Thursday, February 25, 2010

Asian Pork Wraps

This was the third recipe I made with the Shredded Pork.  The mixture of the sweet and hot flavors was delicious, and it took all of 10 minutes to prepare.  Delicious!

Asian Pork Wraps
(Recipe from Better Homes and Gardens)

1 16-oz package frozen stir-fry vegetables
1 T olive oil
2 cups Pulled Pork (use recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches, but omit BBQ sauce)
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp garlic powder
8 10-inch flour tortillas, warmed
2 cups shredded napa cabbage or bok choy

In a large skillet, cook stir-fry vegetables in hot oil over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes or until nearly tender.  Add shredded pork, hoisin sauce, ginger, and garlic powder.  Cook and stir until heated through.
Arrange meat and vegetable mixture along center of each tortilla.  Top with shredded cabbage.  Fold bottom edges of tortilla up and then fold opposite sides in, as for a burrito.
Makes 8.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Shredded Pork Big Bowl

I bought a recipe magazine produced by Better Homes and Gardens, and one section had shredded meat recipes that you then use to make several other things.  So you can cook the shredded meat on day one, and then make different dinners with it for the next three or four evenings.  I thought that sounded not only easy but delicious.  The first night (Sunday), I used the crockpot to cook the meat and we ate my own Pulled Pork Sandwiches.  Yesterday, with some of the leftover pulled pork, I made this recipe.  It was better than I thought it was going to be.  It was chock full of vegetables, and had a delicious flavor.  Two of my three kids loved it, and I'm sure the third one would have if I could have convinced him to try it!

Shredded Pork Big Bowl

1 T minced garlic
1 T grated fresh ginger
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or less to desired level of spiciness--this amount was a little spicy but not on fire)
1 T oil
1 14-oz cans chicken broth
1 14-oz can coconut milk (unsweetened)
2 cups shredded carrot
2 cups broccoli florets
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1" chunks
2 3-oz packages ramen noodles, coarsely broken
2 cups Pulled Pork (use recipe for Pulled Pork Sandwiches, but omit the BBQ sauce)
2 cups snow pea pods, cut in half
2 T soy sauce
1 T lime juice
1/2 cup sliced fresh basil
2 T chopped fresh cilantro

In a large cooking pot, saute garlic, ginger, cumin, and cayenne pepper in oil over medium heat for 30 seconds.  Stir in broth, coconut milk, carrot, broccoli, sweet pepper, and noodles (discard noodles' flavor packets).  Bring to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 3 minutes.  Stir in shredded pork, pea pods, soy sauce, and lime juice.  Heat through.  Stir in basil and cilantro.  Serve in soup bowls.
Serves 6.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Berry Good Muffins

We love muffins around here; actually we love all breakfast foods!  This recipe came on the underside of the lid of Stonyfield Farms yogurt, and I still have the lid (and recipe) today, almost 1 1/2 years later.  I like it because it includes whole wheat flour, but mostly because it's delicious!  The original recipe calls for strawberries, but we use whatever berries we have available (usually frozen blueberries).  They're so good that they were gone this morning before I could take a picture. Enjoy!

Berry Good Muffins

1 cup white flour
1 cup wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
1 cup yogurt (I recommend plain or vanilla, but I've also used berry, lemon, and even key lime in a pinch!)
1/4 cup butter, melted and let sit until room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups berries (if they're big ones,  you'll want to chop them up a bit)

Preheat oven to 375F and grease a 12-muffin tin.  In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and baking soda.  In another bowl, stir together eggs, yogurt, butter, and vanilla.  Toss the berries with the flour mixture before adding the wet ingredients.  Mix everything together until moistened.  Spoon the batter into the muffin tin.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown. 
Makes 12 muffins.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Indian Chicken Kebabs

We used to live in the Middle East and we had some pretty fantastic food there.  There were lots of Indian people there, and they brought their food with them!  We loved getting kebabs there, and these were so good it was like being back in Asia.  Serve this with saffron rice and raita, and some warm pita or naan if you can find it!

