Bacon and Egg Rice Stir Fry

I found this recipe a long time ago in Bon Appetit magazine.  I have been making it for about 10 years.  Everyone in our family loves this very simple stir fry.  I make it for breakfast once or twice a month.  We always enjoy this simple and delicious meal.

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Bacon and Egg Rice Stir Fry

Ingredients

1 cup long grain white rice (I use jasmine, basmati, arborio or long grain white, depends on my mood)
2 cups water

8 bacon slices, cut into 1/2 inch strips
6 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
black pepper
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil (I use peanut oil)
1/2 cup green onion
1 teaspoon sesame oil (I use 1 Tablespoon – no, it is not too much)

Directions

  1. Bring rice and water to a boil.  Reduce heat to low, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Set aside. (I make rice almost every Sunday.  That way when I make a rice dish during the week that part is done.)
  2. Cook bacon in a 12 inch nonstick skillet over moderate heat, stirring occasionally until golden and crisp.  It takes about 5-10 minutes.  Pour into a sieve over a heatproof bowl and reserve bacon and fat separately.
  3. Whisk together eggs, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4.  Return 3 Tablespoons of bacon fat to skillet and sauté onion over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 5 minutes.  Add eggs and cook, stirring until eggs are just set, about 1 minute.  Make a well in center of egg mixture, then pour in peanut (or vegetable) oil and 2 Tablespoons reserved bacon fat.
  5. Add rice, remaining salt and pepper and cook stirring about 2 minutes.
  6. Add bacon, green onions, sesame oil and cook mixture,October 25 012stirring until mixed through.
  7. Serve starving family and/or friends!

Shepard’s Pie – Simple and Delicious

Shepard’s Pie is a great comfort food.  That is what this Sunday was all about.  I had a recipe I have used for years which called for a dry onion soup mix.  I wanted to try a recipe that did not have onion soup mix in it. I found this recipe on Food Network.  Gotta love Rachel Ray.  I changed the recipe up a bit but it worked for us!

Shepard’s Pie

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Ingredients

2 pounds potatoes, such as russet, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream
3 Tablespoons butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon thyme or 1 sprig fresh thyme
2  cups beef stock or broth
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup frozen peas
1 teaspoon sweet paprika

Directions

1.  Boil potatoes in salted water until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain potatoes and pour them into a bowl.
2.  Combine sour cream, egg yolk and cream. Add the butter and cream mixture into potatoes and mash until potatoes are almost smooth.
3.  Preheat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to hot pan with ground beef.
4.  Brown and crumble meat for 3 or 4 minutes.
5.  Drain the drippings from the pan.
6.  Add chopped carrot and onion to the meat. Cook veggies with meat 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Mix together.
7.  In a  small saucepan over medium heat cook butter and flour together 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 1/2 cups of broth and Worcestershire sauce. Thicken gravy 1 minute.
8.  Add gravy to meat along with 1/2 cup of broth & 1/2 teaspoon thyme to ground beef and vegetables. Stir in peas.
9.  Preheat broiler to high. I used the skillet as a vessel or you could fill a small rectangular casserole with the meat and vegetable mixture.
10.  Spoon potatoes over meat evenly. Top potatoes with paprika and broil 6 to 8 inches from the heat until potatoes are evenly browned. (If you don’t have paprika that is okay too!)

That’s it.  Simple and Delicious.  No leftovers for this one.  Enjoy!!

Asian Chicken Salad

Trying to find some new recipes.  I actually bought “The Complete Cook’s Country TV Show Cookbook” and found this recipe along with several more.  Gotta do something to get of Twitter!! The best place for destressing is my kitchen.  Why not try some new recipes while I am at it!  Here is a “Simple and Delicious” meal!

Asian Chicken Salad

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Ingredients

2 oranges (took 3 for me)
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tablespoons sugar
3 Tablespoons grated fresh ginger (I used 1 Tablespoon. That was all I had and it was plenty.  Also, if you don’t have fresh ginger you can use 1 teaspoon dried ginger.)
1 Tablespoon Asian Chili Garlic Sauce (I had sweet chili sauce and added 1 garlic clove, minced)
3 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons sesame oil
4 – 6 to 8 ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 Romaine Lettuce hearts (12 oz), sliced thin
1/2 Napa Cabbage, sliced thin
2 red bell peppers, sliced thin
1 cup cilantro, chopped (Cilantro is a challenge in my family.  I love it. No one else does!)
1 cup dry, roasted peanuts (Cashews would be nice too!)
6 green onions, sliced thin (did not have any, maybe next time)

