Posts Tagged ‘soy sauce’

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Like many food bloggers, before I started my own I followed and cooked from many food blogs. But of course none of them were documented other than a printed copy of the recipe with my changes or thoughts written around the margins. While digging through said stack of printed recipes (before I discovered the glory of saving recipes as PDFs), I rediscovered this recipe for sweet and sour chicken.

Growing up, sweet and sour chicken was my absolute favorite Chinese option. Probably because it had pineapple and no icky vegetables – oh how much my tastes have changed! Later down the road, when I found this recipe it had been quite a while since I had had a plate of my childhood favorite. Both then and the most recent time I’ve cooked it I really enjoy that it does not require a vat of hot oil to fry the chicken. You do first fry it in a little canola oil but then let the oven to the rest. The sauce caramelizes a bit over the chicken giving you a tender center and a slightly crispy exterior – just the way it should be.

Need further validation? Qing asked me where I got it from when I brought the leftovers in for lunch. She couldn’t believe I made it and after letting her try it she said it tasted authentic too!

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Also some fun news. Yesterday my dissertation finally cleared all it’s checks and was approved for publishing. Additionally I’ve completed all my Ph.D. requirements (aka paperwork) and have been approved for graduation! Not that I didn’t think it would happen but what a relief that it’s all done. Now all I have to do is clean up a couple new experiments to appease the reviewers of my research paper submission to be published (oh and find that thing called a J-O-B). Don’t worry I’ll let you know when I’m pubmed-able ;-).

One year ago: Scooter’s Spaghetti
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Orange Chicken with Asparagus

The whole finishing one’s PhD is quite anticlimactic. Especially when you still have to go through the month-long formatting review process, complete a couple more experiments per reviewers requests for a paper, fill out scads of paperwork which includes acquiring several signatures from departments around campus (some of which cannot be completed until I am ready to turn in my badge and keys), and don’t have a job lined up yet. So guess what have I been doing post-defense? Don’t get me wrong, there have definitely been celebrations but I don’t feel relieved just yet.

That being said, enjoy this easy, single-serving recipe for orange chicken with a lot of asparagus! Don’t like asparagus? Swap out with snow peas, green beans or broccoli. And as usual, you could also use your multiplication tables to prepare this for multiple people.

Orange Chicken with Asparagus

One year ago: Buckeye Monkey Bread Muffins

Two years ago: Oatmeal Meatballs with Spinach
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Debbie Lee’s Ginger Soy Beef with Chile-Tomatoes & Peppers

Ah it feels good to be back in the swing of this on the blog. Just in time to participate in this month’s Pass the Cook Book Club. Samantha of Little Ferraro Kitchen picked the cookbook Seoultown Kitchen: Korean Pub Grub to Share with Family and Friends by Debbie Lee, for us to cook from this month. I went with the kebab recipe because even though the rest of the country is experiencing fall-like weather, it’s still short sleeve season here in Memphis.

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The original recipe used larger chunks of steak and only tomatoes, but I prefer more veggies on my kebabs so I added green bell pepper and cut up the steak a little more to even out the ratio of meat to veggie pieces. There was no need to increase the amount of marinade or seasoning, because there was plenty to go around. Speaking of seasoning, these kebabs were the most flavorful I’ve ever had. I was actually a bit worried when I dumped the full tablespoon of chile powder that it would be too much but it wasn’t at all. It went really well with some brown rice with some extra marinade (not the portion that had the raw meat in it).

Ginger Soy Beef

One year ago: Crunchy Oven-Fried Ravioli

Two years ago: Pumpkin Nutella Mini Cheesecake Bites
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Ina Garten’s Foolproof Ribs with BBQ Sauce

It’s that time of the month again! No not that, sick-o…. it’s the 4th Thursday and the month and therefore Pass the Cook Book Club time! For July, we were given three recipes from Barefoot Contessa Foolproof: Recipes You Can Trust by Ina Garten. I almost made the blondies but ended up going for the ribs as I have never cooked them myself before.

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I prepared the BBQ sauce the day before to make my life easier the next day when cooking the ribs. The BBQ sauce alone smelled amazing as it simmered on the stove and this recipe made a TON of BBQ sauce (I had a lot of BBQ sauce leftover, but I am actually excited about it because it’s delicious). Then the next day, my plan-ahead-preparations were thrown off by going to the store to buy the ribs and finding out they were frozen solid! I then had to thaw them in the sink full with water but it worked fairly quickly.

Finally, once they were in the oven topped with BBQ sauce, their aromas began seeping through the surrounding rooms. Despite the treat my nose was enjoying, I was still nervous somehow about whether they would be good or not because I am not a grill-master. But as soon as they were transferred to the grill I was convinced they had to be good when one of the bones literally fell off the meat. This was further verified upon finally sinking my teeth into the ribs and cleaning off every bone – not a trace of meat left on those suckers! Foolproof Ribs

One year ago: Strawberry Malted Pancakes

Two years ago: Peanut Butter Sandwich Bread
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Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

I finally made something with my new smaller crock pot, and the verdict? It cooks smaller volumes much better than in my larger crock pot. Not really surprising but still exciting to be able to actually slow cook something for over 2 hours without it overcooking and drying out. With all the dissertation writing in my future that little guy will be put to hard work. Although it may be a bit distracting to smell the deliciousness as it cooks while trying to focus on writing about yeast and genes.

Speaking of writing, I am still waiting to hear back from the last committee member about scheduling my dissertation defense. Boo hiss.

