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Chicken Stir Fry

I’ve been on a stir fry kick lately!  They’re so good for you, tasty and quick once all those veggies are cut up. Stir fry’s are versatile, leaving out what you don’t like in veggies, and adding what you do like. I serve them over a nice pot of seasoned rice. Yum!  As a reminder, there’s a couple of more days left on the Whole Foods Market Gift card giveaway, so be sure to enter!  Good Luck, I hope you get a chance to enjoy the mushrooms as much as I have!

chickenstirfry1

Chicken Stir Fry


2 Chicken Breasts, cut into thin strips

1 large Onion, cut into thin strips

1 tsp. Garlic, minced

1 Red Pepper, cut into thin strips

1 Cup Broccoli Slaw

1/2 bag Pea Pods, trimmed, and cut up

1 Cup Mushrooms, sliced

3 Stalks Celery, chopped

1 Cup Broccoli Florets

1 Can (15 oz.) Canned (Or fresh would be better) Bean Sprouts

Full Bunch of Baby Bok Choy, chopped

2 tsp. Chopped Cilantro

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Sesame Seed Oil

2 tsp. Soy Sauce

1/3 – 1/2 Cup La Choy Teryaki Stir-fry marinade

1/2 Cup Chicken Broth

1 Tbsp. Cornstarch mixed with 1/2 Tbsp. Water

In a large skillet heat olive oil until hot. Stir fry chicken strips. Remove from pan.  Add Onions, broccoli, celery and mushrooms. Stir fry until water from mushrooms have evaporated, and celery and broccoli are crisp tender.  Add sesame oil to skillet. When hot, add Red pepper, garlic, broccoli slaw, pea pods,  and bean sprouts. Add chicken back into skillet.  Add the stir-fry sauce. Add 1/2 cup Chicken broth to skillet, bring to a boil. Add cornstarch mixture, and cook and stir until thickened.  Serve at once over rice.

Note:

Sometimes I like to put cooked noodles in this too. You can use cork screw, soba noodles or whatever kind of pasta you like.

Mushroom in a rotten tree Wallpaper__yvt2Whole Foods Market is spotlighting Mushrooms this holiday season, both wild and cultivated.  I love mushrooms! Grilled Portobello with a nice juicy Steak, Mushrooms in Stir-Fry, Mushrooms in the Thanksgiving dressing, Creamy Mushroom Soup, Omelets, Chicken Marsala, oh yeah! I could go on.

  In the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some of my favorite recipes I like putting mushrooms in. (There’s a few listed at the bottom of this post, courtesy of Whole Foods Market).  I’ve also been given a $75 Whole Foods Market gift card to give to one lucky reader so that you too can try a wide variety of these delicious, delectable little morsels. To enter for a chance to win, tell me your favorite recipe to put mushrooms in.   On December 15th or there about, I’ll close the entries, and pick one lucky reader!

Contest over!  Congratulations to Tami, who has been sent an email!  Thanks to all who participated, and Thank you Whole Foods Market for your generosity!

(Contest open to US Residents Only Please.)

Boldly go beyond the button mushroom this holiday season

Mushrooms come in wide array of flavors—from earthy and nutty to buttery and even fruity. Impress friends and family with a little bit of mushroom magic in everything from appetizers and entrées to soups and side dishes. It’s fun and easy to experiment with old favorites and new flavors!

Tips for mushroom success:

  • Mushrooms remain freshest when they’re not too dry or too damp.
  • Refrigerate in a paper bag or container that allows cool air to circulate.
  • Mushrooms absorb water easily and should never be soaked.
  • Clean with a damp cloth or rinse briefly and dry with a towel.
  • Use a paring knife to trim stems as needed.

Get to know your ‘shrooms:

Cultivated

  • White Button mild & versatile
    • Classic flavor for salad, stir fry, pasta or pizza
    • Mixes well with other mushrooms
  • Cremini firm & flavorful
    • Also known as Baby Bella, their mildly earthy flavor stands up to almost any cooking method
    • Mixes well with other mushrooms
  • Portobello rich & meaty
    • Great for roasting, grilling, stuffing sandwiches and appetizers – some recipes may call for removing the black “gills” under the cap
    • Fro a meatless main, roast and stuff with sautéed greens and warm grains
  • Oyster mild & sweet
    • Their flavor is delicate, so cook only briefly
    • Add to omelets, quick soups and stir fries
    • The normal color ranges from white to grey-brown but some exotic varieties can be pink to yellow
  • Shiitake savory & satisfying
    • Makes a great soup mushroom, and its firm texture stands up to long cooking times.
    • Always remove the stems

Wild

  • Chanterellenutty & delicate
    • Excellent for roasting or sautéing with olive oil
    • Add to quiche or scrambled eggs
  • Morel intense & earthy
    • Wild mushroom with a distinctive honeycombed cap
    • A standout in simple sautés and cream sauces
  • Porcini robust & woodsy
    • Hearty flavor for long-simmering dishes like pasta sauce and risotto
    • Remove the veil (stringy material under the cap) prior to cooking
  • White Truffle delicate & aromatic
    • Grate over pasta or polenta
    • Add to eggs or potato dishes
  • Black Trufflefragrant & flavorful
    • Use to flavor holiday stuffing
    • Tuck small slices under the skin of roasting poultry

Boldly go beyond the button mushroom this holiday season

Mushrooms come in wide array of flavors—from earthy and nutty to buttery and even fruity. Impress friends and family with a little bit of mushroom magic in everything from appetizers and entrées to soups and side dishes. It’s fun and easy to experiment with old favorites and new flavors!

Tips for mushroom success:

  • Mushrooms remain freshest when they’re not too dry or too damp.
  • Refrigerate in a paper bag or container that allows cool air to circulate.
  • Mushrooms absorb water easily and should never be soaked.
  • Clean with a damp cloth or rinse briefly and dry with a towel.
  • Use a paring knife to trim stems as needed.

Get to know your ‘shrooms:

Cultivated

  • White Button mild & versatile
    • Classic flavor for salad, stir fry, pasta or pizza
    • Mixes well with other mushrooms
  • Cremini firm & flavorful
    • Also known as Baby Bella, their mildly earthy flavor stands up to almost any cooking method
    • Mixes well with other mushrooms
  • Portobello rich & meaty
    • Great for roasting, grilling, stuffing sandwiches and appetizers – some recipes may call for removing the black “gills” under the cap
    • Fro a meatless main, roast and stuff with sautéed greens and warm grains
  • Oyster mild & sweet
    • Their flavor is delicate, so cook only briefly
    • Add to omelets, quick soups and stir fries
    • The normal color ranges from white to grey-brown but some exotic varieties can be pink to yellow
  • Shiitake savory & satisfying
    • Makes a great soup mushroom, and its firm texture stands up to long cooking times.
    • Always remove the stems

Wild

autumn apples: just gathering apple

Buy more, save more this fall– Organic apples just $1.49/lb., 5 lb. bags for $5 November 8th only at Whole Foods Market®

 

Date of sale:              Friday, November 8th, 2013

What’s on sale:          Organic Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith apples

Price:                          $1.49 per pound, 5 pound bags for $5

 

What to know about these organic apples:

Harvest season is here, and apples of all flavors have arrived!  Bake them into a sweet, flaky pie or slice and dice them for some sweet homemade applesauce.

 

Our produce team works closely with growers, ensuring that shoppers have the highest quality, best tasting organic apples to choose from.

 

Apples are fiber champs and deliver quercetin, a potent flavonoid (great antioxidants!). Like many other fruits, they’re low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol — a pretty perfect snack in a naturally portable package.

 

Recipe Ideas:

·         Chard with Bacon and Apple

·         Braised Chicken with Fennel and Apples

·         Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Shallots

·         Raw Apple Crisp

·         Creamy Cauliflower and Apple Soup Shooters

·         Curried Apple Chutney

·         Spiced Apple-Pear Butter

 

For more information:

http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/ buy-more-save-more-this-fall-organic-apples-just-1.49-lb.-5-lb.-bags-for-5

  

Fine print:

Canadian and U.S. stores only. Rain checks vary by region. Product availability varies by store.

