Monday, February 3, 2014

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

I have never made peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies. I know I love all of the ingredients and I LOVE monster cookies, so why wouldn't these be good?
Norris reminded me that I often eat my morning oatmeal this way--with peanut butter and raisins mixed in--so of course it's good!
This is just a link so I don't forget about these because they are one of my favorite cookies I've ever made or eaten.

Cinnamon Braid

This is my new favorite way to use cinnamon roll dough. This turned out a really pretty loaf with several layers of gooey filling. I rolled the dough like usual--a rectangle, then filled it, then rolled it up. Then, I turned it so it was facing me the same way it is in the picture (sorry, still on the pan) and cut it in three strips, stopping about an inch from the end. I cut off a half inch from the end that was still intact to use as the "glue" on the cut end. I braided the strands (will be a little messy), then stuck them together with that extra half inch of dough from the other end.
I'm still using this cinnamon roll recipe because it's just so good.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Sweet and sour chicken

Sweet and Sour Chicken
Hello there! I haven't been around here much (well, at all) lately. I have not been cooking as much as I used to, and mostly old favorites when I do. That being said, I have tried several new great recipes, but didn't think to take a picture or keep a record of them, and now I'm kind of kicking myself!
One of my favorite things I made during the Christmas season was my Gram's homemade marshmallow recipe. I showed my students how to make them, too. One day, they made the marshmallows, then the next, they made homemade hot cocoa to go with their homemade marshmallows and we sat down with our cocoa and played a few games! It was a reward for finishing a huge restaurant business pitch project and they really enjoyed it. A lot of crazy flavors came out of that experiment!
We, like many other people, are trying to change a few things up with the new year. One of them is getting back to eating wholesome homecooked meals in the evenings. For a while, we were just in survival mode, which didn't include cooking. I finally feel like we're in enough of a routine that cooking will be easier to fit in the evenings now and that feels really good! As soon as I make that proclamation, everything will change. Babies are weird! Sweet, but weird!
This sweet and sour chicken fit the bill of something new to try (a different method than I've tried before) and something Norris would eat. Plus, it was really good! I thought the process was a little obnoxious with the stirring every fifteen minutes for an hour, but you really do have to do that to get the sauce baked on evenly.  I would agree with Stephanie that it's not a weeknight meal in my house...too long for that! Not difficult, just too long from start to finish. I'm thinking you could accomplish this with nearly the same results if you simmered the chicken in the sauce. Plus, it would be done faster. I'll definitely be making this again. Served with a little brown rice and some sauteed green beans and peppers, this hit the spot on a really cold winter night!

Sweet and Sour Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup cornstarch
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup canola oil (or enough to cover bottom of pan)
¾ cup sugar
4 tablespoons ketchup
½ cup vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt

Preheat oven to 325 F. Heat oil in saute pan.
 Cut boneless chicken breasts into chunks. Season with salt and pepper. Dip chicken in cornstarch and then in egg. Shake off any excess, then fry in oil until lightly browned but not cooked through. Place in a single layer in a baking dish. Mix sugar, ketchup, vinegar, soy sauce, and garlic salt together and pour over chicken.
Bake for one hour at 325 degrees, uncovered, stirring chicken every fifteen minutes.