 cup of cornstarch
3 teaspoons of canola oil
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger (about 1/2 inch piece)
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 2 -3 large cloves)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
3 large green onions, sliced

For the meat, make sure the steak slices are dry by patting them with a paper towel. Slice them into strips, then add the cornstarch to the beef. Place the slices in a strainer and shake off excess corn starch.

Begin to cook the rice while you prepare the rest of the meal.

For the sauce, heat half of the oil in a large wok or pan at medium-high heat and add the garlic and the ginger. Immediately add the soy sauce, water, brown sugar and pepper flakes. Cook the sauce for about 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl. Don't worry if the sauce doesn't look thick enough at this point. The corn starch in the beef will thicken it up later.

Place the meat in the same pan and cook, stirring until it is all browned (this is a quick thing). Pour the sauce back into the wok/pan and let it cook along with the meat.

You can cook down the sauce to reduce it to thicken or leave it thinner. Add the green onions on the last minute so the green parts will stay green and the white parts crunchy. (recipe from here and picture from here.)

Monday, August 30, 2010

TOO Easy Lasagna

1 lbs. ground beef
1 lbs. ground sausage
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. italian spices
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 cans of tomato soup
12-16 lasagna noodles
1 pint cottage cheese (lowfat)
1 cup of mozzerella cheese
In a large skillet, cook beef and sausage and then drain. Add water, oregano, vinegar, garlic and soup. Simmer. At the same time, cook lasagna noodles until done and drain. In a 13x9 pan, layer noodles, meat, cottage cheese and mozzerella cheese. Repeat layers until all is gone. Sprinkle with additional mozzerella cheese. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until done. (picture from here.)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Apple Fritters

1 cup milk
1 egg, beaten
4 TBS. margarine
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 orange, rind and juice
1 cup apples (chopped into small bits)
3 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. cinnamon
Beat egg in a large mixing bowl. Combine milk and margarine with egg. Add orange juice, rind, chopped apples and vanilla. Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder. Stir into egg mixture with spoon until blended. DO NOT OVER MIX!! Preheat oil in a skillet to 350 degrees. Drop batter in small amounts to create the size desired of fritter. Fry until golden brown, turning once. Allow to cool. ENJOY! (picture from here.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Oatmeal and Protein Pancakes

6 egg whites

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup low fat cottage cheese
2 tsp. splenda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla
I scoop of vanilla protein powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Heat a pancake griddle over medium heat. Spray with non stick cooking spray and cook until golden brown on both sides! ENJOY! (picture from here.)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Slow Cooker Sweet and Sour Chicken

1 can (20 ounces) pineapple chunks in juice
1 cup baby-cut carrots, cut in half
1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon finely chopped gingerroot
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 2-inch pieces
1/2 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup water
Hot cooked rice or chow mein noodles, if desired

Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Place pineapple chunks in small bowl; cover and refrigerate.
Place carrots, onion, garlic and gingerroot in 4 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Top with chicken. Mix soy sauce, brown sugar and reserved pineapple juice; pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 7 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink.
During last 30 minutes, add pineapple and bell peppers. Increase to high heat setting. Mix cornstarch and water; stir into chicken mixture during last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with rice.
(recipe and picture from here.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just Like Chili's Queso Dip

1 TBS. Butter
1 small can of cream of cheese soup
1 (5 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 (10 oz.) can of tomatos, diced
1 small can of green chiles
1 small can jalapeno peppers, diced
3 lb. american or cheddar cheese
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Add soup. milk, tomatoes, chiles, jalapenos and cheese. Warm until cheese is melted, stirring regularly. Put into a large serving dish and serve warm with tortilla chips. (picture from here.)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars (In the Spence household, they are know as "Stockton Bars")

1 cube butter
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1 (6oz) package of semi sweet chips
1 (14oz) can sweetened condensed milk
Preheat overn to 350. In a small bowl, melt butter and add cracker crumbs. Mix with a spoon until all the crumbs are coated in the butter. Press in the bottom of a 13x9 pan. Top evenly with remaining ingredients, top with condensed milk. Bake 25- 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool before cutting. (Picture from here.)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

BEST Homemade Granola

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds, hulled
1 cup raw sunflower seeds, hulled
1/2 cup flax seed, whole

1 cup coconut
1 1/4 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped
3/4 cup pure maple syrup, preferably Grade A (I have also used honey)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place oats, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, coconut, almonds, flax seed, syrup, olive oil, sugar, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl and mix until well combined. Spread granola mixture in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until granola is toasted, about 45 minutes.

