Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Peach Pie

O.K., are you sitting down? This is hands down, THE BEST pie crust recipe I have ever seen, made, or tasted. I was so proud of how this pie turned out that I honestly carried it around showing it to everyone before I could even cut in to it. Isn't it GORGEOUS?! And, shhh....it was even better than Evelyn use to make. Hard to believe, I know, but true.

For the Crust:

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour

2 Tbs. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

2 cubes COLD butter, cut in to small cubes

4 Tbs. ice water, plus more if needed

Place flour, sugar, salt and butter in a food processor. Process until mixture resembles fine sand. Add the ice water and pulse again just until mixture begins to form a ball (add more water, 1 Tbs. at a time) if it doesn't come together. DO NOT OVERMIX. Remove from food processor and divide dough in half. Shape in to 2 disks and wrap in plastic wrap. Place in refrigerator for 30 minutes.

For the Filling:

10 ripe, firm peaches

Juice from one lemon

1/2 tsp. almond extract

2/3 c. flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/8 tsp. nutmeg

1/2 tsp. salt

3 Tbs. butter, cut in small pieces

1 egg

Peel peaches by dipping them in boiling water for about 20 seconds (the skin will slide right off). Remove pit and cut in thin slices. Place peach slices, the juice from the lemon, and the almond extract in a bowl and let sit for 10 minutes (this 10 minutes is a great time to roll out both dough disks in to 2 large 9-10 inch circles). Mix the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt together until well mixed. Stir in to the peach mixture.

To assemble:

Place the bottom pie crust in to the pie plate (I used a 9 inch pie pan). Pour peach mixture in to the pan. Place small pieces of butter all over the top. Cut bottom crust in to strips, then place on top of pie, overlapping and crisscrossing them. To finish pie, pinch the edges all around the edge and trim off extra dough if necessary. Mix the egg with a bit of water and brush egg mixture over the top.

To Cook:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Bake the pie at 450 degrees for the first 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 50 minutes. Remove pie from oven and allow to sit for at least 30 minutes before cutting and serving.

Spicy Goldfish Snack Mix

Amie is one of my dearest friends, and also my hairdresser. Over the years we have shared a lot of laughs, tears, and SO MANY GREAT recipes. We both love to cook and Amie is my idol in the kitchen. Last week I went for a haircut and her daughter, Camri, had made a batch of this snack mix. I loved it so much that I stopped at the grocery store on the way home and bought three bags of Goldfish crackers so I could make it for my family. You're gonna love it!

3 bags goldfish crackers (we like the original cheese flavor)
1 pkg. dry ranch dressing mix
1 T. dried dill weed
1/4 c. oil 
1/4 c. butter

Pour goldfish crackers in a large bowl.  Melt butter in microwave, then mix in the oil.  Add ranch dressing mix and dill and stir well.  Drizzle mixture all over the crackers and toss well to coat.  Pour mixture on to a baking sheet and bake at 250 degrees for about 15-20 minutes - stir once halfway through.  Cool.  Store in an airtight container.

Easy Cream Cheese Danish

I found this recipe quite a while ago and have been saving it for a rainy day. You can use any flavor of jam (I used peach). The recipe makes a dozen scrumptious cheese danishes. These would be perfect for a brunch, or a brial/baby shower. It's a keeper!

1 tube crescent roll dough
4 oz. cream cheese
1/4 c. sugar
2 T. lemon juice
8 tsp. jam or preserves (your favorite flavor)

Open crescent roll dough and separate in to 4 rectangular sections (you will need to seal the perforations diagonally down the center). Roll each in to a 7x3 inch rectangle (will need to flour it lightly before rolling). Mix cream cheese, sugar, and lemon juice until smooth. Spread mixture over the top of each rectangle. Roll each rectangle up from the long side. Cut each roll in to 3 sections (like a cinnamon roll). Place on greased cookie sheet and smash down each roll and make an indentation in the center. Place a dollop of jam in the center of each roll. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.

