Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

This is a great, quick meal. I used a bag of salad and angel hair cabbage. This was adapted from Recipetineats.com. I used a package of shredded chicken which added to the easy prep and the cubed frozen ginger which I LOVE. We liked this so much we made it again the next day using just napa cabbage and green leaf lettuce.

Ingredients

Asian Dressing

  • 3 tbsp low sodium soy sauce 
  • 1 tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil (toasted)
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp fresh ginger, grated or very finely chopped (I used 1 frozen cube of the Crush ginger)

Salad

  • 4 cups Chinese cabbage or regular cabbage, finely shredded (I used a package of regular cabbage-angle hair)
  • 1 1/2 cups red cabbage , finely shredded
  • 1 cup carrot, finely shredded
  • 2 cups chicken, shredded

Garnishes

  • 1 cup crunchy noodles
  • 1 – 2 tsp sesame seeds (optional)

Instructions

  • Combine the Dressing ingredients in a bowl and whisk to combine. Set aside for 10 minutes or so for the flavours to meld.
  • Place the Salad ingredients together in a large bowl along with half the crunchy noodles. Drizzle over dressing then toss.
  • Divide between serving bowls. Top with more crunchy noodles and a good sprinkle of sesame seeds. Serve immediately!

Notes

1. Light soy sauce is lighter in colour and flavor than ordinary soy sauce. Ordinary soy sauce is fine to use too. Do not use dark or sweet soy sauce. Sesame oil – use toasted sesame oil.

2. Chinese Cabbage is my favourite in this because it’s softer than other green cabbages. If you use another green cabbage (or all red cabbage), toss salad with dressing WITHOUT noodles, leave for 10 minutes to let cabbage soften slightly. Then proceed with recipe.

3. You can buy crunchy fried noodles in the Asian section of supermarkets. They are cheap – just over $1 for a packet. You can use any crunchy fried noodles. I used Kroger brand.

4. Make ahead: Keep salad, dressing and garnishes separate until ready to serve. Chopped salad keeps for 5 days in an airtight container.

Dressing keeps for 2 to 3 days in fridge, if keeping longer, add ginger before serving. Cooked chicken keeps for 3 days in the fridge – can also be frozen. 

Salmon Curry

Salmon Curry

This was an easy week night meal! It would be great with shrimp or chicken. I think it would even work with tofu if you wanted to make it vegetarian. This was inspired by a blog I like “recipetineats”. It called for some items I did not have in the pantry or could not get (like fresh lemongrass) s oI made it my own with what I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • ▢ 3 salmon fillets
  • ▢ Salt and pepper
  • ▢ 1.5 tbsp oil , separated
  • ▢ 1.5 tsp ginger , finely grated or frozen cubes
  • ▢ 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • ▢ half jar of Trader Joe’s red Curry Sauce
  • ▢ 8 oz coconut milk (I used Low fat)
  • ▢ 1 tbsp soy sauce sauce 
  • ▢ 1.5 tsp lime zest (1 lime)
  • ▢ Lime juice , to taste

Directions

  • Sprinkle both sides of salmon with salt and pepper.
  • Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan or well seasoned skillet over medium high heat. Add salmon, skin side up, and sear for just 1 1/2 minutes until golden. Turn salmon and cook the other side just for 1 minute, then remove onto a plate (should still be raw inside).
  • Turn heat down to medium low and allow skillet to cool.
  • Heat remaining 1 tbsp oil. Add ginger. Cook until garlic is light golden ~ 1 minute.
  • Add sugar and cook for 20 seconds until it becomes a caramel (see video). Then stir in chilli paste/sauce
  • Add coconut milk and stir, scraping the bottom of the skillet to dissolve any bits stuck on the base into the sauce.
  • Stir in soy sauce, increase heat to medium. Simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Place salmon into the sauce, lower heat and simmer gently for 4 minutes, or until just cooked.
  • Remove salmon, stir in lime zest and juice to taste. Adjust salt to taste with fish sauce.
  • Serve salmon over noodles or rice. .

CHICKEN SATAY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

I put the marinade together at lunch and it made for a quick weeknight dinner. I served over rice with broccoli roasted with olive oil in a foil packet on the grill. Adapted from the blog damndelicious. The sauce would be excellent on its own drizzled over gilled meat or roasted veggies.I warmed up the sauce in the microwave for about 15 seconds before drizzling over the rice and meat.

These are great to keep in the freezer!

INGREDIENTS:

FOR THE MARINADE

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips

FOR THE PEANUT SAUCE

  • 3 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger

DIRECTIONS:

  1. To make the peanut sauce, whisk together peanut butter, soy sauce, lime juice, brown sugar, chili garlic sauce and ginger in a small bowl. Whisk in 2-3 tablespoons coconut milk until desired consistency is reached; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine coconut milk, soy sauce, turmeric, ginger, and brown sugar.
  3. In a gallon size Ziploc bag or large bowl, combine chicken and coconut milk mixture; marinate for at least 2 hours to overnight, turning the bag occasionally.
  4. Drain the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.
  5. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers. Brush with canola oil.
  6. Add skewers to grill, and cook, turning occasionally, until the chicken is completely cooked through, reaching an internal temperature of 165 degrees F, about 6 minutes each side minutes.
  7. Serve immediately with peanut sauce.