Remove granola from oven. Let cool completely before serving or storing in an airtight container for up to 1 month. (recipe and picture from here.)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Slow Cooker Thai Chicken and Rice

4-6 chicken boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 cups salsa (any variety)
1/2 cup peanut butter
4 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoon grated gingerroot
1/2 cup chopped peanuts
4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Place chicken in 3 1/2- to 6-quart slow cooker. Mix remaining ingredients except peanuts and cilantro; pour over chicken.

Cover and cook on low heat setting 8 to 9 hours or until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut. Remove chicken from cooker, using slotted spoon; place on serving platter. Pour sauce over chicken. Sprinkle with peanuts and cilantro. (Recipe and picture from here.)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Zucchini Lasagna

Olive oil, for baking dish
8 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta cheese
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 medium zucchini, (8 ounces each) halved lengthwise, then sliced thinly crosswise
1 garlic clove, minced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
6 no-boil lasagna noodles
2 ounces shredded (1/2 cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly oil an 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.
In a medium bowl, stir together cream cheese and ricotta; season with salt and pepper. In another medium bowl, combine zucchini, garlic, and oregano; season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

Spread 1/3 zucchini mixture in prepared baking dish; top with two lasagna noodles, then 1/3 ricotta mixture. Repeat twice with remaining zucchini mixture, noodles, and ricotta mixture, finishing with the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella.

Cover baking dish with aluminum foil; bake until bubbly and noodles are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake until golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes more. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. (Recipe and Picture from here.)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Banana Applesauce Bread

1/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 large banana
2 eggs beaten
1 can applesauce (16oz)
3 TBS. buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
Cream butter and sugar. Add banana, eggs and applesauce. Stir in flour, salt, and soda. Mix should be slightly thicker than a cake mix. If too stiff, add another TBS of buttermilk. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes in two seperate bread pans. When done, slide a knife around edges of pan and invert. Cool on wire rack. (picture found here and recipe found here.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Just like Market Street"s Clam Chowder

2 cups diced potatoes
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced green pepper
1 cup diced leeks
3/4 cups chopped clams
3/4 TBS. pepper
1 1/2 TBS. salt
3/4 TBS. thyme
6 bay leaves
3/4 cup sherry
3 cups water
3/4 cups clam juice
3/4 cup melted butter
1 cup flour
2 quarts half and half

Combine melted butter and flour in over proof container and bake for 325 for 30 minutes. In a large sauce pan combine remaining ingredients except for the half and half. Simmer until potatoes are cooked. Stir butter/ flour mixture into chowder and stir until thick. Remove chowder from heat. Stir in half and half until blended. Heat to serving temp and desired thickness.

NOTE: THIS MAKES A VERY LARGE BATCH. You can either half it or freeze it for up to 3 months. (Recipe from Jill Parkinson and Peacocks on My Porch.)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crab and Cream Chesse Won Tons

6 oz. cream cheese
1/3 cup crab meat
2 green onions, chopped
1/2 tsp. soy sauce
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 pkg. won ton wrappers, small squares
Blend together ingredients. Drop 1 TBS. on each of the small size wrappers. Fold in corners and seal with egg whites by dipping your fingers in the egg and gently brushing and sealing the won ton wrappers. Fry in hot oil until crispy and brown. Serve with sweet and sour sauce. (recipe from here and picture from here.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Strawberry Pretzel Squares