Indian Chicken Kebabs

3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 T grated peeled fresh ginger
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground cardamom
1/4 tsp ground turmeric
1/4 tsp saffron threads, crushed
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" cubes
1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1" cubes
1 medium red onion, cut into 1" cubes

Combine first 12 ingredients in a large ziplock bag.  Seal, shake to combine, and let marinate in fridge at least 8 hours or overnight, turning bag occasionally.  Thread chicken, peppers, and onions onto skewers.  Spray vegetables lightly with cooking spray. 
Prepare grill by spraying with cooking spray, then heating to medium-high heat.  Grill 3 minutes per side, then reduce heat to low and grill an additional 3-6 minutes, or until cooked throughout. 
Serves 8.

Raita (Cucumber and Yogurt Salad)

This dish goes great with any Indian food.  It tones down the heat of curry dishes and adds a nice contrast to spiced meats.  Note that you'll need to prepare the cucumbers a few hours ahead of time so they have time to drain.

Raita (Cucumber and Yogurt Salad)

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1/2 cup diced, seeded tomato (about 1 medium tomato)
1 medium cucumber
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tsp minced seeded jalapeno pepper, OR 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt

Peel the cucumber, then grate it.  Put the grated cucumber in a sieve and press out as much water as possible.  Then let the cucumber sit in the sieve, over a bowl or sink for at least one hour.  Before using, squeeze out as much remaining water as possible.
In a small bowl combine the cucumber and all other ingredients.  Stir well.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups.

Saffron Basmati Rice

This goes great with anything Middle-Eastern or Indian in flavor.  Yum!

Saffron Basmati Rice

5 cups water
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp saffron threads
6 whole cloves
3 cups basmati rice

Stovetop Directions:
In a large saute pan, bring the water, salt, saffron, and cloves to a boil. Add rice, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from heat, let stand (covered) for 5 minutes.  Remove cloves before serving.
Makes 10 cups.

Rice Cooker Directions:
In 1 cup of hot water, stir saffron and cloves; let sit 15 minutes.  Pour rice into rice cooker, then saffron water, salt, and additional 4 cups water.  Cook.  Remove cloves before serving.
Makes 10 cups.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


You know how I'm always saying that I change recipes?  Well not this one.  It's my mother-in-law's recipe, and it's perfect as is!  Delish!


1 lb lean chicken or pork, cut into thin strips
2 T orange juice
2 T vinegar
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp minced garlic
1 green pepper
1 yellow or red pepper
1 medium onion
1 T oil
Toppings as desired, such as guacamole, tomatoes, shredded cheese, sour cream, salsa, etc.

Combine orange juice, vinegar, oregano, cumin, seasoned salt, and garlic in a ziplock bag.  Add chicken, seal bag, and toss to coat.  Let marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

In the meantime, slice the vegetables in thin strips.  In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add vegetables and stir fry until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Remove from pan.  Put the chicken and marinade in the pan.  Stir fry until cooked throughout, about 6 minutes.  Add vegetables back to pan until warm.

Add a little filling to a warm tortilla and top with guacamole, tomatoes, sour cream, salsa, shredded cheese, or whatever your favorite toppings are!

Serves 6.

And makes a husband happy when he comes home late from work.

Orange Rolls

This recipe is originally from the Lion House Cookbook, and these rolls are very famous at the Lion House restaurant in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Of course, I can't ever leave a recipe alone, so this is my version of the recipe, which (I think) makes it even better.  Try it for yourself.  These can also be made with lemon instead of orange.

Orange Rolls
Zest from one large orange, divided
1 cup milk
1 T butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 T yeast
pinch of sugar
1/4 cup warm water
3 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup orange juice
5 cups flour
1/2 cup softened (not melted) butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 T orange juice

In a small saucepan, heat the milk, butter, 1/2 cup sugar, salt, and 1 tsp of the grated orange rind (reserve the rest of the rind for later in the recipe).  Heat until butter is melted and sugar dissolved; remove from heat and cool until lukewarm.  Meanwhile, dissolve the yeast and sugar in the 1/4 cup warm water.  Add to the lukewarm milk mixture along with the eggs, 1/4 cup orange juice, and 1 cup of flour; mix well.  Slowly add the remaining flour.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour (it is not necessary to knead the dough before covering).
Mix 1/2 cup softened butter, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 T orange juice, and remaining orange zest in a small bowl.  Roll dough out on a floured surface into a 20" x 12" rectangle.  Spread with sugar-orange mixture.  Roll up as for cinnamon rolls.  Cut into 1" slices and place each slice into a greased muffin tin.  Cover and let rise until doubled, about 30 minutes.  
Bake at 375F for 15-20 minutes.  Makes 20 rolls.