You can drizzle glaze over the top if desired. For glaze, mix 1/4 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1-2 tsp. milk. Mix well and drizzle on rolls.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Zucchini Bread (Crunchy Crust)

---Pictures were too ugly to post -----

After the above statement you probably won't want to even try this recipe, but you should. It LOOKS ugly, but it TASTES delicious! Thanks to those at the mentor meeting who asked for the recipe. It made me feel less embarrassed about serving you ugly zucchini bread :0)

In a large bowl, mix together:

3 beaten eggs

2 cups sugar

1 cup oil

1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini

1 tsp. vanilla

In a separate bowl, mix:

3 cups flour

1/4 tsp. baking powder

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Divide equally between two medium sized bread pans (grease pans well). Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour. Be sure to test for doneness by jiggling the pan or testing the middle with a fork. It's better to cook them a little longer than to have them turn out doughy. ***You can add chopped nuts to this recipe as an optional ingredient if desired.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Chicken Club Pizza

When I first saw this recipe in a magazine it reminded me of something I once ordered at California Pizza Kitchen. It was so incredibly delicious and I loved the lightness of it. You can eat a couple of big pieces and not feel guilty. As usual, I used chopped rotisserie chicken. You will need:
1 can refrigerated pizza crust
1/4 cup reduced fat Mayo (I used the Mayo with Olive Oil)
1/2 c. ranch dressing, divided
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 c. cooked, chopped chicken
8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 1/2 c. shredded lettuce
1 tomato, finely chopped

Begin by rolling out the pizza dough onto a cookie sheet or bar stone. Tap your fingers all over the top to give it ta little texture. I also brushed my crust with olive oil, Italian seasoning and a clove of pressed garlic. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes. This is what it looked like after it was baked. Mix the mayo and half the ranch dressing and spread it over the top of the baked crust. Top with half the cheese, then the chicken, then the rest of the cheese, then the bacon. Bake an additional 5-8 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is lightly browned. Before serving, top with shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes and drizzle with the remaining ranch dressing.

What the Chayote?

These came in the Bountiful Basket this week and for the first time, I had to ask the volunteers, "What is THIS?" One of the men said, "It's some type of squash". I had no choice but to go to the grocery store and look for one to see if I could figure it out. To my surprise I easily found them.

This, my friends, is a Chayote squash (pronounced Chee-o-tay). It is from Latin America and is similar to a zucchini, but more mild. How anything can be more mild than zucchini, I do not know. I am going to cook it up this afternoon and try it with a little butter and salt. What a fun food adventure.

Zucchini Muffins

The past few weeks I have been participating in the Bountiful Baskets program. If you don’t know what that is, you should click here and start participating. Last week, four zucchini were in the basket and I was delighted. I cut some up and threw in a pasta salad, made four loaves of zucchini bread, and finished out the week with these amazing muffins. They turn out perfectly moist and are just the right amount of sweet.

2 ¼ cups flour

2 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. salt

1 ½ tsp. baking powder

3 eggs

½ c. canola oil

¾ c. sugar

½ c. brown sugar

2 tsp. vanilla

½ c. sour cream

3 cups shredded zucchini

Optional add ins: zest from an orange, chopped walnuts or pecans

In a small bowl mix the flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder with a whisk, set aside. In another bowl, beat the eggs, oil, both sugars and vanilla until well mixed. Stir in the sour cream, the zucchini, and any mix-ins you like. Add the dry ingredients and stir until just combined (don’t over mix!) Spray 2 (12 count) muffin tins with cooking spray or line with paper liners. Fill each muffin cup 2/3 full. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15-18 minutes. Makes approximately 20 muffins.

