Sunday, February 27, 2011

Chicken Lo Mein


We had a craving for Chinese food the other day.  Instead of ordering take out we thought we'd find a recipe to make at home.  We found this recipe to be very good and very simple.  The best part of it?  The kids LOVED it.  It has enough flavor for the adult and simple enough for the kids to ask for seconds.  We found the recipe very tweak able(for those people like my dad who don't like to follow recipes: )  We used a frozen stir fry veggie mix for our veggies(just didn't think fresh veggies would last in the car while we went to church in the cold weather.)

 Ingredients

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce(definitely recommend the reduced sodium, it can get a little salty)

2 tablespoons sherry or chicken broth

1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon reduced-sodium chicken bouillon granules

1/2 cup hot water

6 ounces uncooked linguine(we used thin spaghetti)

1/2 pound medium fresh mushrooms, sliced

1/4 pound fresh snow peas

1 large sweet red pepper, julienned

2 green onions, cut into 2 inch pieces

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

2 teaspoons sesame oil

Directions

In a large bowl, combine the cornstarch, ginger, soy sauce and sherry or broth until smooth. Add chicken and stir to coat; set aside. In a small bowl, dissolve bouillon granules in hot water; set aside. Cook linguine according to package directions.

In a large nonstick skillet or wok, stir-fry mushrooms, snow peas, red pepper and green onions in 1 tablespoon canola oil for 3-5 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. In the same skillet, stir-fry chicken mixture in remaining canola oil for 2-3 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Stir in dissolved bouillon. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Return vegetables to skillet. Drain linguine; add sesame oil and linguine to skillet. Toss to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes longer or until heated through.
 
http://allrecipes.com//Recipe/chicken-lo-mein-2/Detail.aspx 
Link to original recipe.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Good Will Molds

Molds found at Good will

$1.99=good deal


I really liked this one of the bird


Used the mold for my lotion bar.  How nice does that look?

(Link to lotion bar post)

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Brrrr....some garden reading for a very COLD Saturday!

The winter thaw we had a few weeks ago really got me excited to get outside again.  It's hard to let go of that feeling even if the temps did go back down to below zero!  Planning out what to plant this summer, and other garden projects seems like a good way to past the time away this weekend!  I have listed off some garden blogs and websites that might offer some good reading.  I am sure they also provide direction to lots of other sites. 

A few Minnesota Garden Blogs

http://33barefootlane.wordpress.com/

http://penelopedia.blogspot.com/

http://www.heathersgardeningblog.blogspot.com/

Cold Climate Garden Website

http://www.coldclimategardening.com/
    
  This is the website where I found the MN blogs above.  She has a directory of more garden blogs in more  states/countries.   She has a lot of links.  You could get lost pretty easily.
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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Honey BBQ Wings

1 Cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. paprika

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp. black pepper

20 chicken wing segment +/-

2 cups of Famous Dave’s Sweet and Zesty BBQ Sauce

1/2 cup Honey


In a shallow dish, combine flour and all the spice’s. (or 1 gallon zip lock bag and leave the chicken in the bag and put in refrigerator)

Coat chicken in flour mixture: refrigerate for at least 1 hour; coat chicken again with remaining flour mixture before baking.

In a small saucepan, heat BBQ Sauce and Honey until warm; turn heat to low and keep warm.

Bake chicken in a 430 degree oven on a cookie sheet for 50 min turning about half way.

Put chicken in a large bowl and pour BBQ sauce and Honey over the wings.

~Bob

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Dried gourds anyone?

This talk of fairy gardens had me curious, so I went looking for some pictures of some finished ones.  I came across these houses.  I showed the pictures to the girls and they are very excited to make some fairy houses!  I can see them tucking them in with my herbs and other flowers out in the garden.  So does anyone have some dried gourds?
I have some smaller gourds from a few summers ago.  I just showed my mom and she found some dried gourds in her basement.....oh when it pays to be a hoarder collector!  
 

The photo above and below are from http://whimsicalfairy.com/gallery.html.  Click on the link for some more pictures.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Easy As Pie...

Sweets for My Sweethearts

I don't know who coined the expression 'easy as pie'. I mean, I think it is easy to eat pie. But make it? From scratch? Causes me consternation. I'm all good with the goop, whatever it may be... it is the crust that I have trouble with. I have tried many recipes, have made the pastry by hand, in my mixer and in a food processor. I have found that I am most successful with the Pate Brise recipe from Martha Stewart prepared in the food processor. So, I make a good buttery pastry. My real trouble is rolling out a circle-like crust and transporting it into a pie-plate.

Well, I have decided there is a way I can avoid making pies. Instead I've been making galettes, or rustic pies. They have just one crust that you can fold over the fruit filling. After folding over the fruit that is tossed with a little sugar, salt and corn starch, you dot the fruit with little pieces of butter, fold up the dough, brush it with an egg wash and sprinkle with a coarse sugar (I use turbinado sugar). I will attach links to Martha's recipes after my pictures! I have adapted Martha's pear recipe to make a strawberry galette, an apple, and now a peach galette--the pear galette is delicious, too!

For Valentine's Day today I made a peach galette.... It was fantastic... an easy way to make an 'almost pie' and you don't need quite as much fruit!

