Orange Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Orange Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Either of these recipes are great on their own but they also go great together. Impress your family and make their favorite take out entrees at home. 

Orange Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice


Orange Glazed Chicken

1 1/2-2 lbs chicken ( use your favorite cut, thighs, wings, breast but leave the bones in and skin on)

Salt and pepper

1 c orange juice

1 T corn starch

1/2 c ketchup

2 T honey or brown sugar

2 t vinegar

2 T soy sauce

2 t hot sauce

Preheat oven to 450,  place chicken on a baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper,  cook for 20 minutes skin side down, then turn and cook 20 minutes more. Chicken should have crispy skin and be golden brown. ( this is for thighs, cook longer for breasts, shorter for wings). Meanwhile add orange juice and cornstarch to a medium sized sauce pan and whisk together, add ketchup, honey, vinegar, soy and hot sauce and whisk again, bring mixture to a boil over med high heat and then turn to low, whisk mixture until thicken to a glaze consistency. Keep Warm.

Orange Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Dip cooked chicken into glaze and coat well, place back on baking sheet and place back into the oven for 4 minutes or until chicken starts to get dark spots.

Orange Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

Serve with any remaining orange sauce.

 

Vegetable Fried Rice

4 c cold cooked rice (great for left over rice, or make the day before for best results)

1/4 c soy sauce

1/4 c rice vinegar

1 T sugar

2T oil

2 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 c broccoli florets

3/4 c sliced carrots

1/2 c chopped scallions

2 t chopped garlic

1 T minced ginger

1/2 c frozen peas

2 T chopped basil

 In a small bowl mix together, soy, sugar and vinegar. Heat 1 T oil in a large pan or wok, add carrots, broccoli and scallions, cook 2-3 minutes, add garlic, ginger and peas, cook 2 min more, add cooked rice and soy mixture. stir together and cook over med high heat until all rice is coated and brown, make a well in the center of the wok/pan and add remaining oil and beaten eggs, stir vigorously and then mix with rice mixture until egg is cooked, add basil and stir. Serve.

Vegetable Fried Rice

 Vegetable Fried Rice

Orange Glazed Chicken and Vegetable Fried Rice

 

 

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Leftover Avocados ?… Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Sometimes I am terrible at judging how much produce to buy, I usually err on the side of too much. This has happened to me several times with avocados. Avocados have such a short window of perfect ripeness so I am sometimes forced to make something on the fly with my extras. This is how this recipe happened today at lunch. Now I may purposely buy too many avocados so that I can treat myself to this decadent creamy dish more often. Also depending on what type of pasta you use this dish is vegan friendly, and if your not vegan and/or don’t have almond milk in the house you can easily substitute cow’s milk.

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

1 avocado peeled, and chopped, pit removed

3 T almond or cow’s milk

2 cloves garlic chopped

1/2 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1/3 c grape tomatoes halved

2 c cooked pasta of your choice

more salt and pepper to taste

Place the avocado, milk, garlic, and salt in pepper in a bowl and blend into a puree with a hand held blender, or toss those ingredients into a regular blender until smooth. Toss with warm drained pasta and tomatoes, season with desired amount of salt and pepper and serve.

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Easy Creamy Avocado Pasta Sauce

Roll Out the Barrel: Oktoberfest Party

Oktoberfest Party: Photo Booth

It was one of my best friends birthday recently so we decided to throw her a birthday party with an Oktoberfest theme. Whats not to like, beer, costumes, and German food.

To start I decorated with some beer and fall things I had around the house, empty bottles, beer steins, burlap runner, dried wheat and fall leaves. I also bought a blue and white harlequin tablecloth ( the official Oktoberfest pattern) from a party store and hung it over a curtain rod in my family room to make a back drop for a ” photo booth”. I had props like steins, lederhosen, German signs and Oktoberfest bibs from the party store. I set my camera on a tripod in front of it and tried to get shots of all the party goers.

I am also very lucky that I have some home brewing friends who made a keg of beer especially for our party, delicious!  But this is a great time to taste some of the fall varieties of craft beers like Oktoberfests and Pumpkins.

For appetizers I set up a “Pretzel Stand” I had assorted flavors, shapes and sizes of pretzels and dips to go with them. I even made some homemade Pretzel Bites by following this recipe. http://www.snixykitchen.com/2012/10/24/pretzel-bites-with-four-distinct-dipping-sauces/. I made the dough a day ahead of time and covered it tightly with plastic wrap. then boiled and baked the pretzels the next day. I also found that I needed to add about 3/4 c more flour than the recipe called for to get the dough to be the right consistency but I live in Florida and baking here can be weird.

Oktoberfest Party: Homemade Pretzel Bites

Oktoberfest Party: Pretzel Stand

For dips I made a Sweet and Spicy Mustard Sauce

1 c mayonnaise

3/4 c coarse mustard

2 T  jarred grated horseradish

2 T honey

Oktoberfest Party: Sweet and Spicy Mustard

a Chocolate and Toffee Dip

1 brick cream cheese softened

1/2 c brown sugar

1/4 c white sugar

1/4 c cocoa powder

1/2 c toffee chips (Heath)

1 t vanilla

Mix all ingredients together in a mixer on low until combined.

