Friday, September 30, 2011

Honey Sesame Chicken

My sister is a cast member at Disney World in Orlando.  This means at Christmas time the family gets loaded up with sweet Disney swag.  She got me this great cookbook a few years ago.  This is yet another example of me not using my cookbooks to their full potential.

I've been eying this recipe since I got the book.  This was a little time intensive but not really hard and it tasted great.  The batter is what made this to me.  It was a really light batter, which made really crispy chicken pieces.

Honey Sesame Chicken:
(Nine Dragons Restaurant Recipe- Cooking With Mickey and the Disney Chefs)

¾ lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into ½ inch by 2 inch strips

Salt, to taste
Sugar, to taste
½ c. water
½ c. cooking wine
2 tsp. sesame oil

Marinate the chicken; stir the marinade ingredients together in a medium bowl, add chicken and toss gently to coat. Let stand for 10 minutes.

¾ c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. cornstarch
1 heaping tbs. baking powder
1 egg white, beaten
2/3 c. water
2 tbs. oil
Pinch of salt

Mix together the flour, cornstarch and baking powder, then add the egg white, water and oil.  Put mixture aside for 30 minutes. Make the Honey Sauce white the batter is resting.

Pour enough oil into a 2-quart saucepan to come to a depth of 2 inches. Heat over med-high heat to 320 F.
Place chicken pieces into batter mixture and coat. Using tongs or chopsticks, drop the chicken into hot oil and fry until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Drain on paper towels.  Serve immediately with Honey Sauce.

Honey Sauce:
3 tbs. honey
¼ c. sugar
2 tbs. ketchup
1 tbs. white vinegar
Pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and set aside for the use chicken has been prepared.

After chicken is fried, heat Honey Sauce mixture in a clean frying pan over med-high heat. Stir until mixture bubbles.  Mix chicken pieces into sauce with a spatula.  Place on serving dish and serve immediately.  Sprinkle with chopped green onions and toasted white sesame seeds.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Breakfast Potatoes

My wonderful dog Bowzer woke me up at the crack of dawn on Saturday.  (Thank you sweet dog).  We went on a long walk, ran around the dog park, and came back up stairs to relax (or chase the cat around) until Mr. T got out of bed.

As we were watching our favorite tv shows I decided that it would be a nice surprise to make breakfast when Mr. T got out of bed.  After going through the pantry and vegetable bowl I decided on breakfast potatoes.  I took The Pioneer Woman's basic breakfast potato recipe and added a couple of more things to it.

Breakfast Potatoes:
(The Pioneer Woman)

4 whole (to 5) Large Red Potatoes
1 whole Onion, chopped
1 Bell Pepper, Diced
2 cloves of Garlic, diced
1 Tablespoon Vegetable Or Canola Oil
1 Tablespoon Butter
Salt And Pepper, to taste
1 Teaspoon Paprika


Place potatoes in a large pot and cover entirely with water. Bring to a boil and cook until potatoes are fork tender. When they are ready, place the potatoes on a cutting board and dice them into 1-inch pieces.

In a large skillet heat oil and butter over medium-low heat. Put the onions, bell pepper, and garlic in the skillet and sauté until they start to turn brown.

Next, throw in the diced potatoes. Stir well and then slightly press/pack then. Now you will cook them without stirring for several minutes. You want the pan to be hot enough to crisp the potatoes but not hot enough to char them. Sprinkle a spoon full of flour over potatoes as they cook.

Cook for several minutes and then flip them with a spatula. Salt and Pepper them as they cook. Cook until desired brownness.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Buffalo Chickpea Patties

I've been eyeing these for a while.  I love hummus but have never had much more than that when it comes to chickpeas.  I'm officially a convert to the way of the chick pea.  (I don't think that made since)

These came together quickly and cooked very easily.  I made mine a little smaller than Ashlee did because we were using them to make sandwiches.  I put them on top of flatbread with tzatziki sauce, lettuce, and tomato.  I thought it was a pretty good combination.

Mr. T wanted to make sure that this was going to become a regular on the menu.

Buffalo Chickpea Patties:
(Veggie by Season)

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. rolled oats
1/4 c. buffalo sauce, plus more for serving
1 egg white
1 small yellow onion
1 tsp. garlic powder
Salt and pepper

Add chickpeas to a bowl, use a potato masher and mash until about 2/3 of the chickpeas are pasty and 1/3 are in pieces or whole.  Add the buffalo sauce to the chickpeas.  Add half of the oats to a food processor, pulse to create a crumb, add to the chickpeas.  Beat the egg white in a small dish to a froth, add to the chickpeas.  Grate onion into the chickpeas, finally add the garlic powder, salt and pepper.   Use a spatula and fold mixture, combining ingredients well.