Quickest Chicken Salad

What’s the first thing that comes in to your mind when I say “chicken salad”? Is it WEDDING? When I was a little girl I loved to go to weddings and they would always serve a cream puff (I now call them profiteroles) stuffed with chicken salad, some type of slushy punch and a little mint. I loved it so much that it became the menu at my own wedding. Chicken salad has grown up since then and this recipe is a definite upgrade. I love adding sweet mix-ins such as grapes or Craisins. 2 cups breast meat from a rotisserie chicken, chopped*
2 stalks celery, chopped fine
3 green onions, chopped fine
1/2-1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. coarse grain mustard (I use Grey Poupon)
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
Mix ins: Dried cranberries (Craisins), Chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts), zest from a lemon, red grapes, halved

Place chopped chicken in a bowl along with celery and green onions. Add the mayo, mustard, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined – I always start out with ½ cup mayo, then add more if it seems a little dry. Just before serving, stir in any mix-ins that you like. Serve on rolls or croissants with a leaf of fresh green lettuce. Store covered in refrigerator up to 3 days.

*Instead of using rotisserie chicken meat, you could also cook 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts and chop them up. For convenience, I buy the rotisserie chicken, remove and chop the breast meat for this recipe, then remove all of the dark meat from the legs and thighs and use it to make soup later in the week.

Mango Sticky Rice

Kudos to my friend Kelly for introducing me to this Asian inspired dessert. I loved it so much that I ventured to the Asian market for the very first time to buy the ingredients and even bought a sticky rice pan and basket. This is one of my favorite desserts to make...totally addictive! You can't use just any rice for this recipe. I buy sticky rice at the Asian market. They sell small bags of it for about $7. You have to soak the rice in water for at LEAST 24 hours before cooking, so you'll want to start in advance. Pour about 2 cups of rice into a bowl and cover with several inches of water. When ready to cook drain the rice. I had to buy a special pot and basket to make the sticky rice, but it was really cheap (less than $10 for both). Fill the pan with several inches of water and heat over stove. Once the water starts to boil, add drained sticky rice to the basket, place the basket over the boiling water, and cover the top with a lid to seal in the moisture and allow the rice to steam. While the rice is steaming (it will take about 10-15 minutes), pour a can of coconut milk into a small saucepan and add about 1/4 cup sugar. I use the Splenda Sugar Mix, so I only add about 2 T. of that. Heat and stir until it starts to steam and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and set aside. Every few minutes, stir the sticky rice. You will know it's done when it starts to stick together in one big ball and pulls away from the sides of the basket. You will also want to taste test it to make sure it isn't still crunchy. Slice some ripe mangoes in small strips and set the strips aside. Once rice is done, assemble the dessert by placing a scoop of rice in a serving dish and then pouring about 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the coconut mixture over the top. Finish with slices of mango and serve warm. YUM!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Dinner Rolls

I made these rolls to use as buns for pulled pork sandwiches on Superbowl Sunday. They turned out so good, I'll definitely use this recipe again.
Recipe coming soon...

Veggie Pasta Salad

My friend Tina made this salad for a party our girls had a few months ago. I love the crunchy texture of the veggies with the creamy texture of the pasta. This is super easy to throw together. 1 bag chopped Romaine lettuce
1 small zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 small cucumber
10-15 cherry tomatoes
4-5 slices provolone or Swiss cheese
1 small pkg. pasta (bowtie or spiral)
Bernsteins Cheese Fantastico dressing

Cook pasta according to package directions and cool. Chop the zucchini, squash and cucumber (I cut them in thin slices, then cut each slice in half). Cut each tomato in half. Slice cheese in thin strips. In a large bowl, toss the lettuce, veggies, and pasta. Just before serving, toss salad with desired amount of dressing (you'll only need about 1/3 of the bottle). Stir in the cheese slices last. Serve immediately.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hearty Meatball Stew

Our President's Day weekend has thus far been cold and snowy, putting us in the mood for something warm. Not wanting to run to the grocery store, I dug through the freezer and found a package of frozen meatballs. After hunting through the darkest regions of my cookbook collection I found a one pot recipe that looked pretty decent. It turned out hearty and delicious. My kids said, "Mom, this is some serious comfort food!" Spoken like true Food Network fans.

