Monday, October 31, 2011

Orange Chicken

1 1/2 c. water
1/4 c. orange juice
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/3 c. rice vinegar
2 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce
1 Tbsp. orange zest
1 c. packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. fresh ginger root, minced
1/2 tsp. garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. green onion, green
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes  
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
2 Tbsp. water

2 chicken breasts, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 c. all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. olive oil

Pour 1 1/2 cups water, orange juice, lemon juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce into a saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir in the orange zest, brown sugar, ginger, garlic, chopped onion, and red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool 10 to 15 minutes.

Place the chicken pieces into a resealable plastic bag (or deep bowl). When contents of saucepan have cooled, pour 1 cup of sauce into bag. Reserve the remaining sauce. Seal the bag, and refrigerate at least 20 minutes - 2 hours. In another resealable plastic bag, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Add the marinated chicken pieces, seal the bag, and shake to coat.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Place chicken into the skillet, and brown on both sides. Drain on a plate lined with paper towels.

In a second skillet add the sauce. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Mix together the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons water; stir into the sauce. Reduce heat to medium low, add the chicken pieces, and simmer, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve over hot white rice.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Flourless Chocolate Cream Cake

Here is a link to my friend's recipe that I used:

It turned out pretty well, though it does take a bit of time.

6 eggs
2/3 c. caster sugar
1/2 c. cocoa powder (it's actually supposed to be slightly less than 1/2 cup, so just don't fill the cup to the top)

200 g. white chocolate (a little less than 8 oz.)
1/2 c. cream (again, slightly less than 1/2 cup)

1 c. cream (it's actually 7/8 c. or 13 1/2 Tbsp., or just shy of 1 cup)
50 g. dark chocolate, grated

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Grease two 8 inch round baking tins and line with baking parchment (if you only have one 8 inch baking tin, like me, then you can just divide the cake ingredients by two and bake one cake at a time).

To make the cake: Start by separating the eggs, place the white in a clean bowl and whisk till stiff. With the yolks beat them with the castor sugar until pale and thick, then add in the cocoa powder to the yolks and beat this lightly.

Gently fold egg whites into the chocolate yolks in three parts, use a metal spoon. Once combined, pour the mix into the prepared tin/s and bake for 10-15 mins. They should be slightly shrunken and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly then strip off the paper base.

While waiting for the cake to cool make the filling.

To make the filling: Break up the white chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl. Bring the cream to the boil then immediately pour over the chocolate, leave for a min then stir till melted. Leave to cool slightly then spread on one layer of the cake to 1 cm away from edge.

(optional) Add berries to the ganache filling e.g. cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries…

Place the other cake on top of the filling. Whip the cream until it is firm then spread all over cake, sprinkle all over with grated dark chocolate.

Recipe courtesy of Miss Deborah Nugent

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Lentil and Sausage Soup

1/2 c. onion, chopped
28 oz. chicken broth
1 1/4 c. water
1 c. brown lentils
1 c. carrots, sliced
1/2 tsp. dried thyme, crushed
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. coriander
6 oz. Polish sausage, cooked and sliced

In a large saucepan,  cook the onion in a small amount of oil for about 5 minutes or until soft. Combine chicken broth, water, lentils, carrots, thyme, red pepper, and garlic, basil, and coriander in the saucepan with the onion. Bring to the boil; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 20-30 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender. Stir in sausage. Heat through. Enjoy. This soup is delightful.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Icing

Here is the link to the recipe I used:

For the icing, I cut the recipe in half because it was over double what was needed for the batch. But if you want to make the full recipe, just click on the link above for the measurements.

Pumpkin Cookies:
1 c. shortening
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. canned pumpkin
1 egg
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. whole wheat flour

Caramel Icing:
3 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. milk
1/2 c. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. confectioner's sugar
To make the cookies: Cream shortening, sugar and pumpkin.  Add eggs and mix well.  Sift together the baking soda, ground cinnamon, salt and flour.  Add to pumpkin mixture and mix well.
Drop from spoon to cookie sheet. The original post had no temperature or bake time, so I baked them at 350 F for about 15 minutes.

To make the icing: Cook butter, milk and brown sugar until dissolved.  Cool and add confectioner's sugar and vanilla.  Spread over warm cookies. But really let the icing cool before putting it on the cookies. I only let it cool a little before spreading it on, and it soaks into the cookies. Which is not bad at all! They taste great, but they don't get the icing look.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Pumpkin Bread

Makes 2 loaves

3-1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
3 c. sugar
1 c. vegetable oil
4 eggs
2/3 c. water
2 c. canned pumpkin

Throw it all in a bowl and mix it up really good - maybe a couple minutes. Grease bread pans. Fill them until about 2/3rds full. It grows quite a bit while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. When it's fully cooked on the top it's ready to come out. Let sit in pans about ten minutes then turn out onto rack to cool. Eat warm or wrap tightly in foil.
Recipe courtesy of Robyn Fox

Friday, October 14, 2011

Enchilada Casserole

Here is a link to the original recipe:

And here is the recipe with the alterations I made. =)

Olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
4 oz. can diced green chile peppers
1 can whole kernel corn
Cilantro, chopped
Spices: cumin, coriander, pepper
6 corn tortillas
16 oz. Enchilada sauce
Black olives, sliced
Cheddar, shredded
Pepperjack, shredded
Sour cream (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly grease a baking dish.

I prefer cooked onions and garlic, so I cooked them in olive oil for about 5 minutes. Combine beans, garlic, onion, tomatoes, peppers, cilantro, and corn. I sprinkled the spices over the mix. Stir it up.

Pour the enchilada sauce into a shallow bowl. Dip 3 tortillas in the sauce, then place them on the bottom of the baking dish, covering the bottom of the dish as completely as possible. Layer half of the bean mixture on top of the tortillas. Repeat the process. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over the casserole. Sprinkle with black olives and cheese.

Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 15 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is melted. I served it with sour cream because sour cream is delicious.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

2 lbs. sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
pinch of cayenne pepper

Toss together. Layer on a cookie sheet. Roast at 425 F about 20 minutes. Turn once.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Apple Muffins

Here's a link to where I found the recipe:Apple Muffins

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. butter, at room temperature
1/2 c. white sugar
1/2 c. brown sugar, divided
1 egg
1 c. buttermilk
2 apples, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 450 F. In a small bowl, mix together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a large bowl, cream the butter, the white sugar and 1/4 cup of the brown sugar. Add the egg and beat until fluffy (I used a hand-held mixer for all of this until I mixed in the buttermilk, then I switched to a wooden spoon so as not to over-mix the buttermilk). Mix in the buttermilk gently. Stir in the flour mixture gently and fold in the apples. Pour the batter into 12 muffin cup liners (I greased my muffin tin with Crisco), sprinkle with 1/4 cup brown sugar and bake at 450 F for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, turn the oven down to 400 F and bake for another 15-20 minutes. Allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies

Here's a link to where I found the original recipe I adapted: Cranberry-Pumpkin Cookies

1/2 c. butter, softened
1 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg
1 c. pumpkin puree
2 1/4 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 c. fresh cranberries, chopped

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla, egg and pumpkin. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon; stir into pumpkin mixture until well blended. Stir cranberries into mixture. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto cookie sheets. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes.