Sweet and Sour Chicken

Happy Friday!

This sweet and sour chicken and I go waaaaay back.  This is the very same recipe that I made in 7th grade "Foods" class in middle school.  (I would show a 7th grade photo just for nostalgia, but trust me no one wants to see me in my adolescent glory.)

When we were first married, mr. oopsey daisy called my Mom to get directions on making this dish.  He surprised me one day when I came home from work and I discovered him making (you guessed it!) sweet and sour chicken.  Now that I think about it, I might have to encourage future surprises such as that.  :)

Most recently, this was the very first dish that I made in our new house.  Working my way around the kitchen for the very first time was exciting!  I know it's silly, but I am still relishing all of the "firsts" in our new home.  Mopping the floor for the first time is much more exciting than mopping it any other time after that.

This recipe makes plenty.  So either half the recipe or share it with some guests!  There are a few steps, but it is surprisingly simple.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

Begin with 3 lb. uncooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces.   Mix together 1 egg, 1 T. cornstarch, 2 tsp. soy sauce, and a dash white pepper.  Stir chicken into this mixture, and refrigerate for 20 minutes:

Mix together: 1 c. flour, 1 c. water, ½ c. cornstarch, 2 T. olive oil, and 1 tsp. baking soda.  Add chicken mixture.

Heat oil in skillet to 350.  Fry 15 pieces of chicken at a time, for about 3 minutes.  Drain on paper towels.  Heat oil in skillet to 375.  Fry chicken all together for 1 minute, until golden brown.  Drain.

Heat together 2 ½ c. sugar, 2 c. chicken broth, 1 ½ c. white vinegar, 2 T. olive oil, 4 T. soy sauce, and 2 cloves garlic.  Bring to a boil.

Mix ½ c. cornstarch and ½ c. cold water.  Cook and stir until thick.

Stir in 2 cans pineapple chunks, 2 green peppers, cut into small slices, and 3 tomatoes, cut into small slices.  Heat to a boiling.  Add chicken.  Serve over rice.

 

Enjoy!

No need to copy down the recipe... just click here!

 Have a fabulous weekend my friends!

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Hello!  I hope you enjoyed a fabulous weekend!  Let's start our week off with something yummy!

It took a solid week to set up my new kitchen.  Crazy, right?!  I am so indecisive. Deciding where everything belongs is like a giant game of chess.  But settling into a brand new kitchen is exciting!  I have been looking forward to cooking and baking lately.  I hope this newness doesn't wear off for a while!

I really needed a new treat to munch on during all of the unpacking...

 

These scrumptious rainbow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream frosting were my very first homemade creations in the new kitchen.  Oh YUM!

You might remember our Colorado Bloggers' Spring Soiree a few weeks ago.  I whipped up 5 flavors of delicious homemade cupcakes and frosting.  I saw a yummy recipe for chocolate buttercream frosting at Joy the Baker.  I adapted it a bit to make it my own with a couple of secret ingredients!

But let's begin with the actual cupcakes, shall we?

We decided to make rainbow cupcakes.  Little Man loves rainbow cake (although we call this "jellybean cake"). He had so much fun helping mix these up and seeing all of the colors!

We mixed up a vanilla cupcake mix, divided the batter into 6 bowls and used food coloring to dye each bowl a different color!  We used all of the colors of the rainbow:  Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.  Then we dropped a small bit of each color into every muffin cup and baked them according to the directions.

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Let’s Talk Cupcakes!

I adore cupcakes!!

Nothing makes me quite so happy as a delicious (and beautiful!) cupcake.

I was thrilled but a little nervous at the prospect of producing cupcakes for our Colorado Bloggers' Spring Soiree.  In the past, I have been a little cupcake cursed--especially with the decorating.  Luckily Courtney of Sweet C's Designs loaned me her frosting gun which worked wonders!  I'm definitely purchasing my own frosting gun now.

I wanted these lovelies to be delicious AND cute.  I needed some great recipes that I could bake up perfectly the first time--no oopsey daisies!!  So today I want to share my new favorite cupcake recipes with you.  I tried out 5 new cupcake recipes plus frosting recipes--from scratch. All 5 cupcake flavors turned out amazing!  (Yes, I am still feasting on a few leftovers stowed away in my pantry!)

I had so much fun baking them that I have been scheming up brand new cupcake recipes to try.  Perhaps I have been watching too many episodes of Cupcake Wars?!

My poor Kitchen Aid!  Just as soon as I had one batch of cupcakes in the oven, I washed everything, and started over!  Our kitchen was transformed into a bakery.  It took a lot of self control to avoid nibbling on them before I got to the decorating!

First up.. the "Mile High" Oreo cupcake.  These happy little guys went FAST!  In fact, I witnessed a run on the very last one.  You really can't go wrong with Oreos right? They're Little Man's favorites, too!

The batter of these Oreo cupcakes was almost like a chocolate mousse.  I could have stopped right there and devoured the batter in spoonfuls!  The cake was rich, but the frosting was light because it was whipped cream.  Yum!!  I consulted the genius of Annie's Eats.  Definitely check out her recipe... so delish!

And decorating them was easy.  I just stuck an Oreo on top!

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Sesame Green Beans

St. Patrick's Day is just around the corner.  So I have been thinking about some of my favorite "green" foods to share with you!

So let's get started with my all-time favorite way to eat green beans:  Sesame Green Beans!

Many thanks to my Mother for sharing this recipe with me!

I think this might just be the first time that I am sharing a recipe for a vegetable!  One of my goals this year has been to encourage Little Man (and the whole family!) to eat healthy.  While he loves fruits, eating vegetables is a struggle in our household.  So I began our vegetable journey with one of our family favorites.  These sesame green beans are crunchy and tangy and sure to please!  Plus super easy!

Sesame Green Beans

3/4 lb. fresh green beans (or 1 lb. frozen)

1/2 c. water

1 T. butter

1 T. soy sauce

2 tsp. sesame seeds, toasted

Directions:

Toast sesame seeds in oven, watching carefully.

In a saucepan, bring beans and the water to a boil.  Reduce heat and cook till crisp-tender.  Drain.

Add butter, soy sauce, and sesame seeds.  Toss to coat.

All done!

Little Man actually ate 3 (yes, three!) entire green beans.  Not bad.

We have a rule when trying new foods, he has to eat "three" bites since he is 3 years old!

This is one vegetable I actually crave.

Want to print your own recipe??

Do you have a picky eater at your house?

How do you encourage them to eat their vegetables?  I would love your advice!

Snow Ice Cream

It's finally here!  Today is birthday party day at our house!  The big Micky Mouse birthday bash is happening today!  Well, at least birthday party #1 (with friends).  Birthday party #2 (with family) will be tomorrow.  Whew!  I have no doubts that I will be taking a nap at some point today.  But I absolutely can't wait to share all of the party details with you!

In the mean time, I thought I would share just one quick moment from our W is for Winter Mommy School unit.  I haven't been the best about taking pictures of our activities and art projects this time around.  Maybe I'm still burnt out from taking a bazillion pictures through the holidays!  But I had to grab the camera when Little Man experienced snow ice cream for the very first time.

I'm sure you've made this before.  I remember enjoying this fun treat growing up, too!

Snow ice cream is so easy and fun to make!

Here is the recipe we use:

8 c. clean snow

1-1.5 c. milk

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 tsp. vanilla

Here in Colorado, we have had quite a bit of snow during the last few weeks!  So we just waited for fresh snowfall, and knew we could make our own yummy treat!  Little Man loved helping to measure and mix it up!  And it had a yummy sorbet-like texture.

Do you make snow ice cream?

Stay warm this weekend!

Heart-Shaped Brownies {With Strawberry Marshmallows}

Be sure to link up your projects at my Wednesday's Wowzers linky party here.

