Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chinese Chicken Fried Rice

While searching for something quick and easy to whip up for dinner a while back, I stumbled upon this recipe for chicken fried rice and decided to give it a try.

I actually didn't have any chicken handy, but the fried rice with egg was super yummy all by itself. If you like Chinese food, you'll be sure to love this recipe.

Chinese Chicken Fried Rice
1 egg
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cups cooked white rice, cold
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup cooked, chopped chicken (which I, obviously didn't use)
Directions: In a small bowl, beat egg with water. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add egg and leave flat for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from skillet and cut into shreds. Heat oil in same skillet, add onion and saute until soft. Then add rice, soy sauce, pepper and chicken. Stir fry together for about 5 minutes. Then, stir in egg and serve hot.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Boneless Buffalo Wings

I made some boneless chicken wings a few weeks ago and have been meaning to post the recipe for a while now. So, here it is!

Boneless Buffalo Wings
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 egg
1 cup milk
3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/4 cup hot sauce
1 tablespoon butter
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine flour, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a large bowl. Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl. Dip each piece of chicken in the egg mixture, and then roll in the flour blend. Repeat so that each piece of chicken is double coated. Refrigerate breaded chicken for 20 minutes. Place the chicken on a sheet pan and generously coat with cooking spray. Cook in pre-heated oven for about 20 minutes. Combine hot sauce and butter in a bowl. Microwave sauce on high until melted, 20 to 30 seconds. Toss chicken in sauce to coat.

This is how I did it. If you click on the link, you'll notice that I made some slight changes to the original recipe, including baking the chicken, instead of frying it in oil. All in all, I'll absolutely be making these again. They were a big hit with the hub. Next time, to save some time, though, I think I might try breading whole chicken breasts, baking them and coating them with the sauce for boneless buffalo chicken sandwiches, instead of wings.
Two thumbs way up!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas Tradition

As I've mentioned before, the hub and I have a tradition of making Christmas ornaments for one another. We haven't gotten too crafty in previous years, but I've been on a silhouette kick lately and I thought that we could roll up our sleeves & come up with something a little different this time. I went to the craft store and picked up a few pieces of scrapbook paper that caught my eye. I also grabbed a few wooden ovals and a thicker piece of textured black paper for the actual silhouettes.

The supplies
(minus some Mod Podge, an exacto knife and a bit of ribbon).

We traced the larger ovals on the patterned paper and the smaller ovals on the solid paper with an exacto knife. We then applied a thin layer of Mod Podge to the wood and carefully placed our paper cut-outs on top, making sure to smooth out any air bubbles.

We also used a thicker layer of Mod Podge to glue the small oval to the large one. A thin layer also secured the silhouette cut-outs. After everything was dry, we glued a small piece of ribbon to the back of the ornament.


To hide the ribbon and make it a little easier on the eyes, we also put a patterned paper cut-out on the back.

I know that they're not necessarily Christmas colors, but I just love them. This was a relatively easy project, although I will say that the silhouettes gave us a run for our money. Nate lucked out and got mine on his first try. But, between the two of us, we had a tougher time with his. Even so, we had a lot of fun making them together... and all for about $4!

Friday, November 27, 2009


If you're looking for a sweet Thanksgiving tradition,
head here and learn what this jar is all about. :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Guest Blogger Extraordinare

I am guest blogging over at my alma mater's blog today. Most of you have read my Everyday Giving blog before, which is what I wrote about, but hopefully you'll still want to check it out. To do so, click here. Happy reading!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pom Pom Flowers

When we moved, we had to downsize to a smaller apartment due to the lack of pet-friendly places for rent in the area. Everything is smaller and I no longer have a mantel to decorate.
But, I still have the small shelves that I used to have above them and I wasn't quite sure what to do with them. Luckily, I saw that Maggie made some pom pom flowers recently and I knew that I wanted to try my hand at them, too. Here's how they turned out...

I used a multi-colored skein of brown yarn, which matches all of my living room furniture and a couple of small pieces of floral wire.

It was super easy and they're pretty cute, if I do say so myself...and I do. Now, I'm going to look for some wallet-sized picture frames to see if I can't complete the look.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mini Banana Cream Pies

I made mini banana cream pies tonight in preparation for some dinner guests tomorrow. And here's how it went...

Has anyone else tried these mini pie crusts before? They're fabulous!

I cut up a few banana chunks and put them in the bottom.

Then, I added sugar free, fat free banana cream pudding and topped it with fat free Cool Whip. It's a quick, easy and not-to-bad-for-you dessert. If you're making it for company and you want it to look nicer than the above photo, I'd recommend using whipped cream from a can (not a tub). That's the only thing I'd do differently. I also had a ton of pudding leftover (since I made two boxes worth), so I made a banana pudding dessert to bring into work tomorrow. It got rave reviews last time and I'm hoping it will brighten my co-workers' Monday.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Guest Blog

Hi all!

