Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Chicken Stir Fry

I've been a major slacker lately. I never got into the whole blogging thing because I just can't seem to stay on top of it. So I decided that I will just post when I have something worthy of posting- or at least something I think is worthy of posting :)

Tonight's dinner was inspired by a show I used to watch on Food Network called Semi-homemade with Sandra Lee. Her whole thing was that you can make cooking more manageable by combining premade foods with other homemade items. Now- she always went way over board with coordinating apps, desserts, table decor, and even a signature cocktail to go with each meal. I took this concept and created a meal that my husband and I really enjoy. It's not quite as good a real Chinese food from a restaurant, but it's good enough to satisfy our cravings until it's one of our "eat out" nights.

Chicken Stir Fry (for 2 people)
Pam Cooking Spray
Hoisin Sauce (found in the international section of grocery store)
6 chicken tenders, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 bag of steamer vegetables (you can pick out which vegetables you like...sometimes we do just broccoli, but most times I use the mixed bag that has broccoli, snow peas, carrots, and water chestnuts)

1. Start boiling the water for the rice. This is when I usually cut my chicken into cubes. Add rice to boiling water. Heat large cook pan over medium heat and spray with pam. Add chicken to pan.
2. Add 2 TBSP of Hoisin Sauce to the chicken and mix. Cook until chicken is brown.
3. While this is all going on, steam the bag of vegetables for about half of the cooking time in the microwave. Then, add the vegetables to the pan with the chicken. If you like a saucy stir fry add some water and about 1/4 cup more of Hoisin. If you don't want to much sauce just add the 2 more TBSP of the Hoisin.
4. Let chicken and vegetables cook through together until the veggies are cooked. Sometimes I add water to steam the veggies a little more.
5. Serve over rice.

For me, it takes 30 minutes from stove to table. You can use as much or as little Hoisin as you like. I think this recipe would also be good with shrimp or beef. Enjoy :)

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

Finally got around to making this one today. Only took a few weeks! It was good... not as good as Jack's, but it hit the spot after raking leaves for an hour on a chilly, breezy fall afternoon!

The original recipe is called Loaded Baked Potato Soup, but to save some calories I didn't load it all the way. I ended up having to add some extra liquid because at first bite it was just like eating a bowl of mashed potatoes! Also, for the first time in my adult life, I felt like there was too much garlic. Now, I doubled it from the recipe, so don't do it even if you love garlic!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
6 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed into 1/2 pieces
1 large onion, chopped
1 quart chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup butter
2.5 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 TBSP chopped fresh chives
1 cup sour cream
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
extra cheese for sprinkling

Combine first seven ingredients in large crock pot; cover and cook on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours (potatoes should be tender).

Mash potato mixture until potatoes are coursely chopped and soup is slightly thickened.

Stir in half-and-half, cheese, and chives (I added in an extra 1/2 cup of cream and 3/4 cup water to get it a little more soupy. I think I mashed my potatoes a little too much given them the consistency of smashed potatoes).

Serve topped with sour cream, cheese, and bacon if desired.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Well, I have been a total slacker the past week and half. To my defense though I had a really nasty case of strep throat (which I haven't had since I was a kid) and a busy week of preparing for a weekend get-away to NYC.

So, week 8 is not off to a great start either. Tonight Avery had dance class from 4:45-5:30 and I have now added a Monday night Zumba class to my schedule from 6:30-7:30. Much to Avery's delight she got a happy meal and I had a fruit and walnut salad from McDonald's. Prety good.. but looking forward to recreating my own version at home!

I suspect that the weeks between now and Christmas will continue to be a mess. There's just so much going on and this week isn't going to be any different. Sean leaves for a hunting trip Friday morning and will return Monday evening. So here's the menu for this week...

Tuesday- Chicken and Asparagus Risotto (previously featured in October)
Wednesday- Pasta
Thursday- Orange Champagne Ham Steaks and Cinnamon Apples
Friday- Not quite sure... think I may squeeze in another Zumba class if I can, which would make
Tropical Smoothie for dinner a good choice. But, we'll see!

On Thursday I am hosting my part-time library friends for lunch and am going to try to make the Loaded Baked Potato Soup I mentioned a few weeks ago. Can't wait to try that out! Of course it's not quite the same on a day when it's 60 degrees in November!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pumpkin Chili

Wow... lots of requests for this recipe! I wasn't quite sure how this would turn out since...

1. I am not a "real" chili eater. I don't like beans and my versions of chili are really ground beef with tomato sauce and spices.
2. I wasn't quite sure what pumpkin puree would do to it!

But, I was pleasantly surprised. It tasted great! This was my first experience using ground turkey as well, so this was a little ambitious for me in all regards! Sean wrinkled his nose when I described the recipe so I had planned on making it and freezing it into single portions for myself for lunches this fall/winter. However, when Sean walked in and smelled it he decided he would give it a try!


Pumpkin Turkey Chili
1 TBSP vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 lb ground turkey
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes
2 cups pumpkin puree
1.5 TBSP Chili powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
dash salt
Cheddar cheese
Sour Cream

Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion, peppers, and garlic and saute until tender. Stir in turkey and cooked until evenly browned (I drained the excess liquid/grease, but I am not sure if it needed to be done or not). Add meat mixture to crock pot. Mix in tomatoes and pumpkin. Season with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Cover, set on low for 4-5 hours. Serve with cheddar cheese and sour cream if desired.

Some notes... I did not use the peppers. I also added 1/2 cup water to the mixture to get it a little saucier than it looked like it was going to be. Also, my love of garlic has been well-documented throughout the posts on this blog so I used 3 cloves instead of 1 :)