Buy more, save more this fall—Organic apples just $1.49/lb., 5 lb. bags for $5 November 8th only at Whole Foods Market®

Date of sale:               Friday, November 8th, 2013

What’s on sale:           Organic Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith apples

Price:                           $1.49 per pound, 5 pound bags for $5

What to know about these organic apples:

Harvest season is here, and apples of all flavors have arrived!  Bake them into a sweet, flaky pie or slice and dice them for some sweet homemade applesauce.

Our produce team works closely with growers, ensuring that shoppers have the highest quality, best tasting organic apples to choose from.

Apples are fiber champs and deliver quercetin, a potent flavonoid (great antioxidants!). Like many other fruits, they’re low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol — a pretty perfect snack in a naturally portable package.

Recipe Ideas:

Fine print:

Canadian and U.S. stores only. Rain checks vary by region. Product availability varies by store.  

- See more at: http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/%20buy-more-save-more-this-fall-organic-apples-just-1.49-lb.-5-lb.-bags-for-5#sthash.qsi7EHlw.dpuf

Buy more, save more this fall—Organic apples just $1.49/lb., 5 lb. bags for $5 November 8th only at Whole Foods Market®

Date of sale:               Friday, November 8th, 2013

What’s on sale:           Organic Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith apples

Price:                           $1.49 per pound, 5 pound bags for $5

What to know about these organic apples:

Harvest season is here, and apples of all flavors have arrived!  Bake them into a sweet, flaky pie or slice and dice them for some sweet homemade applesauce.

Our produce team works closely with growers, ensuring that shoppers have the highest quality, best tasting organic apples to choose from.

Apples are fiber champs and deliver quercetin, a potent flavonoid (great antioxidants!). Like many other fruits, they’re low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol — a pretty perfect snack in a naturally portable package.

Recipe Ideas:

Fine print:

Canadian and U.S. stores only. Rain checks vary by region. Product availability varies by store.  

- See more at: http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/%20buy-more-save-more-this-fall-organic-apples-just-1.49-lb.-5-lb.-bags-for-5#sthash.qsi7EHlw.dpuf

Buy more, save more this fall—Organic apples just $1.49/lb., 5 lb. bags for $5 November 8th only at Whole Foods Market®

Date of sale:               Friday, November 8th, 2013

What’s on sale:           Organic Gala, Braeburn, and Granny Smith apples

Price:                           $1.49 per pound, 5 pound bags for $5

What to know about these organic apples:

Harvest season is here, and apples of all flavors have arrived!  Bake them into a sweet, flaky pie or slice and dice them for some sweet homemade applesauce.

Our produce team works closely with growers, ensuring that shoppers have the highest quality, best tasting organic apples to choose from.

Apples are fiber champs and deliver quercetin, a potent flavonoid (great antioxidants!). Like many other fruits, they’re low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol — a pretty perfect snack in a naturally portable package.

Recipe Ideas:

Fine print:

Canadian and U.S. stores only. Rain checks vary by region. Product availability varies by store.  

- See more at: http://media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/%20buy-more-save-more-this-fall-organic-apples-just-1.49-lb.-5-lb.-bags-for-5#sthash.qsi7EHlw.dpuf

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Warren Brown, back with his 4th cookbook to date, Pie Love, Inventive Recipes for Sweet and Savory Pie, Galettes, Pastry Cremes, Tarts and Turnovers.

I’ve got to tell  you that this book covers it all.  Everything you wanted to know about pies, and recipes galore.  I made his apple pie, and fell in love with the cinnamon Pie crust recipe. I used that as my base, and loved his apple pie recipe!  The thing that I liked about the pie, is that it was not an overly sweet pie, the recipe didn’t over do it on the spices, which allowed the flavor of the apples to shine through.  I will be using his cinnamon pie crust recipes in some of my favorite pies, where the cinnamon will complement the filling. I liked it that much. I’m hooked!