15-20 frozen meatballs (I used Italian style)
2 carrots
2 stalks celery
1 small onion
2 Tbs. tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, pressed
1 T. Italian Seasoning
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 cups beef broth
1 1/2 c. water
salt & pepper to taste
crusty French or sourdough bread for dipping
Cook the meatballs according to the package directions. While meatballs are cooking, peel and dice the carrots, celery and onion in small pieces. In large skillet, saute the veggies in a little bit of olive oil and cook until they are soft and start to caramelize.
Add the tomato paste, cooking and stirring for a minute or two to add some depth of flavor to the sauce (don't worry if the bottom of the pan browns a bit - it will lift off once you add the beef broth and make the sauce even more yummy).
Stir in the garlic and the Italian seasoning and then add the tomatoes, beef broth and water. Salt and pepper to taste. Simmer the mixture on medium low for about 30 minutes. Finally, cut the meatballs in half and add them to the sauce. Simmer until everything is hot and bubbly.
***TIP: Serve with crusty bread for dipping (toasted garlic bread would be delicious!)

Easy Peasy Chocolate Chip Cookies

My friend Jenny shared an idea for the easiest (and most delicious) chocolate chip cookies. It starts with a Betty Crocker Mix, but don't even think about looking on the back of the bag for instructions, just do this...

Dump 1 bag Betty Crocker Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix (about $1.50 at the grocery store) into a bowl. Throw in 1 cube softened butter, 1 egg and 1 cup oatmeal. Mix with hand or electric mixer until well mixed. Bake at 350 degrees for about 7-9 minutes (7-8 if you like them a little on the doughy/soft side and 8-9 if you like them crispy on the edges and soft in the middle).

***TIP: I love to throw in a handful of M&M's (those little baking ones are my favorite) OR I also like to add dried cranberries or dried cherries and pretend like it makes them healthy!

Here's a quick pick of the mix I use....and the dried cherries, YUM!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

My Christmas Table

These Santa plates were Evelyn's and she gave them to Korry a couple of years before she died. They are much beloved by both of us since Korry is a Santa fanatic and I, a lover of all things vintage. It makes me feel nostalgic to see this Christmas table set. It's funny how this fancy table actually reminds me of simpler times. I think of Evelyn and how she hated paper plates; how she cared about the details. I loved the details....I miss the details.

Honey Bee Cake

Lyndsie's Young Women's leader brought over this DARLING cake today. Not only was it beautiful, it tasted delicious; moist, dense and covered with an almond flavored glaze. I'm calling for the recipe tomorrow!

Caramel Brownies

Taylor went to a birthday party the other night and came home raving about the caramel brownies they served. I called for the recipe the next day. These are delicious served warm with a scoop of ice cream.

1 box German chocolate cake mix
3/4 c. butter, melted
5 oz. can evaporated milk, divided
12 oz. pkg. caramels, unwrapped
1 c. semi sweet chocolate chips

Combine cake mix, butter and 1/3 cup of the evaporated milk. Spread half of the batter in the bottom of a greased 13x9 inch pan )this layer will be very thin). Bake at 350 degrees for 12 minutes. Meanwhile, place caramels and the rest of the evaporated milk in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir until caramel is melted and smooth. Remove brownies from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Pour caramel over the top, then place spoonfuls of the remaining cake mix on top of that (do not mix). Bake again at 350 degrees for 15-17 minutes.

Chocolate Lava Cake

We went out to dinner with Daryl & Amie last night and I asked if she had a good cake recipe. She asked, "Do you like chocolate? Cause I've got the cake if you do!" I called her as soon as I got home for the recipe and boy was she right. This cake forms a pudding layer at the bottom and a dense, creamy cake on top. It was indescribably good!