Directions

  1. Cut thin slice from top and bottom of oranges, then slice off rind and pith. Working over bowl, cut orange segments from thin membrane and transfer segments to second bowl; set aside. Squeeze juice from membrane into first bowl (juice should measure ¼ cup).  **I only got a 1/4 cup – this is correct.**
  2. Combine orange juice, vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, sugar, and chili-garlic sauce in bowl; transfer ½ cup orange juice mixture to 12-inch skillet. Slowly whisk vegetable oil and sesame oil into remaining orange juice mixture to make vinaigrette; set aside.
  3. Bring orange juice mixture in skillet to boil. Add chicken, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until meat registers 160 degrees, 10 to 15 minutes, flipping halfway through cooking. Transfer chicken to plate and let rest for 5 to 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, boil pan juices until reduced to 1/4 cup, 1 to 3 minutes; set aside. Using 2 forks, shred chicken into bite-size pieces. Off heat, add chicken, any accumulated juices, and 2 tablespoons vinaigrette to skillet. Toss to coat and let sit for 10 minutes.
  5. Toss romaine, cabbage, bell peppers, cilantro, peanuts, and scallions with remaining vinaigrette in large bowl. Transfer to serving platter and top with chicken and oranges.

I did not mix all together.  I put the cabbage, romaine lettuce and red peppers in a large salad bowl.  The cilantro, peanuts and chicken in separate bowls.  That way people can take what they want.  This salad did take some time but it’s Sunday and that’s what they are for – taking your time.  It definitely was delicious!!

Enjoy!!

Pizza Dough – My 2019 Go To Dough

Got a call from Martin in NYC today.  He was attempting to make pizza dough. He made me realize I needed to update the instructions on this recipe. YIKES!

Needless to say, I make pizza almost every Friday.  I have a couple of ‘go to’ recipes for pizza dough.  Any pizza dough I make I throw into a food processor.  It is quick and painless.  Here is one I have been using a lot lately.  It is a great recipe for 1 pizza.  You could split in half for 2 personal size pizzas.  Here it is;

Go To Pizza Dough 2019

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Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups (300 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 7 ounces warm water (105 degrees F – 115 degrees F)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (extra for the counter when you take out of bowl)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cornmeal or semolina, for the pizza peel (if you don’t have, use flour)
  1. Place dry ingredients in bowl of food processor or stand up mixer or mixing bowl if doing by hand.  Pulse or mix the dry ingredients together.  If using stand up mixer you can use the dough hook or the beater.
  2. Add water and oil slowly through the food processor tube or into the mixer bowl. Mix until a ball is formed. If doing by hand mix the ingredients together and place the dough on a floured counter. Knead the dough into a ball.
  3. Place some oil (1 Tablespoon) on counter and place the dough on counter.  Roll in the oil and form into a small ball.
  4. Place dough in 2 quart bowl sprayed with oil.  Cover with plastic wrap.
  5. At this point you can put in your refrigerator overnight and take out 2-3 hours before you plan on using it. (When I put in the fridge overnight I use a gallon storage bag.)
  6. Or, put in draft free area, let rise 2 hours and use that day.

Put on your favorite toppings and bake at 475 for 10-15 minutes.

Simple and Delicious!  Enjoy!!

 

Veggie Pesto Pizza – Simple and Delicious

Lily and Paige enjoy a restaurant in town called Rustique Pizzeria and Lounge.  Believe it or not, I have never been there.  Paige enjoyed the Veggie Lover’s Pizza.  She requested this for New Years Eve but with the bad weather we ended up making it Friday.  Paige, Rachel and I really enjoyed this pizza.

Veggie Pesto Pizza

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Ingredients
(PREHEAT OVEN 475 degrees)

Pizza Dough (you can make or buy at your local grocery store)
Pesto (you can do the above)
Artichoke Hearts (I bought a jar)
Mushrooms (I bought a jar of these too.  My family likes them out of a jar.  I don’t like them fresh or in a jar but they were good on this pizza!)
Spinach (I bought fresh)
Roasted Red Peppers (I bought a jar of these too! You can roast your own if you like.)
Onions (you can use red, white, yellow or a shallot.  I used a shallot.)
Black Olives
Mozzarella Cheese
Parmesan Cheese (if you like)

Directions

  1.  Spread pesto over the pizza dough.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients as you wish and top with cheese. img_9001I did not measure any of the ingredients.  I think you got this!!
  3. Bake at 475 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

img_9002 The Friday Motley “Crew” begging!