Buttermilk Biscuits

Buttermilk Biscuits

This is so easy to make! Perfect for breakfast with eggs or just drizzled with butter, honey, jam or apple butter! They freeze well. Adapted from Sally’s baking addiction blog.

Ingredients

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for hands and work surface
  • 2 Tablespoons aluminum free baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed and very cold
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons cold buttermilk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • optional honey butter topping: 2 Tablespoons melted butter mixed with 1 Tablespoon honey

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Place the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a large bowl or in a large food processor. Whisk or pulse until combined. Add the cubed butter and cut into the dry ingredients with a pastry cutter or by pulsing several times in the processor. Cut/pulse until coarse crumbs form. If you used a food processor, pour the mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Make a well in the center of the mixture. Pour 1 cup buttermilk and drizzle honey on top. Fold everything together with a large spoon or rubber spatula until it begins to come together. Do not overwork the dough. The dough will be shaggy and crumbly with some wet spots.
  4. Pour the dough and any dough crumbles onto a floured work surface and gently bring together with generously floured hands. The dough will become sticky as you bring it together. Have extra flour nearby and use it often to flour your hands and work surface in this step. Using floured hands or a floured rolling pin, flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle as best you can. Fold one side into the center, then the other side. Turn the dough horizontally. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle again. Repeat the folding again. Turn the dough horizontally one more time. Gently flatten into a 3/4 inch thick rectangle. Repeat the folding one last time. Flatten into the final 3/4 inch thick rectangle.
  5. Cut into 2.75 or 3-inch circles with a biscuit cutter. (Tip: Do not twist the biscuit cutter when pressing down into the dough– this seals off the edges of the biscuit which prevents them from fully rising.) Re-roll scraps until all the dough is used. You should have about 8-10 biscuits. Arrange in a 10-inch cast iron skillet (see note) or close together on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Make sure the biscuits are touching.
  6. Brush the tops with remaining buttermilk. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven, brush warm tops with optional honey butter, and enjoy warm.
  8. Cover leftovers tightly and store at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Breakfast Casserole

Breakfast Casserole

This is a mix of several recipes. Some call for adding hash browns. I went for straight up eggs, cheese and ham. This is perfect for company, comes together quickly and even is good warmed up the next day.

Ingredients

  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 12 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded swiss cheese or gruyere
  • 8 oz. diced ham, break up any clumps

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 13 by 9-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
  • Add eggs to a large mixing bowl. Break yolks and stir together with a fork until blended.
  • Stir in half and half, cheddar, Swiss, ham, green onions, parsley and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour mixture evenly over hash brown layer then spread out with a spatula to even out top as needed.
  • Bake in preheated oven until center is just set, about 35 minutes. Check center with a knife and it is done when knife comes out clean. I use a convection oven so cooking times vary. Let cool about 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Switch up the cheese. Smooth melting cheeses like Monterey jack, muenster, provolone, colby, and pepper jack work best. 

Swap ham for cooked bacon or even diced Canadian bacon.

Add veggies like sautéed mushrooms, artichokes or bell peppers.

Make it vegetarian and swap with meatless sausage, like beyond beef.

Try it with cooked breakfast sausage or cooked Italian sausage instead of ham.

Use other herbs.

Serve it topped with sliced or diced avocado and/or tomatoes.

Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

My husband loves peanut butter (and so do I). We had guests coming last weekend and I knew they liked peanut butter. Right now it is like surface of the sun hot out there so I thought an after dinner treat of cool, sweet peanut butter pie might just be the ticket! This was so cool, smooth and delicious! This was adapted from a Southern Living recipe.

for the crust

  • 16 whole chocolate graham crackers (to make 2 cups crumbs)
  • 7 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

for the peanut butter filling

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature (I used low fat)
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whipping cream

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a food processor, blend the graham crackers until finely ground. 
  • Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and mix with the melted butter until uniform and clumpy.
  • Add the crumb mixture to an 9-inch deep dish pie plate. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. I like to use a cup measure with a flat bottom to do this.
  • Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes, then remove and allow to cool completely.
  • To make the peanut butter filling, wipe out your food processor and add the cream cheese, peanut butter, powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla extract to the bowl. 
  • Process until uniform.
  • In a separate bowl, whip the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. 
  • Add the peanut butter mixture, starting with a little bit, to the whipped cream and fold it together until there are no streaks.
  • Pour the peanut butter filling into the cooled pie crust, and chill in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours, or up to overnight.
  • Sprinkle with mini peanut butter cups cut in half

Chilled Berry Soup

Chilled Berry Soup

This is just so refreshing on a hot summer day. Great as a first course with grilled meat. I have made this over the years and it never turns out quite the same, but it is always good.. I used a mix of frozen strawberries, blackberries, Blueberries and raspberries for this version but fresh is great if you have ripe fruit. Adapted from an Old James McNair cookbook. I love his cookbooks.