The book starts with an introduction, The Basics of Pie, covering ingredients, sweeteners, Butters & Fats, Fruits & Vegetables, and pans and tools both small and large.  Next, he explains “what goes on in a pie?”.

Chapter one, is Pie Crusts. You’ll find step by step pie crust making (Although his instructions are not based on mixing by hand.  I happen to agree with him and use my food processor for my pie crust making.) from mixing the dough in a food processor, to rolling, and crimping, so even a novice can accomplish the sometimes intimidating pie crust!   The pie crust recipes were a plus and a pleasant surprise. Crust recipes such as Cinnamon Butter pie crust (my favorite), Vanilla Bean Pie crust, Anise & Mace Spiced Pie crust and Paprika Butter crust are just a few of the pie crust recipes you’ll find here, along with whole wheat, vegan, cheese, lard, chocolate and gluten-free pie crusts. A delightful assortment of Pie crust in this chapter!

Chapter 2 is Sweet Pie fillings. Two Apple Pie fillings, Blueberry Maple, Peach Pie, Traditional Cherry Pie, Red Berry Pie, an assortment and wide variety of fillings to please any palate.  I was pleasantly pleased with the large variety of pie filling recipes that were included in this chapter, including a Sugar Cream Pie, Apple turnovers, Blueberry cobbler, Bourbon Pie and even a Hickory Pie.

Chapter 3 is Tart Crusts. Pecan Caramel tart crust, Almond Caramel tart crust, Lemon Shortbread, and a Peanut tart crust. He’ll have you trying to decide which pie and crust to use first, and it won’t be an easy pick either. They will all sound intriguing and mouth-watering.

Chapter 4 is Sweet Tarts.  Chocolate Amaretto Tart with Candied Almond around the outside of the pie, looks absolutely delicious! Can’t wait to try that one, and a Vanilla Pudding Cream Tart, Raspberry Lemon Tart, Apricot Tart, Mixed Fruit Tart are just some of the tarts included in this chapter. Chapter 4 also includes that Sauces, Toppings, Pastry Cream and Glazes.

Chapter 5 is Savory Pies. He includes an Apple Lasagna, Meatball Pie, Chicken Pot Pie, Shepard’s Pie, Eggplant & Carrot Pie, and a recipe for Jamaican Beef Patties.

Finishing up the book is the Index to help you find what you’re looking for even faster.

ApplePie2

The book is beautifully illustrated! This book is chock full of beautiful pictures of the finished product that are just mouth-watering!  I am a visual, like to see the end results kind of person, and this book does not disappoint in the photography department!  As an added bonus, throughout the book you’ll find little  boxes with helpful hints, and instructions.

This book is a must have in every kitchen! Especially if you like pie. This fast became one of my favorite cookbooks after sitting down and going through it.  It surprised me, and delighted me with its unique recipes, pictures, and information. There are so many pies I want to make out of this cookbook that almost all of the pages are dog-eared waiting for me to make them.  This link has a sneak peek feature and I encourage you to go take a look. I think you will be as delighted as I am with Pie Love!

Heirloom Apple Pie

This is my go-to apple pie.  It’s simple, classic, and easy to make all year-long.  If heirloom apples aren’t available, just substitute Granny Smiths, which work well in baking and have a consistent flavor year round.  My colleague at CakeLove suggested prepping the apples as cubes, which seemed weird, but in the end, I really liked them that way.  Assembling the pie is much faster, the apple cubes retain a nicer texture after baking than slices, and I love the way they spill out of the slice when it’s served.

My goal with this filling was just a touch of sweetness in the syrup; the natural sugars of the apples should be center stage.  You’ll notice a bit of juice pooling on top of the crust at the edges toward the end of baking time, but this recedes and blends back into the pie once it cools.  I like the Cinnamon-Butter Pie Crust with its nuance of spice, for this pie and extra dough cookies across the top crust. – Warren Brown

7 1/2 Cups (2 Pounds) Heirloom Apples, peeled, cored, and cut into 1/2 and 1/4 inch cubes (I used apples from my backyard apple trees, using 3 different types. My trees are LOADED this year!)

