Monday, December 6, 2010

Let it Snow ~ Let it Snow ~ Let it Snow

Waking up this morning we were so excited to see snow on the ground! I know most of you do not like the snow but I really enjoy all 4 seasons that Ohio has to offer us. We are so lucky to be able to see the seasons change. There are only 18 days till Christmas ~ The kids are so excite, and I am too.

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Brown Rice ~

* 2 cups instant brown rice
* 1/4 cup seasoned rice vinegar
* 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
* 2 tablespoons cornstarch
* 2 tablespoons apricot preserves
* 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
* 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 teaspoons finely grated or minced ginger
* 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
* 6 cups bite-size pieces of vegetables, such as snow peas, broccoli and bell peppers
* 1 5-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained


1. Prepare rice according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, whisk vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch and apricot preserves in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook, undisturbed, for 2 minutes. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink on the outside and just starting to brown in spots, about 2 minutes more. Transfer to a plate.
4. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil, garlic and ginger to the pan and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 20 to 30 seconds. Add broth and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Add vegetables, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the vegetables are tender-crisp, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in water chestnuts and the chicken. Whisk the reserved sauce and add to the pan. Simmer, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thickened and the chicken is heated through, about 1 minute. Serve with the rice.

Greek Shrimp and Pasta ~

8 oz uncooked pasta, penne variety
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion(s), chopped
2 clove(s) (medium) garlic clove(s), minced
1/2 pound(s) shrimp, large variety, peeled and deveined
4 medium plum tomatoes, diced
15 medium olive(s), oil-cured black variety, pitted and chopped
8 oz canned clam juice, or bottled
1/4 cup(s) reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
3 Tbsp fresh oregano, fresh, chopped

* Cook penne according to package directions; drain.

* Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, until the shrimp are just opaque in the center, about 3 minutes.

* Add the tomatoes and olives; cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes.

* Add the clam juice; bring to a boil. Stir in the penne, cheese, and oregano. Reduce the heat and simmer, tossing well, until the flavors are blended and the cheese just begins to melt, about 1 minute. Yields 1 1/3 cups per serving.

Beef Barley Soup


* 1/2 cup chopped carrot
* 1/2 cup chopped celery
* 1/2 cup chopped onion
* 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
* 4 cups beef broth
* 4 cups water
* 2 cups chopped cooked roast beef
* 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
* 1 cup quick-cooking barley
* 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
* 1/2 teaspoon pepper
* 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 1/2 cup frozen peas


1. In a soup kettle or Dutch oven, saute carrot, celery and onion in butter until tender, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the broth, water, beef, tomatoes, barley, salt, pepper, basil and oregano; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the peas. Simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes.

Mushroom Risotto ~

* 2 cups Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
* 2 cups arborio rice
* 1 tsp olive oil
* 3 tsp butter
* 2 shallots, minced
* 1 cup white wine
* 8 cups fat free chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
* salt and pepper
* 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
* 4 tbsp chopped parsley

Heat chicken stock in a small pot and keep on low heat.

In a medium size heavy sauce pan, saute garlic in 1 tsp olive oil. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken stock and let the mushrooms cook about 4 minutes. Set aside.

Add butter to the pan on set flame to medium-low heat. Add shallots, sauté about 1 minute. Add rice mixing well until well coated and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add wine, salt and pepper and mix well until it is absorbed into the rice. Ladle 1 cup stock into rice and mix until all stock is absorbed, add another ladle, and continue adding and stirring until all broth is absorbed, about 20-25 minutes. Add mushrooms, parmesan cheese and parsley, mix well and serve.

Banana Cream Pie ~

Pre made Pie crust
2 Bananas
2 boxes of vanilla pudding

Make pudding according to box
Slice Bananas and lay in Pie crust
Pour cooled pudding over top of Bananas
Chill and enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Cookies ~

I just followed directions from Nestle :) So YUMMY!
We also made Buffalo Chex mix, we found the recipe here:

We were not sure about it as it cooled ~ but YUMMO once it cooled!

Kelly and I are looking forward to spending next Sunday with our mom, sister in law and niece and nephew ~ we are going to make Christmas Cookies ~ we will be sure to include pictures.

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