refrigerator magnets

refrigerator magnets

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Tasty Photo Alert - General Tso's Chicken

Matt made dinner. How tasty does that look! Next time we're going to add pineapple and brocoli. Yum! I was curious to find out why they call it General Tso's Chicken and who the general it - according to wikipedia no one knows where the dish came from, or why it was named after the general. Oh well. It's still tasty. 

Once Matt prefects his recipe, he'll need to share but right now I wanted to share the tastiness of this photo.

Stove-top General Tso's Chicken with white rice:

Monday, June 27, 2011

Easy Chicken Enchiladas

Hola! It's enchilada time! We needed a quick and filling dinner recipe and enchiladas are easy and delicious so they fit the bill. Plus we had all the ingredients in the house so... wahhhla! Dinner! Here's my quick and easy recipe. Feel free to share yours! Would love to know how you tweak them differently. Not the greatest photos this time around but you get the picture... either way, it's tasty.

Super duper easy. Ready? Get set... GO!

Super Duper Easy Baked Enchiladas
  • 1/2 lb chicken - diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • salt and pepper to season chicken
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (or small can) of green chilies
  • 1 small can of refried beans - fat free
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 4 tortillas - 8 inch size - flour or corn which ever is your preference
  • 1/2 cup cheese
  1. Dice up the chicken and season it with the spices
  2. Heat up the oil in the pan and saute the chicken till its almost done
  3. Add the green chilies and sautee for another 2 minutes
  4. Add the refried beans and mix till heated. Remove from heat.
  5. Take an 9x9 pan that you can bake and coat the bottom of the pan with enchilada sauce
  6. Take one tortilla and on one side of the pan - fill with a few good spoonfuls of filling and fold over, then on to the next tortilla - we usually make about four and then use the rest of the filling to pour over the top. Then pour the rest of the sauce over the top and sides and top with cheese.
  7. Bake for about 30-40 minutes at 350degrees.
  8. Serve those suckers up!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Chocolate Explosion Cupcakes

Poof! You've just experienced the chocolate explosion cupcake. Made from chocolate cake recipe mixed with chocolate pudding. It's glorious. Fills any chocolate craving you may have. We had a craving. So cupcakes. AND we got skull cupcake holders. I know, you're super duper jealous. Neener neener.

I do have to come clean, I didn't make the frosting. I hate making frosting so I bought the chocolate fudge kind. But honestly - the cupcakes don't need it. I like a really moist light cake, none of that dense dry crap.  These are just that, very moist, very light that they almost fall apart in your hand.

Chocolate Explosion Cupcakes
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 package of instant chocolate pudding - made with 1 1/4 cup cold milk
3/4 cup water
2 large eggs
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
4 ounces melted unsweetened  baking chocolate

Mix it all together - yeah, I know you're porbably not supposed to do it that way but I did. Mix it really good and then pour it into fantastic cupcake holders. Pop that into a 350 degree oven for about 20 - 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
Once they pop out of the oven - they will fall a little bit - that's ok. Make sure you let them cool before you frost.
This is what is gonna happen when you make these cupcakes - all you'll have left over is a bunch of empty skull wrappers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Quick Trip to Philadelphia

I know I normally post only recipes and experiences related to those recipes on this blog but I'm going to branch out a little bit. I mean, it's my blog. I can say whatever I want. So get over it.
Recently I went to Philadelphia for a conference for work. Great great city and I hit up the Reading Terminal Market. This place is great! It's very similar to Quincy Market we have here in Boston.

I marched around the entire market a few times and finally settled on 2 things:

I stopped into Franks Hot Dogs stand - yeah, I know, why didn't I get a hot dog is what you might be asking but honestly, they didn't look that appetizing to me... little doughy pockets filled with potato were much more appealing. I'm in LOVE with these little suckers. I have to make them. My friend Katie who runs The Small Boston Kitchen (check out her blog, it's great!) has a fantastic recipe here that I'm itching to try now.

Delicious, spicey, chickeny, sausagey, shrimpy, tomato-y. Yum. I haven't ever attempted to make this but now I'm thinking it should... why not right? Worst thing that can happen is you screw it up. Beck's Cajun Cafe has some of the most interesting stuff listed on their menu - Alligator hotdogs would be the coolest sounding. I didn't indulge because we were headed out to dinner that night but I'd like to try that some day... after a few cocktails anyways.
Ah - I did get me a good cheesesteak - not the best (since I was at the airport) but I did have one. :-) You can be jealous now.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Pan-Seared Stove-Top Chicken and Mashed Potatoes

The big question in our household is lumps or no lumps. I don't care either way, Matt has a strong preference for no lumps. My challenge - make mashed potatoes with no milk (we ran out and we are too lazy to go get some) and chicken... chicken... basic, tasty chicken. I accept the challenge!

