Pinterest SUCCESS!

Because of the ease and quickness of posting directly to Facebook & Instagram, I haven’t been posting new things very often. The recipe from dinner tonight will make up for all that. At first I was skeptical  because usually when I bake something that’s supposed to be deep fried it turns out mediocre at best. I found the recipe on Pinterest which led me to Even Audrey ate it! You should make it, too. Or let me know when you want to come over for dinner and I’ll make it for you.



Braised Chicken with Mushrooms

When we lived in Milwaukee, we’d sometimes have dinner at my mom’s. When it was time to eat, she’d start pulling out dish after dish from her kitchen. This was usually one of those dishes. When I cooked it for dinner tonight it smelled like her house. Mike really liked it and told me he didn’t think I’d made it before. I had notes on the recipe in my cookbook though, so I must have. I told him I probably left the Chinese mushrooms out if I had made it before since I don’t like them. He however, LOVES them! I always try ONE bite of mushroom to see if maybe, just maybe, this time I’ll like them. This time wasn’t it. I know I’ve used them cut up pretty small in other recipes, but in this one, they were left in larger pieces. They come dehydrated and you have to soak them in hot water for 30 minutes to make them usable again. I added this soaking liquid to the pan when the chicken was braising instead of plain water. I think that did the trick.

braised chicken


The dish is pretty easy to make: Soak 6-10 whole Chinese mushrooms in hot water for 30 minutes to soften. Brown 1 whole, cut-up chicken on all sides in a deep skillet with some oil, garlic and ginger. Add the Chinese mushrooms, 1/2 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup (or so) water or liquid from rehydrating your dried Chinese mushrooms, 1 Tbsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt. Cover and cook for 30-45 minutes. Mix together 1 tsp cornstarch and 1 Tbsp water and add to braising liquid along with 3-4 green onions cut into 2″ lengths. Stir sauce until slightly thickened and serve.

Szechuan Green Beans with Ground Pork

My mom arrived in Hong Kong today. The 2nd picture my cousin posted on Facebook of her visit was of the family sitting around a table full of delicious looking food. This is one of my favorite dishes (another from Cooking Light magazine) but I’m sure it in no way compares to the good food at that table. To make it even better I served it with a side of steamed Chinese broccoli. I just couldn’t stop eating!

1/2 pound lean ground pork
1 t. cornstarch
1/8 t. salt
1/8 t. ground white pepper
1 t. peanut oil
2 1/2 c. cut green beans
1 t. minced fresh garlic
2 T. hoisin sauce
1 t. sugar
1 t. crushed red pepper
2 t. soy sauce
2 c. hot cooked white rice

Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork mixture, beans, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until pork loses its pink color, stirring to crumble.

Combine hoisin and next 3 ingredients (through soy sauce) in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add hoisin mixture to pan. cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring frequently. Serve over rice.

Chinese Food Feast

Last weekend my mom, sister and niece came to visit. At first the plan was just to cook egg rolls with my mom. That plan quickly turned into preparing beef & broccoli, green beans with black bean & garlic sauce, and Singapore rice noodles for a Chinese food feast! Buying the ingredients for all the dishes was easily done at the local grocery store…except for when it came for the noodles. The rice noodles I had were, apparently, not the right kind of rice noodles even though the ingredients were “rice flour, water.” A trip to the Chinese grocery store resulted in about 50 different kinds of rice noodles to choose from. Luckily I passed the test and came home with the right kind. We invited some of Mike’s family and a couple friends over to share in our feast. I’ve been eating leftovers all week and they’re finally gone! Well, except for the 16 egg rolls now in my freezer. Anybody want some?

Ham-apalooza Day 2

(Post copied from “(Fill in the Blank) Fried Rice”)

The perfect dish for leftover ham? Ham Fried Rice, of course!

-Beat 2 eggs and scramble in a hot pan. Remove and set aside.
-In the same pan, add 1 T oil. Stir fry meats of choosing (approx 1 c. total) and 1/2 c peas for 1 minute.
-Add in 4 c. cooked rice and mix well. Add cooked eggs and 1/4 c. chopped green onion.
-Stir in 2 T soy sauce, combine well and serve.

Salt & Pepper Shrimp

Working until 5:00 has really cramped my cooking style. Before, working until 3:00 when Audrey got home on the school bus left dinner options wide open. Now I need to find meals ready in 45 minutes or less. Weeknight Menus from Cuisine at Home to the rescue! I made a few recipes from the book after getting it from my sister about 3 years ago. Last week I used it almost every night! The recipe below took 30 minutes. The thing that took the longest was the rice which cooked while I was making the stir fry. Here’s the recipe:

1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. sesame seeds, toasted
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes
20 large shrimp, peeled & deveined (I just buy a bag of raw shrimp in the freezer section)
1/4 c. cornstarch
1/2 c. juice from a jar of mangos (I used O.J. since I didn’t have jarred mangos)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
1 c. jarred mango, chopped (frozen mango worked just fine here)
1 c. scallions, cut on the bias into 1″ pieces

Combine garlic, sesame seeds, salt, pepper and pepper flakes in a dish.

Toss shrimp with cornstarch. Heat 3 T. oil in the skillet over medium-high, add shrimp, and stir-fry 2-3 minutes per side. Stir garlic mixture into shrimp and cook 1 minute.

Deglaze with mango juice and lim juice, and bring to a simmer. Stir in mango and scallions, cooking just to warm mango. Serve over steamed rice.

Chinese New Year Dinner

Just in case you haven’t heard, today is the 1st day of the Chinese New Year of the Rabbit. Thank goodness that nasty tiger is finally outta here. The year full of changes last year was almost more than I could handle!

After helping Mike shovel the driveway & sidewalk for almost 3 hours yesterday there was no way I was cooking dinner last night so we got Chinese take out from the place down the street instead. I had these 2 recipes waiting for me to cook them tonight…although my hands are still super sore from all my hard work yesterday. Both of the recipes are from a blog by food columnist/photographer/recipe developer Jaden Hair. The recipes were 100 Flower Blossoms and Long Life Fertility Noodles with Happy Shrimp.  I wasn’t too sure about the cauliflower in the 1st dish since Mike has always said he didn’t like it but this time he DID! And don’t worry about the “fertility” part of the noodle dish. You know how silly those superstitious Chinese are. I DO love how she explains what each dish is supposed to represent and why you should be eating it.

Here are the pictures of the dishes from Steamy Kitchen’s blog. I can only dream to be able to take food pictures half as good as her someday…

100 Flower Blossoms

Long Life Fertility Noodles with Happy Shrimp