Slow Cooker General Tso’s Chicken

One year ago: Dark Chocolate Banana Peanut Butter

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Simple Chicken & Sweet Pepper Stir Fry

In undergrad I made a lot of stir fries. Oh the days before food blogging and my desire to make new recipes all the time. And the days when I was even less financially stable than I am now, which is hard to imagine as I sit here worrying how my bank account it going to survive the month. How did I function all those years with even less money than I have now? But I digress.

Stir fries are great not only because they are fast, but because you can really throw in whatever veggies and sauces you have lying about in your fridge. My new veggie obsession is baby sweet bell peppers because in the past I always find myself with fractions of bell peppers, but now I can just use little ones. A couple of those, a small chicken breast, soy sauce and some chili garlic sauce makes for a delicious stir fry.

In unrelated news, today is my sister-in-law Kate’s birthday! Happy 29th Birthday <3!! Hope you enjoy your birthday package that arrived yesterday ;-).

Simple Chicken & Sweet Pepper Stir Fry

One year ago: Strawberries and Cream Pie

Two years ago: Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie
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Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli

The other day I spotted a 2.5 quart crock pot in a sale bin at Kroger. For $9.99. With purple polka dots! With my need for a smaller crock pot, minimal funds, and love for purple it’s like it was meant to be mine and therefore I swiped it up and purchased it (and heck yea for extra gas points). Hopefully cooking smaller volume recipes in this smaller crock pot will solve my issue with things cooking too fast in my larger 5 quart one, although it still lacks a timer setting on it so I will still have to depend on my plug timer.

Unfortunately, I bought the 2.5 quart crock pot after making this recipe I am sharing with you today, so I cannot yet report on it’s functionality just yet. So as usual for my 5 quart crock pot this recipe cooked twice as fast and therefore be sure to adjust the cooking time based on your crock pot’s mannerisms. But cooking time adjustments aside, this was an awesome meal. The beef was tender and the sauce was so good I ended up using every last drop on top of some leftover rice. Yes, I ate just the sauce over some rice because I enjoyed it that much.

Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli

One year ago: Blackened Chicken with Cilantro Lime Quinoa and Avocado Cream Sauce
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Pass the Cook Book Club: Guy Fieri’s Asian Fried Quinoa

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Pass the Cook Book Club returns with round two! This month Kita chose Guy Fieri’s cook book titled Guy Fieri Food: Cookin’ It, Livin’ It, Lovin’ It. From the recipe selection, I decided to make his Asian Fried Quinoa. I’ve used quinoa in many different dishes, so I was excited to see how it would turn out as a substitute in fried rice. Obviously the texture was much different from rice, but the flavors were spot on and the mix of vegetables was wonderful (it was my first experience with baby bok choy as well). This dish was a great healthier alternative to traditional fried rice but it’s not a permanent substitution. Sometimes a girl just needs some rice!

Asian Fried Quinoa

Two years ago: Black Forest Stuffed Cupcakes
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World Diabetes Day: Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps & Giveaway

Today is World Diabetes Day, and Carolyn from All Day I Dream About Food, along with many other bloggers (including myself obviously) are promoting Diabetes awareness by posting diabetes-friendly recipes today. Check out her blog for the chance to win a blue KitchenAid stand mixer (as blue is the color of diabetes awareness), and stay turned here on The Spiffy Cookie for a different giveaway!

Diabetes

Diabetes has not affected me personally (something to be thankful for next week), but I admire Carolyn for her refusal to give up on her passion of baking and cooking after being diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Instead, she fought on and found new ways to enjoy her passions, to the point where I find myself craving her low carb treats too! Her blog, All Day I Dream About Food, has opened my eyes to how you can make creative, flavorful foods that are still low in carbohydrates and suitable for diabetics, dieters and even the everyday hungry person. Many of her recipes are also gluten-free!

But unfortunately diabetes isn’t just about coming up with friendly foods. Diabetes is an increasing global problem, particularly in developing countries. Although the causes are complex in nature, the rapid increases in overweight, obesity and physical inactivity definitely have an impact. Worse still, the World Health Organization (WHO) projects that diabetes deaths will increase by two thirds between 2008 and 2030. Therefore, in an effort to stimulate effective measures for surveillance, prevention and control of diabetes and its complications, WHO is building awareness by participating in the celebration of World Diabetes Day.

There is good evidence that a healthy diet, regular physical activity, maintaining a normal body weight and avoiding tobacco may help in prevention and/or reducing complications. So eat healthy, get active, and put away those cancer sticks (aka cigarettes and that’s another good reason to quit). For my contribution to spreading awareness through healthy eating, I made these lettuce wraps using Swerve all-natural sweetener instead of brown sugar. proof that healthy eating can still be easy and fun.

Be sure to check out the giveaway for you own Swerve baking kit to try out yourself at the end of this post. Get your swerve on!

One year ago: Chicken Alfredo Biscuit Casserole
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Pork Chops with Pineapple Fried Rice

Fried rice is one of my favorites although I’ve only made it myself a handful of times. It is likely due to Qing bringing in fresh homemade fried rice for us at work sometimes, and I am convinced I cannot make it any better. One of these days I need to watch her make it. She uses Asian BBQ pork which you can only buy at the Asian grocery store – another place I need to check out evidently.

Meanwhile while planning to invade her kitchen, I took a stab at fried rice again with this pineapple and pork chop version. Granted there is no competition when it comes to Qing’s fried rice, but it was still quite good. Next time I would use less onion, but that may just be my preference. But I really thought the grilled pineapple was a must for the flavor of this dish. Start up your grill!

Be sure to check out the original post by The Pioneer Woman for great step-by-step photos.

One year ago: White Chocolate Coconut Chili Macadamia Nut Cookies
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