There is just something about sharing sweets that makes me very happy.  You can't go wrong with a tasty treat!  Today I am sharing my all-time favorite brownies recipe.  We have been making these marshmallow brownies in our family for years.  The original recipe came from a friend of ours growing up in St. Louis, Anita B.  They're not your average brownie... Yummy marshmallows sandwiched between a layer of brownie and scrumptious frosting!

For a fun Valentine's Day twist, I used pink strawberry marshmallows and cut them into heart shapes!  It's a sweet treat to share with someone you love!

My mouth is watering all ready...

Here is how you can make your own!  (Don't forget that you can print your own recipe at the end of the post.)

First the brownie layer!

Brownies

2 sticks margarine

2 c. sugar

1/3 c. cocoa

4 eggs

1 1/2 c. flour

1 1/2 c. chopped nuts (optional)

2 tsp. vanilla

1 pkg. miniature marshmallows (I used 1 pkg. of large strawberry marshmallows)

Mix butter, sugar, and cocoa together.  Add eggs; beat well after each egg.  Add flour, nuts, and vanilla.  Spread mixture in a greased cookie sheet with sides (9 x 13).  Bake 25 minutes at 350.

Take out of oven for 3 minutes.  Cool for 1 hour.  I found that I had to break apart the big marshmallows just a bit in order to spread them across the entire pan.  But aren't they so pretty and pink?

Frosting (my favorite part!)

1/2 c. margarine

1 2/3 c. powdered sugar

1/3 c. cocoa

1/2 c. canned milk

Mix and spread on top of marshmallows.


I left them in the refrigerator overnight to be sure everything set up and they would be completely firm before cutting them into heart shapes.  I used the cookie cutter as a guide, and carefully went around the shape with a knife.

Simple and sweet with just a hint of pink!

You can print the recipe for marshmallow brownies here.

While we're talking sweets, you might also like these:

Heart-shaped cake pops with printable tags.

Do you have a favorite sweet treat for Valentine's Day?

Creamy Spinach Artichoke Dip

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

I hope you enjoyed a fantastic holiday... in fact, just keep right on enjoying the holiday season.  We are!  We woke up first thing this morning to go sledding on the most enormous sledding hill I've ever seen.  I think I may have burned off all my holiday calories simply by walking up that hill at least 7 times.  We've continued the holiday fun with games, parties, and far too much yummy holiday food!

Our Christmas has been truly magical, and I just don't want it to end...

So I'm slowly easing myself back into the blogging world again!

Today I have a truly mouthwatering recipe to share with you!  It might just be perfect for your New Year's or holiday party... it's a yummy appetizer or side dish.

Just a few weeks ago, my sweet friend Sara brought this dip to our dinner party.  It was so delicious that I begged her for the recipe!  My mouth has been watering all day just thinking about this yummyness!

By the way, if you like this recipe, you can download it at the end of the post, so no need to copy this down!

 

Ingredients:

1 10-oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed

1 14-oz. can artichoke hearts, drained and roughly chopped

1 c. shredded parmesan-romano cheese mix

1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

10 oz. prepared alfredo sauce

1 tsp. minced garlic

4 oz. softened cream cheese

Pepper (optional)

I love this recipe because it was so easy!

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Manicotti Recipe with Carapelli Olive Oil

This post brought to you by Carapelli. All opinions are 100% mine.

I was thrilled when Carapelli sent me a bottle of olive oil to review!  Besides conducting my very own taste test, I also used the olive oil to mix up a batch of my favorite manicotti!

When I think of olive oil, I think of Italy!  Carapelli has been making olive oil from the finest Mediterranean olives for more than 100 years. In fact, Carapelli was the very first company to promote extra virgin olive oil in Italy.  Their distinctive brand of olive oil includes 3 varieties:  Organic, Premium 100% Italian, and Il Numerato.

