Monday, November 21, 2011

Chicken Fried Rice

Tonight, I had left over rice that I needed to use, some frozen chicken and a few backs of frozen veggies. It was the perfect excuse to make Chicken Fried Rice! Here's how I did it.

Heat frying pan to medium heat. Spray pan with oil, allow to heat, then add chicken (one piece (breast) per person). Sprinkle chicken with a bit of salt and ground ginger. Turn over after 4-5 minutes, or until browned on the side. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and ginger. When it is cooked through thoroughly or almost all the way (still a bit pink), cut into small pieces in the pan and allow it to continue to cook. Add frozen veggies. About one cup per person. I used Stir Fry veggies, but you can use what you like. Allow those to cook down and the water to evaporate. Add 1/2 cup of cooked rice (per person) to the frying pan. Turn up the heat a bit, sprinkle ginger and low-sodium soy sauce (about 2 T). Let the mixture fry up, stirring it every now and then so it doesn't burn to the bottom of the pan. Add more soy sauce and ginger as wanted. Let it fry for just a bit longer, then serve up! Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Blackberry Trucker Pies

So, I'm bringing out the country in me. A Blackberry Trucker Pie is also known as a Blackberry Turnover. The name came from my sister, who when I asked what the 'small little pies are that we get at the farmers' market' she responded with, 'you mean trucker pies?'. The idea is that they're small little pies that can be eaten with one hand, no fork, knife or spoon needed! They're also so very easy to make, your kids can even help!

1 sheet of pastry puff
pint of blackberries (eyeball it)
1-2 Tablespoons of sugar
1-2 Tablespoons of flour
lemon juice
1 egg with a dash of water

Heat oven to 350˙. Roll out the pastry puff on a lightly floured surface to make it a square. Cut it into four equal squares.

Put the blackberriessugarflour and a few dashes of lemon juice in a bowl and smash them together. Smash as much or as little as you wish.

Spoonful the mixture onto 1/2 a side of each square leaving room around the edges to pinch the edges together.

Using your finger, wet the edges of the half that has the blackberries with a touch of water.

 Fold the other half over.

 Press the edges together. Place on a greased baking pan.

Using a fork, poke a few holes in the top to allow the heat to exit, so the turnover doesn't explode!
Lastly, brush the top of each with a small mixture of raw egg and water. This will give it that brown look that everyone loves. Bake at 350˙ for 15-20 minutes, or until brown and the blackberries are bubbling.

Final product! Add some fresh blackberries on the side and have as breakfast, an afternoon snack or enjoy in the evening with a glass of wine.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Semi-Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup

This week, I was so kindly given the cold by the little boy that I nanny. Feeling under the weather and in no mood to eat anything, I decided to run to the store to pick up the fixings for Chicken Noodle Soup. Now, I usually would purchase a whole uncooked chicken, boil it, use the stock and chicken to create my own soup, but yesterday was not the day for such an event. (A) It can take a while to cook, (B) I was not in my own home and (C) I just wanted some soup. So, I decided to make a semi-homemade chicken soup. I picked up a rotisserie chicken, chicken broth, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, parsley and noodles (along with some cold medicine and honey, not used for the recipe)! In about 30-40 minutes, it made the house smell wonderful, filled my tummy and soothed my sore throat. Here's the simple recipe for chicken soup!

Drizzle 2 T olive oil in a medium to large pot on medium heat. Add one sweet/white onion chopped and 2-3 cloves of garlic minced to the pot. Allow those to cook for about 5 minutes, until tender, but not browned. If they begin to brown, lower the temperature. In the mean time, chop 3 stalks of celery, 3 carrots and a handful of parsley*.  Chop more or less for your liking. Add 2 quarts of chicken broth** to the pot. Throw in the celery and carrots. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow to simmer. Add some of the parsley to the pot. Start a pot of water for noodles. (Follow directions on package for noodles). While the broth is simmering, and the celery and carrots are softening, tear into the chicken. Pull off all of the meat from the chicken and put it in aside. Dark meat is the best in soups, but both white and dark will work wonderfully. Depending on how much chicken you like in your soup, you might only use half of the chicken. Save the rest for chicken salad, sandwich or just a little snack! By this time the soup has been simmering for about 10-15 minutes. Add the chicken to the soup, a handful at a time pulling the chicken apart so it's somewhat shredded while still in tact. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the soup to simmer for 10-15 minutes. When the noodles are done, drain them and let them sit. I have always liked to add the noodles to the soup when it is served, because that's how my Grandma Lucy always did it. She handmade noodles prior to making the soup, chilled them, and the noodles helped cool the hot soup. To this day though, I still like to add my own noodles, rather than have the noodles already in the soup. You'll know when the soup is ready by testing the softness of the carrots and celery. Add the remaining parsley. Stir and serve with noodles. Enjoy!

*I like to use flat leaf parsley. Others like the more traditional parsley. Either is fine.
** When I choose a broth I look for Fat Free, NO MSG and sometimes Light. MSG often causes migraines (I'm prone to them) and the Light usually means there's less sodium. I like to get this kind because I can always add salt to it. Some broths are way too salty when you get them. Always check the label!

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