Thursday, March 14, 2019

Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

We love the idea and convenience of Chinese food take out, but not the way it makes us feel after eating it. This is a lightened up version of the classic Chinese food chicken and broccoli but lightened up. Most of the time there are chicken breasts and broccoli in our fridge and this dish comes together in less than 30 minutes, which let's be real is how long you can wait for take out, but you know exactly what you are eating. Serve it with your favorite rice (white, brown, cauliflower or fried rice) and you're good to go! I'm not gonna lie, I was extra lazy and made my rice AND broccoli in the microwave. I added the broccoli to the pan with the chicken and sauce once cooked to mix in the sauce. I found this recipe by Dward Cooks and it didn't disappoint, hope you enjoy it as much as my family has.
Chinese Chicken & Broccoli
Source: Dward Cooks
Serves: 6

4 chicken breasts thinly sliced
2/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 cup beef broth
1/4 cup corn starch
3/4 tsp grated ginger
1 tsp red pepper flakes (or less if don't like heat)
4 cups cooked broccoli

Mix the soy sauce, red pepper flakes, ginger and brown sugar in a bowl. 

In a separate bowl, combine broth and cornstarch until it is in a slurry (an even but slightly thick and pasty liquid). Combine both of these only after you’ve mixed the cornstarch into a slurry. The sauce should be a pale brown (don’t worry, it’ll get thick and dark).

Heat a wok, cast iron, or large nonstick pan. Spray the pan liberally, and cook the chicken on medium until chicken is fully cooked. The chicken will take a few minutes depending on thickness and cut style. I did these pretty thinly so they only took about 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in the microwave.

Remove the chicken and onions from the pan, and pour in the sauce mixture.  Once the sauce mixture thickens, add the chicken and broccoli in.

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies

Every year my friends and I have a holiday cookie exchange. Some years it is a competition, this year it wasn't but still kept up my game. We had a wonderful holiday brunch in our pjs and got to enjoy a variety of cookies with friends. My husband always loves to enjoy the different cookies that I don't normally make. This year I went for a cute/playful cookie, but still made sure it tasted as good as it looked. These are really easy to make and are a play on the traditional peanut butter blossom cookie.
Peanut Butter Rudolph Reindeer Cookies
Source: Tara tsp
Yields: 48 cookies

½ cup unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup peanut butter
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
48 large red M&M candies
96 mini semisweet chocolate chips
Pretzels, broken into 96 1-inch pieces

Heat oven to 375ºF. Grease two baking sheets.

In a large mixer bowl beat together butter, peanut butter and sugars on medium speed until light, about 2 min. Add egg and extract; beat until combined. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt until a dough forms. Roll into 1-inch balls and place 1 inch apart on prepared sheets.

Bake, one sheet at a time, until just set and bottoms are golden, 8 to 10 min. For each cookie, immediately place 1 M&M in center for nose, 2 mini chocolate chips for eyes and 2 pretzel pieces on top for antlers. Transfer cookies on sheets to a wire rack and let cool completely. (Can be made ahead. Sore in an airtight container at room temperature, in single layers separated by waxed paper, up to 2 days.)

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Monday, July 31, 2017

Flourless Black Bean Brownies

Happy Monday! I love love love brownies and I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical of a flourless brownie, especially one that has black beans inside but boy was I proven wrong. My husband said these were one of the best brownies I have ever made because they were so moist and fudgy...not too bad for brownies made with beans! I had my 3 year old helper in the kitchen, so this is a very kid friendly and novice chef recipe to make since everything gets put into the blender. It was a treat for her to have a brownie but one that we didn't feel too guilty about letting her eat since it is full of beans. These are a great option for anyone that is gluten free, or for those that celebrate Passover.
Flourless Black Bean Brownies
Yields: 16
Source: Skinnytaste

1 (14 oz) canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
2 large eggs
1/2 cup cocoa powder
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon oil
1 Tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or dairy, skim)
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Grease a nonstick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.

Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, almond milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl.

Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips until combined.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan.  Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies.

Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.

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Sunday, July 9, 2017

Maple Banana Muffins

We bought bananas at Costco last week and weren't able to use them all before they became over ripe. Instead of throwing them away I whipped up these easy muffins that were devoured by my girls. The original recipe called for crushed pecans on top, but my daughters go to a nut free camp, so I omitted them. The muffins came out nice and moist, but not too sweet. These are perfect for breakfast or snacks. I am gearing up to make another batch for camp this week! I like to make muffins instead of banana bread because it is easier to freeze and defrost a few muffins at a time instead cutting up an entire loaf.
Maple Banana Muffins
Source: Skinnytaste
Yields: 12


  • 3 medium very ripe bananas
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup maple sugar (or brown sugar)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Directions:
    Preheat oven to 325°F. Line a cupcake tin with liners.