I learned a lot about olive oil testing when they sent me a bottle of their Premium 100% Italian olive oil.  For example, I found out that olive oil sampling is very similar to a wine tasting!

carapelli-1

This is how you can conduct an olive oil sampling plus select the variety that you like best:

First, you need a rounded blue glass that fits in the palm of your hand.  The blue color masks the olive oil's color so you can judge it purely by taste.  Your hand warms the glass in your palm, which will enhance flavor and smell.  Who knew, right?!

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Oreo Dessert

This might just be my favorite dessert of all time.

I can't wait to share this recipe with you!  My mouth has been watering all day while I've been gawking at these pictures....

 

The holiday season is just around the corner.  Unfortunately for my waist-line, I have been eating sweets like crazy for a few months now.  Some days my sweet tooth can really get the best of me.  Over the weekend, we hosted a dinner party, and I served this scrumptious Oreo dessert.  I am ashamed (or proud?!) that I single-handedly ate half of the entire dessert in the days to follow.  But it's simply melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

And it includes Oreos.  Need I say more?!

Plus it's simple to whip up!  You only need 4 ingredients.

Are you curious to see if you have all the ingredients on hand?

Well, you just might!

 

Ingredients

(1) One small package of Oreo cookies.  (You will need at least 16 cookies to make a nice crust.)

(2)  1 cup dinner mints cut into small pieces.

(3) 2 c. miniature marshmallows

(4) 1 pint whipping cream

Directions

Smash the Oreo cookies and place on bottom of 9 x 13 pan.

Whip the cream and add the marshmallows and mints.

 

Sprinkle some Oreo crumbs on top and place in the refrigerator.  The flavors all soak in as they chill together, and your mouth will thank you!

 

Enjoy each and every bite!!

 

Little Man is slightly Oreo-obsessed so he loves this dessert, too.

Even after a good cleaning-up, he's still sporting a few Oreo crumbs around his mouth!

Don't write anything down!  If you would like a printable copy of this recipe...

Just click here!

What are you up to this week?

Delicious Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

WARNING:  Do not read this post if you are hungry!

It really didn't take me long at all to bust out the pumpkin this year.  You may remember how last year (at least where we lived) there was a pumpkin shortage!  By the time I finally found canned pumpkin in the stores, I stocked up big time.  I'm simply a sucker for all things pumpkin.

So on September 1st, I declared it the season of pumpkin and started a pumpkin-baking marathon!  In my house, I'm really the only person who eats sweets.  (Okay, sometimes Little Man eats a few bites, but his little appetite doesn't count for much!)  Often I crave sweets and make batches of something yummy.  Then altogether too soon, I get a little tired of the yummy things I bake.

Not these muffins.

This recipe makes a whopping 2 1/2-3 dozen.  But I am enjoying each and every morsel--and still eating them 3 times a day!  In all the food marriages in all the world, I think pumpkin and chocolate could surely have the most enduring love of all.

Pumpkin Muffins

3 1/3 c. flour

2 1/4 c. sugar

2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. salt

2 c. pumpkin

4 eggs

1 c. oil (May also substitute 1 c. applesauce instead!)

2/3 c. water

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. chocolate chips (I'm not gonna lie.  I usually add many more!)

 

Mix together first 5 ingredients.  Make a well and add liquid ingredients.  Mix in chocolate chips.  Spoon into muffin tins.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Makes about 2 1/2-3 dozen muffins.

* If you're in the mood for pumpkin bread, this make a yummy pumpkin bread too!!

 

If you don't want to copy down the recipe...

Take it from me--these are delish!!  You know you want some!!


And in case you're wondering what happened to Wednesday's Wowzers, this recipe is SO yummy, I felt it necessary to interrupt my regular schedule just to share it with you!

Have a happy day!

PS Don't forget to check out today's Creative Carousel project--an adorable autumn shutter by Sew Dang Cute Crafts!

 

Linking up to The Idea Room

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