1/2 cup (4 oz.) Superfine Granulated Sugar, plus additional for sprinkling

2 Tbsp. Light Brown Sugar, packed

1/4 tsp. Sea Salt

2 Tbsp. Unbleached All Purpose Flour

2 Tbsp. Cornstarch

1/2 tsp. Cinnamon, plus additional for sprinkling

1/2 tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated (I only used 1/4 tsp.)

1/4 tsp. Allspice (Optional)

4 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter

1 Tbsp. Honey

1 Recipe, bottom crust blind baked Cinnamon ButterPie crust, Flaky Butter Crust or Whole Wheat Piecrust  (I didn’t blind bake the bottom crust. I put it together with a top crust and baked it for an hour and a half. If you choose this route, keep an eye on the pie, and if the top crust begins to get to dark, cover the top of the pie with aluminum foil to prevent over browning. We prefer this method, and my pie came out great!)

1 Egg (Optional)

1/4 tsp. Vanilla (Optional)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.  Place the apple cubes in a 6 quart pot.

3.  Mix  both sugars, the salt, flour, cornstarch, and spices in a bowl.  Combine this mixture with the apples, add the butter, and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the juices bubble and thicken.

4.  Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the honey, and allow the filling to cool a bit.

5.  Scoop the filling into the cooled crust.

6.  Cover with the top crust of your choice and style.  If desired, whisk together the egg and vanilla to make an egg wash.  Brush the crust with the wash and lightly sprinkle the top of the pie with sugar and cinnamon.

7.  Bake the pie for 40 to 45 minutes.  When finished,, the juices should simmer around the edges and the top crust should be golden brown.

8.  Allow the pie to cool for 1 hour to let the filling set before slicing.

Note: Crust cookies are especially festive pie decorations. To make them, ball up any extra dough and roll it in granulated sugar.  Roll the dough out to 1/8 inch thick and cut it with cookie cutters into the desired shapes.  Press the cookies onto the top crust of the pie in a decorative pattern and brush with egg wash, then bake as directed in step 7.

Simple Ranch House Meatloaf

I love meatloaf sandwiches.  Usually the reason I make the meatloaf is just to have that meatloaf sandwich the next day.  This is an EXCELLENT meatloaf recipe, and makes great sandwiches for the next day. I did not use the sauce recipes listed below, just a can of Campbell’s tomato soup poured over the top the last 15 minutes or so of baking.

 slightly adapted from: Derf at Recipezazz

Prep Time

15 Minutes

Cook Time

105 Minutes

Servings

6 -8

Ingredients

1 1/2 pounds ground beef 

1/2 pound ground pork

1/2 cup onions, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

1 cup bread or cracker crumbs, or 1 cup Cornflakes, finely crushed (This is what I used)

2 eggs

7 1/2 ounces beef broth

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon sage

1 teaspoon thyme

1/4 teaspoon pepper

 

Topping:

3 tablespoons brown sugar

4 tablespoons ketchup

1 teaspoon dry mustard

 

Alternate Topping:

4 tablespoons chilli sauce.

3 tablespoons sugar (or Splenda)

4 tablespoons spreadable soft cream cheese

1  teaspoon dry mustard

1 tablespoon hot horseradish

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

 

  Mix all the meatloaf ingredients together,  pack into a 5″x9″ loaf pan or baking dish and bake for 1 hour.

 
Topping: Mix together which ever topping ingredients you choose to use; brush it over the meatloaf; return the meatloaf to the oven for a further 15-20 minutes.

 


 
NOTE: The finished cooled meatloaf can be frozen. Alternately, the meatloaf ingredients can be split into 2 smaller loaf pans, cooked, topped, cooled and frozen. The meatloaf is excellent eaten hot or cold.

It’s that time of the year again, back to school.  We’re out shopping for school clothes and supplies, readying our kids for the school year.  But, what to put in their lunch boxes?   I’d like to recommend “Nature’s Bakery“.  Delicious, Wholesome, tasty fig bars, just right for your kid’s lunch boxes.  They are Cholesterol free, Dairy Free, 0 Transfat, Kosher, non GMO & made in the USA!  Available in an assortment of flavors (Blueberry, raspberry, vanilla raspberry, apple cinnamon, whole wheat fig, and peach apricot.)