Orange glaze (optional topping after rolls have baked):

1 cup powdered sugar
1 T orange juice
1-2 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
Orange food coloring (optional) 

Whisk all in a small bowl until desired consistency is reached.  Pour over hot rolls.

Fruit Dip

The only thing easier than making this fruit dip is eating it!  It's good on any fruit you can think of.  I've tried strawberries, apples, grapes, watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew, pineapple, raspberries, blueberries, cherries...Pretty much good on anything.  Or also good on your finger.  Yum!

Fruit Dip


1 package strawberry-flavored cream cheese
1 jar marshmallow fluff
1 T orange juice OR 1 tsp lemon juice OR 1 tsp lime juice

Put all ingredients into a medium bowl and beat with a mixer until fluffy and well-combined.  
Makes about 2 cups.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sweet Potato Fries

This is my default side dish.  It's yummy, healthy, and the kids will eat it since they're "fries."  It can easily be adjusted by using more sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 425F.  Peel the sweet potatoes, then julienne into 1/8"-thick fries.  Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.  Spread the fries in a single layer on the sheet, then spray with more cooking spray.  Lightly salt the fries.

Bake for 10 minutes at 425F.  Turn fries over, then bake an additional 5-10 minutes.  Serves 4.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples

This was originally a Cooking Light recipe, which I've had sitting around for years and am just now getting around to trying.  It was pretty simple, doesn't require a lot of ingredients, and was delicious!  Packed with all sorts of complementary flavors!  I served it with Spicy Roasted Potatoes and green beans.

Pork Chops with Cinnamon Apples

4 pork tenderloin chops (about 1/2" thick)
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 T canola oil
4 medium apples (tart are better), peeled and sliced into 1/4"-thick slices
1 T butter
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small bowl combine the sage, salt, and pepper.  Rub onto both sides of chops.  Lightly spray a skillet with cooking spray, then add the canola oil.  Heat over medium-high heat, then add the seasoned chops.  Cook 3 minutes per side, or until done.  Set aside and cover.
In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium heat.  Add apples, brown sugar, and cinnamon, tossing to coat.  Cover and cook 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until apples are tender.  Place apples over pork chops and serve.

Serves 4.

Spicy Roasted Potatoes

These are quick and delicious, and go well with practically anything!

Spicy Roasted Potatoes

4 medium potatoes, washed
3 T canola oil
1 T Season-All

Preheat the oven to 425F.  Quarter the potatoes and then slice into 1/4"-thick chunks.  Toss into a ziplock bag and add the oil and season-all. Spread into a single layer on a baking sheet.  Bake for 10 minutes at 425F.  Turn potatoes over and bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, or until crispy and lightly browned.

Serves 4-5. 

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Grilled Chicken Sandwich

I think I don't make sandwiches enough.  I don't mean the peanut butter type, or the grilled cheese type, I mean yummy, good-for-you, chock full of stuff sandwiches.  After eating soups and heavy meats for a few days (snow-induced eating), we were all ready for something lighter.  After searching through my fridge, this is what I came up with.

Grilled Chicken Sandwiches

2 chicken breasts
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp garlic
1/4 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
1 cup mixed greens OR your favorite sandwich lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced
1 avocado, halved and pitted, then sliced into 1/8"-thick slices
Mayonnaise (I used the Mayo with Olive Oil, which tastes delicious and has less fat than original)
Dijon-style mustard
4 sandwich buns (I used whole wheat with poppy seeds)

Butterfly the chicken breasts by cutting them horizontally through the thickness, to create 4 evenly-sized pieces of chicken.  Place in a large ziplock bag and add vinegar, oil, thyme, garlic, salt, and pepper.  Seal tightly and shake to combine.  Let marinate in fridge for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
Grill the chicken on a grill or under a broiler for 4-6 minutes per side, or until the chicken reaches 165-degrees F.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  If desired, slice into thin slices, or leave whole.
Spread thin layers of mayonnaise and mustard on top and bottom of buns.  Divide the salad greens amongst the buns, and then place chicken on top.  Add tomato and avocado, then the top of the bun. 
Serves 4.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Snow Cream