2 cups finely crushed pretzels
1/2 cups sugar, divided
2/3 cups butter, melted
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
2 TBS. milk
1 cup thawed Cool Whip Topping
2 cups boiling water
1 pkg. Jell-o Brand Strawberry flavor gelatin
1- 1/2 cups cold water
4 cups strawberries, sliced

Preheat oven to 350. Mix pretzels, 1/4 cup of the sugar and the butter. Press firmly onto the bottom of a 13x9 baking pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cool. Beat cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar and milk until well blended. Gently stir in whippped topping. Spread over crust. Refrigerate until you are going to use.

Meanwhile, stir in boiling water into gelatin in large bowl for at least 2 minutes or until completely dissolved. Stir in cold water. Refrigerate 1 hour or until thickened. Stir in strawberries. Spoon over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 3 hours until firm. Cut into squares to serve. (recipe from Itajai Wignall and picture from allrecipes.com)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orange Cookies

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 eggs
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup orange juice
3 TBS. orange zest

Preheat oven to 375. Beat sugar and butter until fluffy. Add sour cream and eggs; beat well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and orange juice and orange zest. Blend well. Drop by spoon on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet immediately and cool.

1/4 cup softened butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 TBS. orange zest
2-3 TBS. orange juice
In a small bowl, combine all ingredients; beat until smooth. Frost WARM cookies.
(recipe from Lisa Jensen, picture from here.)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Easy Chicken Pasta Primavera

4 ounces uncooked fettuccine
1 cup broccoli flowerets
1/2 cup 1/4-inch strips carrot
1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil
2-3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1/2-inch strips
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1/3 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon shredded fresh basil leaves or 1/8 teaspoon dried basil leaves
Cook and drain fettuccine as directed on package--except add broccoli and carrot 1 minute before fettuccini is done.

While fettucine is cooking, heat oil in 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken and garlic in oil 2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, until chicken is no longer pink in center; remove from heat. Stir dressing, cheese and basil into chicken. Toss with fettucine and vegetables.
(recipe and picture from bettycrocker.com)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lighter General Tso's Chicken

1 1/4 cups long-grain brown rice
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 pound snow peas, trimmed and halved crosswise
4 garlic cloves, sliced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated and peeled
3 tablespoons light-brown sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
2 large egg whites
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower

Cook rice according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 1 tablespoon cornstarch and 1/2 cup cold water until smooth. Add snow peas, garlic, ginger, sugar, soy sauce, and red-pepper flakes; toss to combine, and set aside.
In another bowl, whisk together egg whites, remaining 3 tablespoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add chicken, and toss to coat.
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Lift half the chicken from egg-white mixture (shaking off excess), and add to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining oil and chicken, and set aside (reserve skillet).

Add snow-pea mixture to skillet. Cover; cook until snow peas are tender and sauce has thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet (with any juices); toss to coat. Serve with rice. (recipe and picture from marthastewart.com/everyday)

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Lemon Fruit Squares!

This recipe is so delicious! ENJOY!
1 1/2 cups Gold Medal® all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butter or margarine, cut into pieces
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons grated lemon peel
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
2 containers (6 ounces each) Yoplait® Original lemon burst yogurt
2 nectarines, sliced
1 cup fresh blackberries

Heat oven to 350°F. In medium bowl, mix flour, butter, 1/3 cup powdered sugar and 1 tablespoon of the lemon peel, using pastry blender or crisscrossing 2 knives, until coarse crumbs form. Press mixture evenly on bottom of a 13x9 pan.rectangular pan, 13x9 inches.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is dry and light golden brown. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

In chilled medium bowl, beat whipping cream, 3 tablespoons powdered sugar and remaining 1 tablespoon lemon peel with electric mixer on high speed until stiff peaks form. Gently stir in yogurt. Spoon over crust. Top with nectarines and blackberries. Serve immediately, or cover and refrigerate until serving.
(recipe and picture from bettycrocker.com)
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