Oktoberfest Party: Chocolate and Toffee Dip

I also made Beer Cheese Dip using an Oktoberfest Beer instead of an IPA.

To make all of the food seem more festive I labeled them with German names on the tables.

For the main course we had Brats braised in Beer, Rouladen, Oma’s Potato Salad, Saurkraut with beer and apples, and Homemade Cucumber Salad

Oktoberfest Party: Rouladen

Cucumber Salad

4 cucumbers peeled and sliced thin

1 cup sour cream

2 T sugar

2 T white vinegar

1 t dried dill

1 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

Slice cucumbers and place in a colander to drain for 20 minutes, then mix all ingredients together in a large bowl

Oktoberfest Party: Cucumber Salad

Last but not least, everyone’s favorite, cupcakes. My friend made 3 different kinds for our Oktoberfest themed party. Apple Strudel, German Chocolate and Bavarian Cream. ( I will try to get the recipes to post on here)

Oktoberfest Party: Cupcakes

Fun was had by all, the food, beer and company was all delightful. Go on try some of these ideas at your next Fall party and share your tips below.

Roast Beef With Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

 

 

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

2 lb top round roast

1 T Montreal Steak Seasoning

1 T Black Peppercorns ( Add to a ziplock baggy and crush slightly with a meat mallet)

2 t olive oil

3 garlic cloves minced

1/4 cup minced shallot or onion

1/4 c brandy

2 T corn starch

3/4 c heavy cream

1 t Dijon mustard

Preheat oven to 325, place in roasting or broiler pan, sprinkle all sides with Montreal Steak seasoning. Cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until it reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven and cover with foil and let rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing ( * slice this cut of beef thin to avoid toughness)

In a lage pan heat oil over med high heat add onions and cook until soft, add garlic and peppercorns and cook 1 more minute. Deglaze pan by adding brandy while still over med high heat. Add beef broth and bring to a simmer. Combine cold cream with cornstarch in a small bowl. Whisk into pan with broth and cook over low until sauce thickens, add mustard . Serve over sliced meat.

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Roast Beef with Creamy Peppercorn Sauce

Are You Ready For Some Football?: Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

It is football season, time for tailgates and parties. Here is an easy recipe that will please a crowd on the weekend or your family on the weeknight.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

2 lbs ground chicken

1/3 c blue cheese crumbles

1/2 c panko bread crumbs

2 T buttermilk ( you can use regular milk and add 1 t vinegar)

3 T hot sauce

1 t minced garlic

1/4 c chopped onion

1 T Italian seasoning

1 t salt

1/4 t pepper

1 c  buffalo wing sauce (We made our own, melt 1/2 stick butter, add 1 t minced garlic, 1 c hot sauce, and 2 t brown sugar, stir)

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. form into balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until no longer pink. Toss with wing sauce in a large bowl. Serve on toasted buns with blue cheese and lettuce. Add shredded mozzarella cheese if desired.

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

Buffalo Chicken Meatball Sandwiches

** Entertaining tip, add meatballs and wing sauce into a crock pot and set on warm. Or make smaller sized meatballs and serve as appetizers with a side of blue cheese dressing.

Chicken with Citrus Bernaise and Wilted Spinach

 

 

I am a foodie, I love to make my own sauces and purees but I have a weakness, powdered Bernaise sauce. Don’t judge, I have tried making my own, it was good (and much more difficult) but when I crave Bernaise I want the Knorr green, red, and yellow packet.  I was shopping in Publix the other day and heard over the loudspeaker that the Aprons lady was making some kind of fish with a Citrus Bernaise.  Sounds delicious, I thought, so I changed up my menu a little to include it. I always have packet in the pantry as well as some sort of citrus in the fruit bowl. Here is what I came up with…

Chicken with Citrus Bernaise Sauce and Wilted Spinach

For the chicken

2 T olive oil

2 T lemon juice

1 t salt

1/4 t black pepper

1/2 t dried thyme

Mix together pour into a large zip lock bag  and add 4 – 6 chicken cutlets. Seal and refrigerate 30 min to 2 hours. Grill over medium high about 5 min per side depending on thickness ( alway check temp with a meat thermometer to ensure doneness).

Citrus Bernaise

1 package Knorr Bernaise Sauce mix

1 c milk

6 T butter

1T Orange Juice

1/2 T lemon juice

1/2 t zest from orange and lemon

fresh parsley (if desired)

Follow Bernaise sauce directions, then add juices and zest stir and cook about 2-3 minutes over low, add chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Wilted Spinach

1 T olive oil

2 bags washed baby spinach

1 t garlic

salt and pepper

heat oil in a large skillet over med high,

add spinach and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until spinach is just wilted. Remove from heat, do not over cook.