Let's check out the cabinet - since I'm in the middle of moving, half of my spices (well, most of my spices) are still in my other apartment which mean's we are working with a limited selection. BUT I did find a few things to work with.

Both of these recipes are very simple and can be adjusted to your tastes - used with standard household items and can be made in 20 minutes or less... ready... go!

(I'm also striving to have as may hyphenated statements as possible in this blog post, starting with the title)

Pan-Seared Stove-top Sauteed Chicken
  • Chicken breasts - thin-sliced ones, 1 package
  • 2 cups AP flour - or enough to dredge the chicken
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp Steak grilling spice (weird I know but remember i'm working with what's here)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Olive oil
1. First off - cut up the chicken so it's in about 2-3 bite pieces
2. In a separate bowl - mix together the flour, salt, pepper, cumin, grilling spice, oregano
3. Drop each piece of chicken into the flour mixture and cover completely, set aside until you've dredged all the chicken pieces
4. In a large skillet - heat up the oil on medium heat and pop the chicken into the dish then DON'T TOUCH IT! Let it cook till the edges start to get a little white then flip those suckers over... cook until they are done!

Matt's Favorite Mashed Potatoes
On average - it's 1.5 potatoes per person...
  • 3 potatoes
  • 1 stick of butter
  • chunk of Velvetta
  • salt
  • pepper
  • elbow grease... lots of it :-)
1. Slice up the potatoes into smaller chunks - the cook faster and are easier to mash this way. I left the skin's on since that's how Matt likes them. They are Matt's favorite.
2. Boil till they are soft and done - after you drain the water, pop the potatoes back into the pot you cooked them in and heat them up for about a minute to cook-off any extra water
3. At this point, cut in the butter and add in the Velvetta - (you could also add about a tablespoon of milk and reduce the butter also)
4. Mash, mash, mash, mash, mash till they are the consistency you like
5. Serve!
I told you they were easy recipes.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Pizza Stone Happiness - WE FINALLY USED IT!

Finally had a chance to use the pizza stone - survey says "two very happy homemade pizza consumers."

(someone was a bit hungry and was quick to slice before I could get a good shot of the pizza hee hee)

Just used a store-bought dough (yeah, don't judge me, I was tired), tomato sauce and pepperoni. We let the dough rise for about 30 minutes, we also had the pizza stone heating up during that time as well. Prepped the pie and let it bake for about 20 minutes.

Sorry Rico's, Ronzio's and North Attleboro House of Pizza - we won't be funding your take-out anymore :-)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Risotto Time and Dave's Fresh Pasta

I learned to make risotto. Real risotto, not the stuff from the box. I also learned how to make gnocchi but that's a post for another day.

A few weeks ago two of my friends and I took a risotto making class at Dave's Fresh Pasta in Somerville, MA. (Great great store by the way... awesome local products, great selection of fresh pastas and sauces, I recommend the basil marina sauce and the fennel chicken ravioli personally.) The class was held in their back kitchen.

Risotto happens to be very easy to make! Unlike how they protray it on TV, it's just a few simple ingredients that you can add your own combinations to.
The class covered 3 different types, one with mushrooms, one with fiddleheads and one with saffron. Yum. All three had different tastes but were very declicious.
 I was determined to make it at home since it was so super simple. The key to a delicious risotto is to let it cook. Surprising to me - it's not the butter or cheese that makes it creamy, it's all about the rice and letting it cook for long enough to make the rice soft.

Here's my recipe:
  • 1 package of Arborio rice
  • A lot of chicken stock (I mean a lot - I bought those small individual sized containers and used all 4 of them) - warm when added
  • 1 shallot
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1 cup approx of cheese - I used munster (I don't recommend it) and some fresh parm.
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Hot italian sausage - 3 links
First off I cooked the sausage in a little bit of oil. I took it out of the casing first so it mixes together better into the rice.
Then I add a splash of olive oil and sweated the shallots and garlic a little bit.
At this point you add in the rice and mixed it up so it's all covered in the oil. Stir for about 2 minutes.
Add in the first cup or so for WARM chicken stock - very important to be warm when you add it otherwise the consistency of the risotto will be off.
Stir - keep stirring until it's not soupy, then add another cup of chicken stock.
Repeat the adding until the rice is cooked to your liking - texture wise. This will take awhile. Took me about 20 - 25 minutes to get the chicken stock incorporated.
When it's almost done, add that stick of butter! Yay! And add in the pepper - since it takes a few minutes to soften the peppers, you're going to add them a littler earlier than the sausage.
After the butter is melted and incorporated, take the mixture off  the heat and add in the cheeses - the heat from the rice mixture will melt the cheese. Also add the sausage.
Mix and serve!

I also have to do a little plug for my friend Amy who attended the cooking class - check out her blog. She rocks also :-)