When presented with three snowstorms in a week, one of which threatens to be the biggest in recorded history in the DC area, what do you do? You make Snow Cream of course! It's akin to ice cream, but more like ice milk. It is delicious and delightfully easy. My 4-year-old son came home from pre-school raving about this recipe, which they had made together that day for snack time. This is the recipe as he told it to me:

"You need a big bowl, and you scoop up snow to put in it. But you have to wear gloves, and if there is any dirty snow you throw it out. Then you stir it and stir it and put in some milk, and some vanilla, I mean some vanilla flavor, and some sugar.  And then you stir it up, and it's snow cream!"

And that's pretty much what we did.  Here is a more formal (but less cute) recipe:

1 bowl of clean snow, about 4 cups or so
1/4-1/2 cup of milk (we used whole milk but you could probably use any kind)
1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring
1 tablespoon of sugar

Pour 1/4 cup of milk, as well as the vanilla and sugar, into the bowl of snow.  Stir well.  If it doesn't stir well, add more milk, up to an additional 1/4 cup, until desired consistency is reached.  Spoon into bowls and eat immediately.  Serves 4.

Here is a happy Snow Cream eater:

Peanut Butter Bars

My friend Bethany recently posted this recipe on her blog.  We went to school together growing up, and this was one of our favorite things that was served in the school cafeteria.  Everyone loved peanut butter bar day!  She found the actual recipe that the school used, and I have brought it here for your enjoyment!  As a warning, you should not be left alone with these unless you'd like to gain 15 pounds in one weekend!  Luckily I was able to send most of them to work with my husband, to spread the joy around a bit.  Enjoy!

School Lunch Peanut Butter Bars
This recipe is for a large 18x13" jellyroll pan.
For the cookie and peanut butter layer:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup butter, softened but not melted
1 tsp vanilla
2 large eggs
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups oats
1 1/2 cups peanut butter

Cream together the sugar, brown sugar, and butter until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.  Add the vanilla, eggs, and 1 cup peanut butter and mix well.  Add the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix until combined.  Finally, stir in the oats until evenly distributed.  Spread the cookie dough on a greased 18x13" jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350F for 20-23 minutes, or until golden brown.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, microwave the 1 1/2 cups peanut butter on high for 15-20 seconds, until softened but not melted.  When the cookie layer comes out of the oven, spread the peanut butter layer over the cookie layer.  Cool completely.  Once cooled, spread the chocolate frosting (see below) on top.  Cut into 2" squares.

Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter
4 T cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
4 T milk
4 cups powdered sugar

Melt butter over low heat in medium saucepan.  Gradually add all other ingredients and mix well.  Immediately spread frosting over cooled peanut butter bars, as the frosting will set very quickly.

Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

I was in the mood for something Chinese and found this recipe in one of my old Cooking Light magazines.  It was very quick to make and tasted fantastic, and had the bonus of having both carrots and peas in it, which made me feel happy about eating it as well.  Serve it over brown or white steamed rice.

Beef with Sugar Snap Peas

1 flank steak (about 12 oz)
2 T soy sauce, divided
3/4 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 t cornstarch
2 t sesame oil (can use olive or vegetable if you can't get sesame)
1 cup sliced onion (about 1 large)
2 t ground ginger
3 cups sugar snap peas (fresh or frozen)
1 cup shredded carrot (1-2 large carrots)

Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices, then cut into 2" lengths.  Combine stead and 1 T soy sauce; toss to coat.  Combine the remaining 1 T soy sauce with the chicken broth, hoisin, and cornstarch; stir well with a whisk. 

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add stead and saute 1 1/2 minutes, or until lightly browned.  Remove steak from pan.  Add onion and ginger to pan, saute 2 minutes.  Add peas and carrot, saute 2 minutes.  Stir back in steak and saute for 30 seconds.  Add broth mixture and bring to a boil.  Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly.  Serve immediately over rice.  Serves 4.