I'm doing a little guest blogging over at CrystalChick today. So, check it out! And, while you're there, check out her photography blog, too. She's super talented!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spinach Manicotti

I've not mentioned it on here yet, but I started Weight Watchers about a week ago and have been trying new, low-point meals throughout the week. I made this Spinach Manicotti last night for dinner and it was really good. Even the hub, who isn't a big pasta fan like me, liked it a lot. So, whether or not you're watching your waistline, try these out. If you like cheese and spinach, you won't be disappointed.

Spinach Manicotti
Courtesy of Weightwatchers.com
1 1/2 cup bottle reduced-fat bottled pasta sauce
Cooking spray
1 large egg white
1 large egg
10 oz. frozen spinach, chopped
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. table salt
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup part-skim mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
8 dry manicotti shells
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt. Drain and rinse. Combine cheeses, eggs, spinach, Italian seasoning, pepper and salt in a medium bowl, stirring well. Spoon mixture evenly into pasta shells (or do like I did and put it in a sealable plastic bag with a small hole cut in the corner and pipe the filling in). Place shells in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon pasta sauce evenly over shells. Cover and bake for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve warm. Yields 8 servings (1 shell and sauce).  5 points per serving.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

New Etsy Items

I've added a couple of more items to my Etsy. If you want to take a look, check it out here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins

Sometimes, when I get bored in the kitchen, I do recipe searches on allrecipes for random ingredients that I just so happen to have in the cabinet. Over the weekend, I did a search for blueberries and canned pumpkin. That's how I stumbled upon Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins. The combination didn't sound all that appetizing to me, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway. And, I must say, they turned out pretty good. Although, the hub didn't care for the texture (I think it was the oats that got him). After reading several of the reviews, I think next time I will try it with whole wheat flour and do half brown, half white sugars. If you want to give it a go, check this out.

Blueberry Pumpkin Muffins
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup quick cooking oats
2/3 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
1/4 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries, thawed
Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners. Mix the flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg together in a mixing bowl until evenly blended. In a separate bowl, stir together the pumpkin, milk, egg and butter. Gradually stir in the flour mixture, just until all ingredients are moistened. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling to the top. Bake in preheated oven until tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes. Makes a dozen muffins.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Pico de Gallo

While my hub and I were perusing the produce at the store on Sunday, we decided that we needed to make some pico de gallo. I've never made it before, but we absolutely love the stuff they have at Applebee's. So, when I got home, I got to googling and stumbled upon several knock-off recipes. There were slight variations, but this was the basic recipe.

Pico de Gallo
3 large tomatoes, diced
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, diced
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbs. olive oil
1 tbs. white vinegar
Directions: Mix ingredients until well blended. Allow to sit for at least 6 hours (but it's even better if you let it sit overnight). Serve with tortilla chips.

Now, I know what you're probably thinking. Where's the spice? My pico de gallo needs a little bit of a kick! Well, there's no "kick" in the above recipe because we didn't have any peppers at home and I wasn't about to go back to the store. The recipe actually also calls for 2 tbs. diced jalapenos. But, it was great without it, too. It was like a really flavorful, chunky salsa without all the added stuff that comes with it in a jar from the store. Yum!

It makes me yearn for summer...

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Apple Enchiladas

We had a hankering for something sweet after supper last night, so I thought I'd give an apple enchilada recipe that I found earlier in the day a try. They were really good. Like, surprisingly good for how simple they were to make. I used "No Sugar Added" apple pie filling and it was still plenty sweet. A dollop of fat free Cool Whip was a great compliment, although I'm sure a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream would be out of this world. I topped it all off with a cinnamon sugar mix and it was just delightful. Be sure to microwave the tortillas for a few seconds before you add the filling. They're much easier to work with that way. Next time, I'll roll the tortillas tighter and use 1/3 cup of water (as stated in the revised recipe below), since my sauce was a little on the runny side with the 1/2 cup that the original recipe called for. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Apple Enchiladas
1 (21-oz.) can apple pie filling
6 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1/3 cup margarine
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/3 cup water
Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat tortillas for a few seconds in the microwave so that they're easier to work with. Spoon fruit evenly onto all tortillas, sprinkle with cinnamon. Roll up tortillas and place seam side down on lightly greased 8x8 baking pan. Bring margarine, sugars and water to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Pour sauce evenly over tortillas. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing

I saw a recipe for Poppy Seed Salad Dressing on littlemorningglory's blog a while back. This is my second batch now and it's still awesome. So, if you're looking for something yummy to slather on your salad (it's especially good with spinach!), give this recipe a shot.