    Mash bananas in a bowl, set aside. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.

    In a large bowl cream butter and 1/4 cup maple sugar with an electric mixer. Add egg whites, mashed bananas, maple syrup, apple sauce and vanilla; beat at medium speed until mixed well, scraping down sides of the bowl.

    Add flour mixture, then blend at a low speed until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared muffin tin.

    Bake the muffins on the center rack for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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    Monday, July 3, 2017

    Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes

    These days, our version of entertaining is hosting a playdate, so I use it as an excuse to try a fun recipe. For summer I combined two favorites, cupcakes and ice cream cones! My 3 year old helped me make them and her friends couldn't get enough of them, faces covered in icing is definitely a good sign. These can be made festive with sprinkles in colors for holidays if you want and all different flavor cake and icing combinations. Impress your family and friends with these at your next BBQ!

    To help the cupcakes stand up while baking I covered the cupcake tin with foil and cut Xs out over the muffin cup. Another tip is that when you remove the cooked cupcakes, poke a tiny hole in the bottom of the cone to allow the steam to escape and prevent the cones from getting soggy.
    Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes
    Yields: 12-15

    1 box cake mix
    1/2 cup vegetable oil
    3 eggs
    2 Boxes ice cream cones
    2 containers icing

    Preheat oven to 350F

    Prepare muffin pan with foil and fill with ice cream cones. Follow directions of cake mix to combine ingredients. Fill cones 3/4 of the way.

    Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cooked all the way through. They will take longer than the box directions since cones are deeper than standard muffin.

    Let cool then put icing in a piping bag and swirl to look like soft serve ice cream and decorate.

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    Tuesday, May 30, 2017

    Roasted Cauliflower

    I don't know about you, but we always struggle to eat vegetables and to get our children to eat vegetables. My old go to was the steamable bags of cauliflower and broccoli that were quick and easy, but honestly didn't have ANY flavor. Now I still will sometimes buy the pre-cut up bags if I am looking for a short cut from cutting up a head of cauliflower, but I no longer steam them. It is so easy to roast cauliflower and broccoli and gives them more texture and flavor. No one in my family, including my husband liked steamed cauliflower. However, we were at the local farmers market and my 3year old picked out a head of purple cauliflower because well it was purple. I cut it into florets, tossed it with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper and roasted and wouldn't you believe the entire family who swore they didn't like cauliflower devoured the entire thing! As I mentioned, this also works well with broccoli. On the rare chance there are any leftovers, my daughter will enjoy it cold for lunch the next day too. Hope you and your family enjoy this as much as mine does!

    Roasted Cauliflower
    1 head cauliflower (about 2 pounds), cut into bite-size florets
    olive oil
    kosher salt
    fresh ground black pepper

    Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
    Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, and put on a baking sheet; sprinkle with the salt and pepper and toss again. Roast until golden and tender, about 20 minutes.
    Transfer to a serving bowl and serve.

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    Monday, May 22, 2017

    Lemon Chicken And Spaghetti Squash

    When looking on my Facebook feed, it mainly consists of food and children's blogs that I follow for ideas to inspire me in the two main aspects of my life these days. We are always trying to find new recipes and ways to encourage our toddlers to eat vegetables. This was a win for everyone in the family. The lemon sauce brightens and ties everything together and is a flavor that my husband and one daughter love.
    Lemon Chicken And Spaghetti Squash
    Adapted from Goodful
    Serves: 4

    1 spaghetti squash
    Olive oil
    Sea salt, to taste
    Black pepper, to taste
    2 chicken breast, cut into 1-2 inch pieces
    For the sauce:
    1 medium yellow onion, diced
    3 cloves garlic, minced
    ½ teaspoon sea salt
    ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    ½ lemon, juiced
    1 cup chicken broth
    8 ounces baby spinach

    1. Preheat oven to 375˚F
    2. Poke several holes vertically into the spaghetti squash. Microwave on high for 5 minutes to soften and make it easier to cut the squash in half.
    3. Cut squash in half along the holes. Remove seeds with a spoon. Drizzle squash with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
    4. Place squash upside down on baking tray and bake for 40 minutes until soft. Let cool.
    5. Using a skillet, cook the chicken breast on medium-high heat with a little olive oil for 6-8 minutes until the chicken is golden brown and cooked through. Remove chicken from the pan and set aside.
    6. Sauté onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and cook for a minute. Add tomatoes and cook for a couple minutes. Cook until onions are translucent.
    7. Add lemon juice and chicken broth, and cook until the liquid partially reduces, about 20 minutes. Add chicken and cook for 2 minutes. Add spinach and cook for 2 minutes.
    8. Using a fork, shred the inside of the squash.
    9. Pour sauce over the squash. Serve immediately.

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