1 1/2 c. water

3/4 c. brown sugar

1/3 cup cocoa powder

1 (10 oz.) bag marshmallows

1 box chocolate cake mix (plus ingredients to make it)

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

In a large oven safe dish, place water, brown sugar and cocoa powder. Mix until well blended. Pour marshmallows on top of that. Prepare cake mix according to package directions. Pour cake batter all over the top to cover the marshmallows. Sprinkle chocolate chips all over the top. Cover the dish with a lid (or with tinfoil) and bake at 350 degrees for about50 minutes.

Italian Sodas

This Christmas I went crazy making Italian Sodas. I made them for a work party, I made them for our family parties, we invited friends over and made some more. I like to use the Torani syrups which can be found in the coffee section of any grocery store. In Utah, Harmon's has the best selection.

Italian syrup in your favorite flavors (vanilla, cherry, strawberry, raspberry, peach)

club soda

half & half

crushed ice

small plastic glasses & coffee straws

In a glass packed with ice, pour 2-3 oz. of Italian soda flavoring. Fill the glass 3/4 full with club soda. Add a 2-3 T. (a shot) of half and half. Stir well. Can also top with whipped topping!

Homemade Hot Fudge

This is my favorite hot fudge recipe. I make a big batch and we use it and later reheat it without it turning sugary. For our Moore Family Christmas party this year we served breakfast and these hot fudge pancake stacks were a hit. Get ready to lick your plate!

1 cup butter
3 cups sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 (12 oz.) can evaporated milk
1 tsp. vanilla
Combine butter, sugar, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil for 7 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. It will seem a little thin, but will thicken as it cools. Can be refrigerated and reheated.

Peanut Butter Cup S'mores

This is a summer flashback recipe, so I'm posting it in honor of the sunny days that await us. We were making S'mores at our family reunion this past summer and Korry's aunt Sue got the idea to stick a peanut butter cup in the middle. It was magical.

Graham Crackers
Reeces Peanut Butter Cups
A roaring fire.
Marshmallow on stick. Hold just in the right spot. Once marshmallow is brown, place on graham cracker and top with peanut butter cup

Cheesy Green Bean Casserole

This ain't yo mama's green bean casserole! It's got lots of extras like cheese whiz, mushrooms, almonds, and a dash of Tabasco. It's so flavorful and hearty, once you try it you'll never make the old "mushroom soup" version again.

1/4 c. butter
1 (2 oz.) can mushrooms
1 small onion
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. cheese whiz
1/2 c. milk
1/4 c. light cream
pinch Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 c. slivered almonds
2 cans green beans (regular or french cut)
French's French Fried Onions
In a skillet, saute the onions and mushrooms in butter until tender. Add the flour and stir for 1-2 minutes until smooth. Add the milk, cream, and cheese whiz. Heat and stir until mixture thickens, but don't boil for long or it could scorch. Remove from heat and add Tabasco sauce. The mixture will be thick. Open and drain the green beans, but reserve the liquid. Stir in the green beans, salt and pepper. Use alittle of the liquid from the beans to thin the sauce mixture if it seems too thick. Pour mixture in to a casserole dish and sprinkle slivered almonds on top. Bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, sprinkle Frenches Onions on top and return to the oven until fried onions are browned (about 5 minutes).

Homemade Coconut Cream Pie

The crust for this pie isn't homemade, but the filling is. We love to bake up a couple of pie shells and make one coconut cream and one banana cream. Here's the recipe for our favorite coconut cream.

1 pkg. Marie Calendar's frozen pie shells

2/3 c. sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
2 1/2 c. milk
4 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. butter, cut in to pieces (use REAL butter, not margarine)
1 cup coconut + more for toasting

Remove frozen pie shells from the freezer and cook according to package directions (this recipe only makes one pie). Cool pie shell. While oven is on, sprinkle a little bit of coconut on a cookie sheet and bake for about 3-5 minutes until nicely toasted. Remove from oven and cool.

In a saucepan, mix the sugar, cornstarch and salt. Whisk in milk, a little at a time and stir well to dissolve the cornstarch. Next, whisk in the egg yolks. Whisking constantly, cook over medium heat until mixture starts to thicken and bubble. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking for one more minute. Remove from heat. Stir butter and vanilla in to the hot pudding. Slowly stir in the 1 cup coconut. Pour mixture into the pie shell and allow to cool. Sprinkle with the toasted coconut and refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best).