Poppy Seed Salad Dressing
Courtesy of littlemorningglory
1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup salad oil
2 teaspoons poppy seeds
Directions: Mix it all together and voila!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Happy Birthday, Hub!

My hub turns the ripe old age of 24 today. For this special occasion, the birthday boy requested a raspberry cheesecake instead of a traditional birthday cake and I was happy to oblige. I called up my mom and she passed along her recipe. I can't believe how easy/good it was.

No-Bake Cheesecake
Courtesy of my Momma
1 pre-made graham cracker crust
1 8-oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 14-oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pie filling of your choice for topping
Directions: Beat cream cheese until fluffy. Slowly add milk (if you add it too quickly, you'll end up with chunky cheesecake and no one wants that). Blend thoroughly. Stir in vanilla and lemon juice. Add the mixture to the crust and refrigerate for 3 to 4 hours. Add topping of your choice. Like I said, my hub is a raspberry fan, but my mom usually does cherry and it's awesome!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Asian Tuna Patties

Once and a while I find a recipe that just wows me. Last night was one of those times. I made Asian tuna patties and they...were...awesome! Seriously, what a great meal. I wrapped a lettuce leaf around each of the patties and served it with a side of Asian steamed veggies in an orange sauce (courtesy of my grocer's freezer). Yum, Yum, Yum!

Asian Tuna Patties
2 (6-oz.) cans of tuna, drained and flaked
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
3 green onions, minced
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon sesame oil (I actually used sesame-flavored chili oil)
1 teaspoon black pepper (I skipped this since my oil was spicy)
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Directions: In a large bowl, mix tuna, egg, bread crumbs, green onions and garlic. Blend soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, ketchup, sesame oil and pepper into the mixture. Form the mixture into about 6 patties, approximately 1-inch thick. Lightly sprinkle each patty on all sides with cornmeal. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Fry each patty about 5 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Easy Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies

I've mentioned before that I'm trying to incorporate more whole wheat into our diets and if I can make it taste good, that's all the better. I made whole wheat snickerdoodles a while back and they were good enough for me to give another whole wheat cookie recipe a shot. After coming across a recipe for whole wheat peanut butter cookies (while looking up chicken recipes, go figure) after dinner last night, I decided to try it out. They were actually really good. I mean, you can tell that the whole wheat is hiding in there, but they were good. And they don't use any white sugar (bonus!).

Easy Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Cookies
1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the peanut butter, butter, honey, brown sugar and egg until smooth. Combine the whole wheat flour and baking powder. Then, stir into the batter until blended. (I then put the dough in the freezer for a little bit to stiffen it up. Otherwise, it was hard to work with). Roll into small balls and place on a greased cookie sheet. Flatten slightly using a fork. Bake for 13 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until cookies are slightly toasted at the edges. (I'd recommend checking them at about 10 minutes or so. My dough balls were smaller, but that was perfect timing.)

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Mock Tuna Salad

I roasted chickpeas a while back and, ever since, I just can't seem to get enough. You see, I dislike most beans, which stinks since they're so high in protein and all... But, after I discovered garbanzo beans (or chickpeas), I got super excited and decided to incorporate them into more recipes. I tried this Mock Tuna Salad from Allrecipes today and it was soooo good. It was a little bit difficult to mash all of the chickpeas, but in the end, it was more than worth it. I'm packing this in my lunch with some crackers for tomorrow.

Mock Tuna Salad
1 (19 oz.) can garbanzo beans, drained and mashed
(I only had 2 15 oz. cans, so I measured out and
mashed the 19 oz. and roasted the rest of them in the oven)
2 tablespoons mayo (I used Miracle Whip)
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
2 green onions, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a medium bowl, combine garbanzo beans, mayo, mustard, relish, chopped green onions, salt and pepper. Mix well.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Cranberry-Orange Spiced Oatmeal

I should start off this post by saying that I'm not really a fan of oatmeal. I really really want to like it, especially considering the health benefits. But, I just can't seem to make it work for me. I still try different recipes from time to time, in the unrealistic hope that I will magically learn to like oatmeal. It didn't work this time and it probably never will, but I wanted to post this recipe anyway because it got a really good rating on Allrecipes and the ingredients make it sound so good. So, if you're an oatmeal-lover, give this one a shot.

Cranberry-Orange Spiced Oatmeal
3/4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or to taste)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/4 teaspoon ground tumeric (optional)
1 pinch ground ginger (optional)
1 cup water
1/4 cup orange juice (or as needed)
Directions: Place the rolled oats, cinnamon, cranberries and blueberries in a microwave-safe bowl. Add the tumeric and ginger, if desired. Pour in the water and stir to mix ingredients. Cook on high until water is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Stir in orange juice to desired consistency.
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