Ingredients

6 cups stemmed ripe berries such as strawberries, raspberries, or blackberries (one kind or assortment), or frozen mixed berries
1 cup orange juice or apple juice
½ cup sugar, or to taste
2 cups Asti Spumante, Champagne, or other sparkling wine

Directions

  • Working in batches, if necessary, combine the berries and juices in a food processor or blender and puree until fairly smooth.
  • Transfer to a glass ceramic bowl and stir in the sugar and sparkling wine. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours or as long as overnight.
  • Ladle into chilled bowls



Serves 6 as a soup course or dessert.

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Halibut

Parmesan-Panko Crusted Halibut

I loved this. I got a large piece of Halibut, about a pound and a half and served 4 of us. Roasted potatoes and asparagus as sides. Adjust the panko and parmesan to suit the size of fish. Adapted from the Loveofcooking.com blog.

Ingredients

  • 1-2 halibut fillets, skin removed
  • 1 tbsp olive oil divided
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1/2 – 1 cup plain panko crumbs
  • 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped
  • Cooking spray

Instructions

  • Drizzle the olive oil and lemon juice over both sides of the fish then season both sides with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste.
  • Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Place a cooling rack on the baking sheet. Coat with cooking spray. Side Note: Cooking the fish on the rack will allow the fish to be crispy on both sides without flipping it over while cooking.
  • Combine the panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, sea salt, and freshly cracked pepper, to taste together on a plate. Dip the halibut in the panko mixture until evenly coated. Place the coated fish on top of the cooking rack.
  • Place the baking sheet into the refrigerator for 20-30 minutes. Side Note: This step will ensure the panko coating will stay on the fish.
  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray the top of each piece of fish with olive oil cooking spray. Place the baking sheet with the fish into the oven and cook for 15 minutes (depending on size and thickness) or until the fish is cooked through and flaky. Remove from the oven and serve with a lemon wedge. Enjoy.
Overnight Yeast Pancakes

Overnight Yeast Pancakes

When I was a kid my dad liked to make pancakes. Both my parents were great cooks. Mom was a very good teacher, dad not so much… I can remember her having to kind of nudge him into letting me make pancakes on my own. He would have loved these I am sure. These would be great on a morning when you have a lot of other things coming together and you can just pull these out of the fridge and heat up the griddle. The yeast gives them a special flavor. This recipe makes a LOT but you can freeze them! Serve with maple syrup, jam or fruit compote.

Ingredients

  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 6 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 cups buttermilk
  • 1/4 cup canola oil

Directions

  • 1. Dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine the next 5 ingredients. Whisk eggs, buttermilk and oil; stir into flour mixture just until moistened. Stir in yeast mixture. Refrigerate, covered, for 8 hours or overnight.
  • 2. To make pancakes, lightly grease griddle and preheat over medium heat. Pour batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto griddle; cook until bubbles on top begin to pop and bottoms are golden brown. Turn; cook until second side is golden brown.
Peanut Butter Pie

Peanut Butter Pie

I have been baking. A lot. My husband had mentioned that his mom had tried to make a peanut butter pie once and it did not turn out quite right but that it tasted good so I made a mental note. He had one of THOSE days yesterday so I whipped this up because, you know, pie makes everything better. It is meant to be served cold but he could not wait and I have to admit it was really good warm out of the oven. I got the idea looking at different recipes and loosely followed a James McNair recipe. This has a very cheese cake type of texture. His recipe called for it not to be baked but I think this was an old recipe before raw eggs was a bad thing.

Ingredients

Crust

Use a food processor to make fast work of the cookie crumbs. Figure 8 ounces of cookies equals 2 cups.

2 Cups fine cookie crumbs, Chocolate Graham crackers
8 tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350. in a medium sized bowl combine cookie crumbs and butter. Spread into a buttered 9 inch pie pan. Press crumbs to pack evenly on the sides and bottom of pan.

Bake for 10 minutes to set crumbs. Set aside to cool

Filling

Cookie crumb crust
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 Cup smooth peanut butter
6 tablespoons butter, room temperature
2 egg yolks
1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

Directions

Prepare crust and cool.

Combine cream cheese, peanut butter, butter and egg yolks in large bowl and beat until fluffy. Drizzle in condensed milk and beat until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour into the pie shell.

Cook for about 20 minutes at 350 or until inserted knife comes out clean.

Refrigerate until well chilled. You could serve this with warm chocolate sauce if you want to go over the top.