I put them to the test with a 10-year-old, (Anna) and a soon to be 12-year-old (Alexis).   Both of them wanted more, and said they would definitely eat them if they were in their lunch boxes.  Both of them like fig bars, and the flavors were a bonus giving them a choice of what they liked best.  I too tried these and thought they were exceptionally good. Made with stone ground whole wheat and quality ingredients that you can actually read & Pronounce.   Read more about Nature’s Bakery here.  Would I recommend Nature’s Bakery Fig Bars for your kids lunch boxes? Yes, I would with confidence that you are getting a quality product that your kids will like to eat and see in their lunch boxes. Below is where to find Nature’s Bakery Snack Foods.

Nationwide:

REI                                                                      Ralphs                                                                                  Metropolitan Market

World Market                                                 Smith’s Food & Drug Stores                                          Big Y

Krogers                                                             Quality Food Centers                                                      King Soopers

Costco                                                               Frys                                                                                        Allsup’s Convenience Stores

Walmart                                                           Marc’s                                                                                    Weis Markets

MMeijer\Grocery Outlet                                 H.E.B.

Airlines & Airports:

Qantus, American Airlines, US Airways, Hawaiian Airlines, LAX Airport

Online:

Amazon.com/natures-bakery

REI

and others.

 

Disclaimer: I was given samples to try, in exchange for a review.  My observations and opinion of this product is strictly mine, and I was not compensated for a positive review. I always give my honest opinion of any product reviewed/tested on this blog.

SloppyJoes

The sloppy Joe is an American dish of ground beef, onions, sweetened tomato sauce or ketchup and other seasonings served on a hamburger bun.  The original Sloppy Joe Sandwich was invented at Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West. (Seems there’s other origin stories else where too, but, this is the story from Wikipedia).  The original is still available and consists of ground beef in a sweet rich tomato sauce with onions, peppers and seasonings. Hence the sandwich was named after the establishment, not the consistency.

Homemade Hamburger Buns

adapted from Recipezaar

2 1/4 tsp. Yeast

3 3/4 Cups All Purpose Flour (You can use Bread Flour, but they do rise with no problem with all-purpose)

1 tsp. Salt

2 Tbsp. Garlic Powder (Told you I love Garlic!)

1 tsp. Onion Powder

1/4 Cup Sugar

1/3 Cup Vegetable Oil (Or Olive Oil)

1 1/4 Cups Milk, slightly warmed

In a large bowl combine all dry ingredients until mixed well. Add the vegetable oil and the slightly warmed milk. Stir until mixture forms a dough.  On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough until you have a nice pliable soft dough, about 5-10 minutes. Put dough in a lightly oiled bowl, turning it to cover all sides with the oil. Place a towel over the dough and let rest for about 1 1/2 hours. Punch dough down and divide dough into 8-9 pieces of dough, trying to make uniform sizes. Roll into a ball, and gently push down flattening the dough between your palms. Don’t squish them down too much, just enough to make the size bun you want. Place on a greased (or Sprayed) cookie sheet. Cover with a towel, and let rise in a warm place for approximately 1 hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Bake on a center rack in the oven for 15-18 minutes or until buns are slightly brown. Yield: 8-9 Buns.

Super Sloppy Joes

2 lbs. Ground Beef

1/2 Cup Chopped Onions

2 Stalks Celery, chopped

1/4 cup Ketchup

2 Tbsp. Brown Sugar

1 Tbsp. Vinegar

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tbsp. Steak Sauce

1/2 tsp. Garlic Salt

1/4 tsp. Ground Mustard

1/4 tsp. Paprika

8-10 Hamburger Buns, split

In a large skillet brown hamburger, breaking it up as you go, until thoroughly cooked and no pink remains. Add onions, and green pepper and cook until onion is soft and transparent. Add remaining ingredients, stirring occasionally til heated through. Turn heat down and simmer for 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasonings.  Serve at once.

Yield: 8-10 servings.

 

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