Enjoy!!

Pesto – Simple and Delicious

This is my go to pesto recipe.  LOVE it!!

Pesto

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Ingredients

1-2 cloves garlic – If you like the garlic flavor add another clove! (you can toast if you like.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t.  If you toast, don’t take out of skins.)
1/4 cup toasted almonds (pine nuts are most popular but we don’t like that taste. You can use any nut you like.)
2 cups basil (I usually use 2 small or 1 large package.  The stores around here usually have the smaller packages.)
3/4 cup Olive Oil (Less or more, depends on the consistency you desire.)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (You can use less if you like.  We like the cheesiness.)
1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper (You may want to try 1/2 teaspoon salt and taste as you go)

Instructions

1.  If you toast – Toast the garlic in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until softened and spotty brown.  It take 5-8 minutes.  When cool, remove and discard skins.
2.  Personally, I would take the time to toast the nuts – Toast the nuts in a medium, dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently (Pay attention or you may burn and have to start all over) until golden and fragrant, 4-5 minutes.  Cool the nuts.
3.  In a food processor place all ingredients but the olive oil.  Pulse until mixed together.  Pour in the olive oil slowly.  I use 3/4 cup and let it process for 3-5 minutes.
4.  Transfer the pesto to a small bowl. Done!!

We like to mix with pasta or use as a base for pizza.  What about YOU?

Enjoy!!

Pitka or Soda Bread-My Favorite

This is a recipe that I got from Martin’s baba. (FYI: Baba – Bulgarian for Grandmother) She just throws ingredients together visually.  I am more of a “how many cups” kind of girl.  Over a 2016 phone call she told Martin the ingredients she used for her Christmas Eve Pitka.  With those ingredients and a bit of luck I put a Pitka recipe together.  A couple of years have flown by and this year I updated with a few “FauxChef” additions.  For Christmas 2018 I added some sugar and buttermilk.  I thought these were a nice addition.

If you like, a Christmas Eve tradition is to put written charms and/or a coin in the bread. I wrap the coin in parchment paper or aluminum foil. With the charms I write a few positive expectations for the following year; good health, much happiness, that kind of stuff.  I flip the bread over and make a slit with a knife and put the coin/charms in random spots.  It is fun on Christmas Eve to see who gets the coin.

Martin said this was the best Pitka yet.  I have made many different “Pitka’s ” throughout the years.  This one seems to be a winner!!

january 011

Pitka

Ingredients

5 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoons sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk (keep the egg white.  You will need it to brush on top of bread)
2 cups plain yogurt (NOT non fat)
1/4 cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Sunflower oil)

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Grease and flour baking pan.  I used my cast iron skillet.  (You don’t need to grease or flour if nicely seasoned.) You could also use a 9″ round cake pan.
  2. In a large bowl add dry ingredients.  Whisk together and make a well by pushing the flour mixture to sides of bowl.
  3. Add eggs, egg yolk, oil and yogurt and buttermilk in center of bowl.  Mix with hands. (Also, I use my standup mixer.  That is easier for me.)
  4. After mixed together form a round, flat bread.  (approx 9″ round, 2″height)  Place in prepared baking pan.  Brush top with egg whites.
  5. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until golden brown on top. I check doneness by checking temperature.  190 degree internal temperature is what I use.
  6. Take out of oven.  While warm, wrap in a towel.  When cooled place in plastic bag to store.

Enjoy!

No Bake Avalanche Cookies

Simple and Delicious for the holidays or any day!

No Bake Avalanche Cookies
(got recipe online.  Tons out there!)

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Ingredients

2 cups Crispy Rice cereal
1 cup mini marshmallows
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
16 ounces white chocolate

Directions

  1.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. Mix cereal and marshmallows in large bowl.  Set aside.
  3. Melt white chocolate and peanut butter together. I used the microwave.  Check frequently and stir.  Don’t over heat it though. (If you overheat it will become hard and crumbly.) You can also use the double boiler method.
  4. When above is melted, pour over cereal and marshmallows and mix until completely coated
  5. Drop using a tablespoon onto the lined pans
  6. You could sprinkle with mini chocolate chips, if desired.  (We don’t do that.)
  7. Place in refrigerator until set.  About 1 hour.