Heat a griddle over medium heat and or add 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Since we were using these in sandwiches I used a 1/4 measuring cup to portion out chickpea mixture onto griddle, it made about 7.5 patties.  Cook patties for 5-7 minutes, until crispy and brown, flip gently and cook for another 5-7 minutes.

Serve immediately to retain maximum crispness.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Roasted Garlic

I recently acquired about 20 heads of garlic.  I've been trying to think of new ways to use it so we don't waste any.  One of thing that I had always seen done on tv but had never tried myself was roasting garlic.  I figured that this was the best time to try it out, if it didn't work... I still had more garlic.

It was seriously easy and made the garlic almost sweet.  It got really soft and I was able to just squeeze the cloves out.

Roasted Garlic:
1 head of garlic
Olive Oil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the top of the garlic off.

Place the head of garlic in a piece of parchment paper or foil and drizzle with olive oil and salt and pepper.

Wrap the garlic up and cook for 30 minutes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Crispy Lemon Tilapia

Tilapia was on sale this week. (It seems like I use that sentence a lot, oh well)  I was on a quest to try a different preparation of a household classic.

I found this recipe on Tasty Kitchen and decided to give it a shot.  Most of the ingredients are all things that I keep in the house almost all of the time.

Crispy Lemon Tilapia:
(adapted from Tasty Kitchen)


1 pound Tilapia Fillets
¼ teaspoons Kosher Salt
⅛ teaspoons Black Pepper
3 Tablespoons Flour
1 Tablespoon Old Bay
1 whole Lemon, Zest And Juice
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 Tablespoons Butter
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley


Lightly season both sides of the tilapia fillets with kosher salt and pepper to taste.  On a separate plate, mix the flour, seasoning and lemon zest.  Lightly dredge each tilapia fillet in the flour mixture, coating each side and pressing coating onto flesh so that it sticks.

In a large non-stick skillet, heat olive oil and butter over medium-high heat. Place the coated fish in the skillet and let it cook, for 2 minutes. Flip the fish and cook for 2 more minutes on the other side.

Remove the fish, squeeze the lemon juice over the fish. Serve immediately.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Buffalo Yogurt Dressing

It's been like 900 degrees outside thanks to those pesky hurricanes in the Atlantic. I was not in the mood to cook a giant dinner on Sunday night so we opted for a salad. I threw some veggies in a bowl, broiled some chicken breast, and topped it with this great salad dressing.

Buffalo Yogurt Dressing:
(Clean Eating Magazine: March 2011)

1/2 cup Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons Buffalo Sauce
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 onion

Chop the onion some so it'll blend easier.  Place everything in a blender. Mix unto it's a smooth consistency.

Serve on top of your salad!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Black Bean Patties

One of our favorite restaurants serves an awesome black bean patty appetizer.  We love them but I have never really thought about making black bean burgers or patties at home.  I don't really know why.

Black Bean Patties:

1 small onion, diced
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 carrot, peeled and cut into small cubes
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon paprika
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tablespoons olive oil for frying


In a large bowl, add the black beans and mash with a potato masher until almost smooth. Add the onions, garlic, carrot, bread crumbs, paprika, ted pepper flakes, salt, and pepper.  Mix together.

Form bean mixture into patties, approximately ½ inch thick and fry patties in 1-2 tablespoons of oil until firm and crispy.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Chipotle-Rubbed Flank Steak with Garlic Gorgonzola Sauce:

Mr. T loves steak and chipotle.  Thanks to Devon over at Confections of a Food Bitch I found this recipe that combines them both (along with my love of gorgonzola cheese)!

I made a couple of changes to the recipe tonight because I wanted to use things that we already had in the house.  I used fajita steak instead of flank steak, regular smoked paprika, and skim milk... along with some other things.

Chipotle-Rubbed Flank Steak with Garlic Gorgonzola Sauce:
(Queen of Points)


1 tablespoon ground chipotle chile pepper
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lb. flank steak
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
2/3 cup 2% milk
1 oz. (1/4 cup) gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
1 teaspoon unsalted butter


Make sure you’ve got all the ingredients for the sauce prepared before you start. The steak only takes 15 minutes, and you’ll want to make the sauce while it’s broiling.

Preheat your broiler on high

The steak: Combine the chile pepper, paprika, and salt. Rub the mixture on both sides of the flank steak. Place the steak on a broiler pan and broil for 5 minutes on each side, then let it stand for 5 minutes.