**TIP. I often bake up both of the pie shells and make one coconut and one banana cream. You can even use this same recipe for the banana cream, but instead of stirring in coconut, cool the pudding first and stir in fresh sliced bananas instead and sprinkle the top with a bit of crushed graham cracker crumbs.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mini Cinnamon Bundt Cakes

My darling friend Jenny gave me a mini-bundt pan for my birthday. I've been having fun adapting down recipes for full size bundt cakes. This recipe will work big or small. 1 yellow cake mix
1 small vanilla pudding
3/4 c. oil
3/4 c.water
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/4 c. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
powdered sugar and milk for glaze

Mix cake mix, pudding, oil, water and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time until smooth. In a separate bowl mix cinnamon and sugar. Pour half of batter in a greased bundt pan (or in mini bundt pans). Sprinkle cinnamon sugar all over the top of the batter. Pour the rest of the batter on top of the cinnamon sugar. Bake at 350 degrees for about 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool and then invert cake onto a serving dish. Mix 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 T. milk and 1 tsp. vanilla. Stir until mixture forms a smooth glaze (may need to add a little more milk if it's too thick). Drizzle over cake.

Cinnamon French Toast Sticks w/Caramel Syrup

Usually I'm not picky about ingredients, but this recipe turns out best if you use Chunky Cinnamon Bread from Kneaders Bakery. It is TO DIE for! If you don't live in Utah or Arizona you can get by with any loaf of hearty cinnamon bread, but I'm apologizing ahead of time because it just won't be as good :0)

1 loaf Chunky Cinnamon Bread from Kneaders (yes, it has a little frosting on top)
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. salt

Cut loaf in thick slices (about 1 inch). In shallow bowl, mix the eggs, milk, and salt. Dredge the bread slices in the egg mixture one at a time and place in a medium hot skillet (melt butter in skillet then place bread slices on top). Cook on both sides till golden. Remove from heat and cut each slice of bread in to strips. Serve with caramel syrup.

1 1/2 stick of butter
3 c. sugar
1 1/2 c. buttermilk
3 T. white corn syrup
3 tsp. baking soda
3 tsp. vanilla
Mix butter, sugar, buttermilk and corn syrup in a large pan and bring to a boil. Boil 1-2 minutes, then remove from heat. Add baking soda and vanilla and stir well. The baking soda will cause the syrup mixture to bubble and raise, so be sure to use a large pan when making this recipe.

Chocolate Won Tons

My girls are obsessed with Nutella, so this dish is a favorite around our house. These are seriously SO EASY to make and you don't need to dip them in anything, just pop them in your mouth and .... YUM!

Won Ton wrappers
Nutella (Chocolate Hazlenut Spread)
Oil for frying

Place a small teaspoonful of Nutella in the center of a won ton wrapper. Dip your finger in water and run water around the edge of half the won ton. Fold the other half over the top (forming a triangle) and seal the edges, making sure to get a good seal so the Nutella won't leak out during frying. Heat oil in small skillet (or use an electric fryer on 350 degrees if you have one). Drop won tons in the grease and fry, flipping once to brown on both sides. They take only seconds to brown so watch them close.

Drain on paper towels and serve while hot.

Lo Mein Noodles

My picky 10 year old loves chow mein noodles at Panda Express. When I started searching for mock recipes, I found out that typically the dish is called lo mien. You can use spaghetti noodles for this recipe but real chow mein noodles from the Asian section taste better.

chow mein noodles (or spaghetti noodles) cooked according to pkg. directions
2 cups chopped Napa cabbage
1-2 stalks chopped celery
2 small scallions, chopped
1 carrot, sliced thin
vegetable oil
1 c. chicken broth
1-2 T. soy sauce
1-2 T. sesame oil
1 T. cornstarch
2 T. water
Red pepper flakes (to taste)