Wilted Spinach

Place spinach on plate, top with grilled chicken and ladle Bernaise sauce over top.

Chicken with Citrus Bernaise and Wilted Spinach

 

** This would be great with grill fish as well

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Fresh is best. I hate to use canned or jarred soups and sauces unless I have to. The good news is tomatoes are coming into season here in Florida, which means better quality and cheaper prices. This sauce is so easy and so much better than jarred, try it once and you may never go back. Pour it on your favorite pasta or over chicken or pork.

Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce (serves 2, can be doubled)

1 T olive oil

2 ripe tomatoes chopped

salt and pepper

1/4 c chopped onion

2 t garlic chopped

3 T heavy cream

1 T fresh chopped basil

Sprinkle chopped tomatoes with salt and pepper. Heat oil over med/high in a large skillet, add tomato, onion and garlic and saute for about 3 minutes. Turn heat to low and add cream, cook 2 minutes more. Remove from heat and stir in fresh basil. Serve.

Easy Fresh Tomato and Basil Cream Sauce

Gone Girl Book Club: Crepe-a-Dillas

Gone Girl

This month’s book selection was the suspenseful mystery Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. It was the perfect book for book club, lots to discuss, surprising twists, crazy characters and a unique writing style. I liked it a lot, but I may be biased because it was actually my pick. That also meant that book club was at my house so I had to really bring it with the food. Hmm where to start, how about the beginning, on the day Amy goes missing she is makes crepes for their 5th anniversary breakfast. Crepes are not generally a finger food though and since there is always tons of food at out book clubs, the portion size would be too big. So I thought about it and decided to make my own surprising twist on quesadillas, crepe-a-dillas. Individual triangles of crepe-y goodness, perfect for parties.

Crepe-a-dillas

Crepe-A-Dillas

Filling:

8 0z marscapone cheese

8 oz cream cheese (softened)

1/4 c lemon juice

1 tsp lemon zest

3 T honey

10 crepes (you could make your own, but I used pre made ones found in my produce section of the grocery store, flour tortillas would also work)

Blueberry Balsamic Sauce

1 pint fresh blueberries

1/4 c sugar

2 T balsamic vinegar

1/4 c water

For the filling,  mix all ingredients with a mixer  until incorporated. To make crepe-a-dillas lay one crepe flat, spread thin layer of filling on crepe, fold in half and then cut into wedges with pizza cutter of knife.

Crepe-a-dillasCrepe-a-dillasCrepe-a-dillas

Place on a plate and put wax paper or plastic wrap between layers to prevent sticking, place in refrigerator until ready to use.

For the sauce, add all ingredients to a small sauce pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes or until sauce thickens. Place in small bowl and cover. Cool in the refrigerator.

I also made a Chicken Frito Pie, just like the nice woman brought Nick after his wife disappeared which I will share the recipe to in my next post. We also had members bring manchego cheese, chocolate truffles, chili cheese fritos and casseroles, all thematic for the book.

For decorations I really wanted to have live lobsters in a pot (too mean), so I looked for fake ones but I couldn’t find them. I also wrapped a large box in a blue plastic table cloth from the dollar store ( I couldn’t find plain blue wrapping paper anywhere) for the centerpiece. I had a number 5 candle in my crepe-a-dillas. I also thought it would be fun to make some fun quizzes for book club like the ones Amy wrote for magazines.

Caution tape by the front door would have been a nice touch but I thought of that after book club.

I kept a bowl of red jelly beans close by for our discussions so that they could be throw at people for fun if you disagreed with their thoughts about the book. By the way I am still finding red jelly beans in and under my couch. Gone Girl Book Club

IMG_7126

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

Blueberry and Basil Salsa

I love the combination of blueberries and basil, so when I was asked to make salsa for a wine and cheese party, I decided to add a little twist. This salsa is great with goat cheese, brie, blue cheese or even cream cheese, serve over top the cheese on a cracker or bread. This would also be great on chicken or fish.

 Blueberry and Basil Salsa

1 cup fresh blueberries

1/4 c red onion

5 large fresh basil leaves

1 tsp honey

1 tsp lime juice

1/2 tsp salt

Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until salsa consistency.

IMG_6722

Country Style RIbs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

Country Style Ribs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

 

These delicious ribs start in the crock pot and then crisp up under the broiler or grill, easy and delicious.

Country Style Ribs with Apple Barbecue Sauce

8-10 country style pork ribs

1 c ketchup

1 T Worcestershire sauce

2 small apples peeled, cored and chopped

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic chopped

2 T apple cider vinegar

Add ribs and remaining ingredients to a slow cooker, heat on high for 3-4 hours or low 5-6 hours. Remove from slow cooker and place on heated grill or under a broiler until sauce caramelizes, about 5 minutes. Serve.

IMG_6183

Country Style Ribs with Apple Barbecue Sauce