The sauce: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute for a minute. Add the garlic and saute for another minute. Add the flour and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add the milk and bring to a low boil. Cook until reduced by half. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese and butter. Keep warm, but don’t let it boil.

Pour the sauce over your steak and enjoy!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Crustless Spinach Bacon Quiche

I took a step out of my comfort zone the other day.  I made a quiche without the pie crust.  I love bread and carbs... however I don't need to eat a ton of them all the time so i'm trying to find simple ways to cut back on them, like using wraps instead of bread, cauliflower instead of potatoes, and trying out this crustless version of a classic.

Crustless Spinach Bacon Quiche:
(inspired by Joy the Baker)

1/2 bag of spinach leaves, stems trimmed
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
3 large eggs
1 cup half and half
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Butter a pie pan.

In a saucepan cook the spinach and garlic over medium heat.  Cook until the spinach is wilted.  Take the spinach and garlic and squeeze dry.  Let sit for a minute and squeeze again.

In a large bowl whisk together the eggs until they are a light color, add the half and half.  Add the spinach, garlic, bacon, cheese, and salt and pepper.  Stir together with a spoon and pour the mixture into the buttered pie pan.

Bake the quiche for 35 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Buttermilk Chicken Breast

In my quest to branch out and try new things (and use up the buttermilk in the refrigerator) I got inspired by this recipe. I made some changes based on what we had in the house.  We eat a lot of chicken but I have never made it this way.  It was easy to do and I was able to start on it the night before, which is always helpful during the week.

The chicken stayed pretty moist and the buttermilk gave it a nice tang.  Easy, tasty, and a good way to use up buttermilk.  I'm going to call it a win.

Buttermilk Chicken Breast:
(inspired by Guy Fieri- Food Network)

3 boneless chicken breasts
2 cups buttermilk
1/2 cup hot sauce, I used Franks
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
1 tablespoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon Old Bay


Combine all the ingredients together in a large resealable plastic bag. Place in a bowl, to catch any leaks, and refrigerate for 12 to 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Remove the chicken breast from the brine, drain well and pat dry with paper towels.

Place the chicken breast, on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes. Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F and cook for an additional 10 to 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 160 degrees F and the chicken is nicely browned. Remove from the oven, cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes.

Slice and serve with 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Pioneer Woman's Iced Coffee

I have a problem.  I love iced coffee like woah.

I've made it at home tons of times, and we made it twice daily when I worked in a restaurant but I've never made it like The Pioneer Woman does.  I always made it from a hot pot.  After hearing tons of raves about this version I decided to give it a shot.

I'm glad I did.  It tastes awesome and the entire pitcher cost me about $2.50.

Perfect Iced Coffee:
(Pioneer Woman)


1 pound Ground Coffee (good, Rich Roast)
8 quarts Cold Water
Half-and-half (healthy Splash Per Serving)
Sweetened Condensed Milk (2-3 Tablespoons Per Serving)


In a large container, mix ground coffee with water. Cover and allow to sit at room temperature eight hours or overnight.

Line a fine mesh strainer with cheesecloth and set over a pitcher or other container. Pour coffee/water mixture through the strainer, allowing all liquid to run through. Discard grounds.

Place coffee liquid in the fridge and allow to cool. Use as needed.

To make iced coffee, pack a glass full of ice cubes. Fill glass 2/3 full with coffee liquid. Add healthy splash of half-and-half. Add 2-3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk (can use plain sugar instead) and stir to combine. Taste and adjust half-and-half and/or sweetened condensed milk as needed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tzatziki Sauce

We had our own meatless Thursday the other night.   I made a friend's buffalo chick pea patties for dinner.  We served them flatbread with some tzatziki sauce on top.  It was a great dinner and it never hurts to go out of the box once in a while.

Tzatziki sauce is wonderful.  It's nice and cool and is pretty light.  It also helps with with my new love affair with greek yogurt.

Tzatziki Sauce:

1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, shredded, and squeezed dry in a kitchen towel
2 cups Plain 0% Greek Yogurt
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon fresh or 1 tsp dried oregano

Mix all ingredients together in bowl.  Cover and refrigerate 1 hour or overnight.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Beef and Spinach Lasagna

So, I had a cooking flop last night.  I was going to make spaghetti and meatballs last night but got kinda impatient and they ended up getting all smooshed and I gave up.  It ended up being some hard core meat sauce.  So today I used it to make some meat lasagna. It worked out pretty well.  If at first your don't succeed, try try again.

I made this with beef because that's what we had but a lot of times I'll make lasagna with turkey.  This makes fantastic leftovers, by the way.