Enjoy!

 

Peppermint Bark (Very Simple)

6 years since I posted this one. Reposting this tasty Christmas tradition.  Give it a try this weekend!!  Merry Christmas!!

I have always enjoyed the combination of chocolate and peppermint.  Peppermint Patties have been a favorite confection of mine for many years.  When I bought a candle for Rachel this year from Bath and Body Works they had a recipe attached. (Yes, Bath and Body Works recipe!)  She thought this would be a fun recipe to make along with the Christmas cookies we made.  It was an awesome choice!  Surprisingly, it was a great recipe from a store that sells body lotions and candles.  We did make a couple of changes so you will be getting the recipe I made.  I tried to find their recipe online but was unable to locate it.  Needless to say this is a very “simple and delicious” recipe.  I wanted to get this on my blog so you could try it this year.  HO, HO, HO!!!

 

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Peppermint Bark

12 oz Dark Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli 60% Bittersweet Chocolate Chips)
1 Tablespoon Butter
12 oz Milk Chocolate Chips
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 cup coarsely crushed Oreos
12 oz White Chocolate Chips
2 Tablespoons Butter
1 teaspoon Peppermint extract
1/2 cups crushed red and white mints or candy canes

1.  To create bottom layer of bark, melt the dark chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon of butter in microwave, at 30 second intervals.  Stir after each 30 second interval. (It took about 4 – 30 second intervals to get to a creamy texture.) When smooth and creamy, spread mixture in a greased 13″x9″ cake pan.  I used a glass dish.  (You could also add 1/2 cup of whole coffee beans.  I thought 3 different chocolates was plenty of caffeine for my family! Rachel agreed!!)  After you spread in the dish, put in freezer for 15 minutes.

2.  Melt milk chocolate chips and 1 Tablespoon of butter in microwave at 30 second intervals, stir until smooth and creamy.  Add 1 cup of crushed Oreos.  Spread mixture over the dark chocolate.  Freeze this mixture for 15 minutes.

3.  Lastly, melt white chocolate chips and 2 Tablespoons of butter in microwave at 30 second intervals, stir until smooth and creamy.  Add the 1 teaspoon of Peppermint extract after the 2nd 30 second interval.  (Rachel and I did not experience smooth and creamy with the white chocolate.  I always have problems with white chocolate.  Watch it carefully.  We were able to spread it okay and it worked out fine.  Just not as spreadable as the dark/milk chocolate. It had a crumbly texture.)

4.  After you spread the white chocolate, sprinkle with the crushed red and white mints.  (We pushed the candies in with the spatula.)

5.  Refrigerate 3-4 hours.  Break into pieces and ENJOY!!

This would be an awesome gift.  It is very easy and fun to make.  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.   Merry Christmas!!

Chocolate Filled Orange Rosemary Butter Ball Cookies – Simple and Delicious

Thought I would bake some different cookies for the Holiday Season.  I found this recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook.  I made some as sandwich cookies and the rest as a cookie with or without ganache topping. Give these a try!  I am going to use this recipe with lemon and thyme over the weekend. Hmmm, maybe lavender and lemon!  What do you think of that?

Chocolate Filled (or not) Orange Rosemary Butter Ball Cookies
(Compliments of http://www.bettycrocker.com)

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Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary, chopped finely
1 Tablespoon orange zest
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup sugar (to roll cookies in before baking)

Ganache Filling

1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
2 Tablespoons heavy cream

Directions

  1.  Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter, powdered sugar, orange peel, rosemary, salt and vanilla with electric mixer on low speed until mixed; beat on medium speed until creamy. On low speed, beat in flour and baking powder until dough forms. (I used my standup mixer.)
  3. In small bowl, place sugar. Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in sugar. On ungreased or parchment lined cookie sheets, place balls 2 inches apart. Press lightly with tines of fork to flatten slightly
  4. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or just until edges start to brown. Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks; cool completely.
  5. Meanwhile, in small microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips and whipping cream uncovered on High in 15-second intervals until chips can be stirred smooth. Refrigerate until cooled and mixture starts to set, about 10 minutes.
  6. For each sandwich cookie, spread about 1/2 teaspoon filling on bottom of 1 cookie. Press bottom of second cookie over filling. Let stand until set.

When they first come out of oven the rosemary is a strong flavor as a warm cookie.  At first I thought I would recommend cutting the rosemary quantity in half. As the cookies cool it is just right.

Enjoy!!