In a hot wok pour 1-2 T. vegetable oil and add the cabbage, celery, scallions, and carrots. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until vegetables are tender. Remove from pan and set aside. Return wok to stove top, add 1-2 T. more vegetable oil and quickly stir fry the cooked noodles until lightly browned (only takes a couple of minutes). Remove from heat and add the veggies. Toss. Return to medium heat and add the chicken broth, soy sauce, and sesame oil. Toss to coat. Mix water and cornstarch together until smooth. Slowly stir in to the noodles and cook/stir until sauce starts to thicken. Add red pepper flakes if desired and more soy sauce if a darker color is desired. Could also add a little Hoison sauce if desired.

Mock Panda Express Orange Chicken

I was excited to find Panda Express sauces at the grocery store the other day. I bought the "orange chicken" one and we whipped up a little Chinese feast. I thought the sauce was a little hot and spicy but my kids reminded me that it's hot and spicy at Panda too, so there you go!
3-4 chicken breasts, thawed (can use chicken tenders)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. flour
2 eggs
Oil for frying
1 bottle Panda Express Orange Chicken Sauce

Cut chicken breasts in to cubes and salt and pepper to taste. Mix the cornstarch and flour in one bowl and then crack and beat the two eggs in a separate bowl. Heat oil (about 2 inches deep) in a skillet on medium heat (or use an electric fry cooker at 350 degrees if you have one). Roll chicken pieces in the flour mixture first, then in the eggs (opposite of what you would normally do, but I promise it works). Immediately drop in to hot grease and fry until nice and golden brown (only takes a few minutes). Work in batches and place chicken on paper towels to drain after frying.
Once all chicken has been fried, place chicken pieces in a baking dish and pour sauce over the top. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Turkey Pot Pie

Finally got around to cooking a turkey that's been in my freezer since Christmas, making this an official "turkey leftovers" week. I found this recipe, tried it and LOVED it. I even made an extra pie for a friend, and her family loved it too. Don't be intimidated - I threw it together and had it in the oven in less than 30 minutes.

1 (2 pack) Marie Calendar Frozen Pie Crust
1 box long grain and wild rice (I love the Uncle Ben's kind)
3 cups leftover turkey, chopped (could use rotisserie chicken)
1 green pepper, chopped
1 yellow pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can chopped water chestnuts
1 tsp. chicken bullion OR 1 tsp. poultry seasoning
3/4 c. mayonnaise
1 c. sour cream
2 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Unwrap pie crusts, remove them from their tins, let rest on counter to thaw for about 20 minutes (they may break a little, but that is o.k.) Get the long grain rice cooking according to the package directions (takes about 25 minutes). While rice simmers, chop the peppers, onions, mushrooms. Heat a skillet and drizzle with olive oil. Saute the peppers, onions and mushrooms in the oil until softened, translucent and a bit carmelized. Dump in the turkey and stir it around, then remove from heat. Drain water chestnuts and stir them in. Next, add the mayo, sour cream and chicken bullion. Stir it all up. Dump in the cooked rice and stir again. Finally, carefully stir in the shredded cheddar cheese.

To assemble: Using the two empty pie tins, fill both with equal parts of the turkey mixture. Go back to your thawed pie crusts and carefully dust some flour underneath them, then push them down flat (don't freak out if they crack and break - it's o.k.) Carefully cut off the decorative edges from one pie crust and set them aside (they may be in pieces, again - it's o.k.) Roll out the remaining dough with a rolling pin until it comes together (press cracks together as needed). Cut strips from this dough and place over the pie in a lattice pattern. Once the lattice pieces are on, trim them, then press the pieces with the decorative edge all back around the outside of each pie. Repeat with second pie shell.

Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes or until crust is nicely browned.

**EASIER OPTION: Instead of cutting strips and making a lattice pattern, just roll out your dough and cover the entire pie with crust. Cut slits to vent and arrange decorative pieces around the edges for a finishing touch.