For some reason I can't quite figure out, my pictures are in the wrong order and this bloggy thingie isn't being very cooperative in reversing them:



The first picture shows the finished product, the second picture shows with the egg wash and sanding sugar, the third picture shows the pie crust wrapped up and the first one is a good display at my poor rolling pin skills!

Here's Martha's Galette Recipe:

Here's the Galette Recipe:


Serves 8
  • All-purpose flour, for work surface
  • 1/2 recipe Pate Brisee
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 4 large ripe pears, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about 3 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 large egg
  • Sanding sugar, for sprinkling
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons apricot jam

Directions

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick baking mat.
  2. Sprinkle work surface with flour. Roll out dough to a 14-inch round, about 1/4-inch thick. Transfer dough to prepared baking sheet and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 1 hour.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together cornstarch, sugar and salt. In a large bowl gently toss together pears and cornstarch mixture until evenly coated. Mound pear mixture on top of dough, leaving a 4-inch border all the way around. Fold dough over pear mixture, overlapping where necessary and gently pressing to adhere the folds. Transfer galette to refrigerator and let chill, 20 to 30 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, beat egg. Brush edges of dough with egg, and sprinkle edges with sanding sugar. Dot top of galette with butter. Transfer to oven and bake until crust is golden brown and juices are bubbling, about 1 hour.
  5. Meanwhile, place apricot jam in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook until heated through; strain through a mesh sieve set over a bowl. Remove baking sheet from oven and transfer to a wire rack; brush heated jam over pears. Let cool briefly before serving warm or at room temperature.


Read more at Marthastewart.com: Pear Galette - Martha Stewart Recipes

And here's the Pate Brise (pie crust) recipe link:

Here's the Pate Brise Recipe:

Makes two 8- to 10-inch single-crust pies or one 8- to 10-inch double-crust pie
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) chilled unsalted butter, cut in pieces
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup ice water

Directions

  1. Place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process for a few seconds to combine. Add the butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, about 10 seconds. With the machine running, add the ice water in a slow, steady stream, through the feed tube, just until the dough holds together. Do not process for more than 30 seconds.
  2. Turn the dough out onto a work surface. Divide in two. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap. Flatten, and form two discs. Wrap, and refrigerate at least 1 hour before using.


Read more at Marthastewart.com: Pate Brisee - Martha Stewart Recipes

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Chocolate Fondue~Yummy Valentine Treat

I'm Fondue of You!

This recipe was in the paper a few years ago, and my mom had saved it for us to try.  I remember it was delicious, especially if you are a chocolate lover.  Which I am, as are my kids!

1 Bag Dove Brand Dark Chocolate Hearts
1 Bag Milky Way Brand Minis
1 Cup Heavy Cream
Assorted fresh and dried fruits.  Marshmallows.  Cookies.

~In a large microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate hearts, candy bar minis, and heavy cream.
~Heat in microwave 3 to 5 minutes stirring frequently.
~Pour warm chocolate mixture into bowl surrounded with fruits, marshmallows, and cookies. 
~Plunge, dip, soak, or plop into chocolate!

*Can be made in advance and reheated.

Yummy!  That's my kind of valentines!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Garden Blog

All this talk of garden junk art has got me excited for summer! 
I came across this blog this evening.  Down the right on her blog she has slide shows of some different garden junk.  Fun to look at!

http://cindeesgarden.blogspot.com/



Clicking on the above pictures will take you to two of her slideshows.  She has more at her blog!

Flea Market Gardens 2011



Karla claims this magazine is a must have!  She picked it up at the local grocery store.  It's a premier edition to Country Almanac.  It has some really fun ideas.  I have read that its on the pricier side, costing $10, but has hardly any advertising, just wonderful garden junk information!
She says there are some articles on fairy gardens.  That sounds like a fun way to get the kids involved.  I haven't seen too much on these.  However, it is something I have been hearing more of. 
Here is a link I found of another blog raving about how good this magazine is!

http://shabbygardencreations.blogspot.com/2011/02/flea-market-garden-magazine.html

Some of you are a step ahead of the trend.  Can we get a prediction what the new trend will be.  I did see in this magazine they showed some glass totems.  Well, we did that last summer!  I love it! 

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Crepe Paper Flowers


I was blog hopping this morning.  Hey, what else does someone do when it's so cold?  You can only clean so much : )  It's fun to see other people's projects...find some ideas of your own....give you a project  to do. 

The crepe paper flowers caught my eye.  Probably cause they were shown on a valentine box.  I love making valentine boxes!  In the past month I have made sure to save any shoe boxes or oatmeal containers we have used.  I am not sure if the older kids will need some for school, but if not the little kids and I have a afternoon craft project at least!

They were super easy to make.  Find a few different colors of party streamers.  Cut about a foot from each.  Sew a gathering stitch down the middle(I did it by hand, it didn't take long at all).  Then fold the streamer in half at the stitch.  Roll into circle.  I then glued it on a piece of paper.  When the kids get around to making their valentine boxes they can glue the flower on to it.



Here is the blog I found the idea at Today's Fabulous Finds



Chicken Pincushion

How cute is this?




Chicken pincushion I got for my birthday.  It was made by Karla and Patty.

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