Beef and Spinach Lasagna:

Meat Sauce:
1 pound of ground beef
1 jar tomato sauce
1 onion, chopped into small pieces
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
Salt & pepper

In a skillet on high, heat up the olive oil.  Add the onion, let cook for a minute then add the garlic.  After another minute add the ground beef.  When the beef is brown add the jar of tomato sauce and Italian seasoning.

Reduce the heat to medium and let cook for 10 minutes.  When finished use for lasagna or store in the refrigerator to use for another pasta dish.

1/2 box lasagna noodle, cooked per package directions
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 package frozen spinach
Prepared meat sauce

Spoon some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the lasagna pan.  Top with 3 noodles.  Spoon on more sauce, shredded cheese, spinach, and ricotta cheese.  Repeat until your lasagna pan is full of wonderful goodness.  Sprinkle some more cheese on top and bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes or until everything is bubbly.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Southwest Cheddar Steak Fries

I made steak fries the other night.  I usually make ranch fries but in my quest to try new recipes  I decided to go with this recipe from Clean Eating Magazine.  They were great and the red bell pepper really added flavor to the steak fries.

Southwest Cheddar Steak Fries:(Clean Eating Magazine)

1 lb red or yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch wedges
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp granulated garlic
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 oz reduced fat shredded cheddar
1/2 cup finely minced red bell pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper. Place the potatoes in a ziploc bag.  Add the olive oil, paprika, and garlic.  Toss inside the bag until all of the potatoes are covered.  Arrange the potatoes in a single layer. Bake in the center of the oven for 10 minutes, then flip and stir, baking for 7 more minutes or until lightly golden brown and tender when pierced with a fork.

Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the cheese, pepper, and salt. Bake for 2 more minutes or until slightly melted.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Meringue Cookies

I made some Key Lime Pie the other day and had some left over egg whites.  I decided that this was the time to try to make something new.  That something was meringue cookies.  They're easy to make and turn out to be really light and airy.  They almost melt in your mouth.   They also store fantastically.

Meringue recipes call for superfine sugar.  I'm sure it's something you can buy but I just poured it into my food processor and let it whirl.

Here is one more thing to think about when making these.  While they sit in the oven and dry out it's important not to forget that they are in there and turn the oven up to 400* to make some garlic toast.  It will cause them to burn and you'll have the throw the entire batch of lovely meringues that you just spent hours making into the trash. 

I just wanted to throw that out there (not that I would do something like that... i'm just saying)

Meringue Cookies: 
(Joy of Baking)

3 large egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup (150 grams) superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites on low-medium speed until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the whites until they hold soft peaks. Add the sugar, a little at a time, and continue to beat, on medium-high speed, until the meringue holds very stiff peaks. 

<- It should look like this.

Beat in the vanilla extract.   
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. You can either use a piping bag or use two spoons to make mounds of meringue.
Bake the meringues for approximately 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, rotating the baking sheet from front to back (about half way through) to ensure even baking. The meringues are done when they are pale in color and fairly crisp. (The meringues will release easily from the parchment paper.) Turn off the oven, open the door a crack, and leave the meringues in the oven to finish drying several hours or overnight. 

The meringues can be covered and stored at room temperature for several days.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Fried Cube Steak

I grew up eating cube steak, as I've mentioned before.  Mr. T and I also eat a decent amount of it.  It's cheap and a little bit can go a pretty long way.  I hate to make something the exact same way each time we have it so the other night I decided to play around with it and came came up with this.

This is one of the great things about cooking.  I dug around in the pantry and used what we had.  Sometimes it works (like today) sometimes it's a giant failure.  The worst thing that can happen is that the food taste bad, if that happens, order a pizza.  Life goes on and you can say that you learned something.

Fried Cube Steak:

4 cube steaks
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
2 teaspoon steak seasoning (I used Montreal Steak seasoning)
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/2 sweet onion, sliced

In a skillet on medium high heat, heat up the butter and olive oil.  Let the butter melt.  Add the onion and garlic.

Mix together the corn starch, pepper, garlic powder, and steak seasoning.  Coat both sides of the steaks with the corn starch mixture and shake off the extra.

When the onion starts to get soft add the steaks to the pan.  Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Baked Pita Chips

Mr. T and I have been eating quite a bit of hummus lately.  Pita chips are the best thing to use when snacking on some yummy hummus.  I found this recipe online and it was seriously easy.  I don't think i'll ever buy pita chips again.

Baked Pita Chips:
(adapted from

12 pita bread pockets
1/2 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Place triangles on lined cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, combine the oil, pepper, salt, garlic, and Italian seasoning. Brush each triangle with the oil mixture.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Watch carefully, as they tend to burn easily!