Monday, January 31, 2011

How many meals can you make in an hour?

Yep, I think this was the game show I was thrown into tonight... Didn't plan dinner well because I wasn't sure if I would need to stay late at work or not. Well, I ended up warming chicken, carrots & corn for the baby, & peeling him a pear... at the same time I was making my hubby Buffalo Chicken Fries & mushroom "salad" (cold with oil & vinegar)... & a "Turkeyloaf" with rice & sauteed veggies for me... I am beat.

The best part about a blog, for me, is writing everything down, including recipes. The worst part? Most things I cook, do not have a recipe, they are from my head! I looked in the refrigerator for the "ingredients" for my turkeyloaf... Approximate measurements:


1 lb. ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian style)
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
handful of fresh basil chiffonade
generous handful of fresh baby spinach
a couple of dashes extra virgin olive oil
S & P
Preheat oven to 375°. 

Mix together all of the ingredients with your hands. Form into a "loaf" shape (rectangular) & place into an oiled loaf pan.  My newest favorite, inexpensive kitchen dish is the Pyrex glass loaf dish with a red cover (for storage).  Sprinkle the top with parmesan cheese for a nice crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes.

I have to say it smelled so good my husband thought I was baking a cake ;) & it tasted delish too.


So I also baked blondies this past weekend... They really are delish & so versatile. My recipe is fairly easy to remember too because of the measurements. 3/4 is a rule for my blondies- you can sub ANY kind of chips (milk, white, semi-sweet chocolate, butterscotch, etc.) or crushed nuts (walnut, peanut, etc.) or even dried fruit (coconut, cranberries, etc.) The following is just the DeMaria household's favorite mix...

Lishie's Blondies

  • 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350°.

Butter and line a 9x9" baking pan with parchment paper. Butter the parchment paper too. Combine the flour, baking powder & salt in a medium bowl.

Melt the butter; add brown sugars & combine until sugar is melted in. Let the mix cool. Then whisk in the eggs & vanilla until combined. Blend in the flour mixture just until it's combined. ***Lishie-tip- Leave about a TBsp of the flour mixture in it's original bowl & mix in the chips with it. This little bit of flour will help the chips not settle into the bottom of the pan.***  Fold in the chips. Scoop the batter into the prepped pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes (until a toothpick comes out clean).

Makes 16.

The star of the show:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cooking Light CHALLENGE- Couscous-Stuffed Chicken

When my friend Lisa @ Lisa's Cooking Adventures requested Guest-testers for Cooking Light's 25 Healthy Chicken Breast Recipes, I couldn't wait to cook one... I actually went with a recipe I had already tried before with hopes of tweaking it: Couscous-Stuffed Chicken. The first time I made it following the recipe as written to a "t"; it was tasty but somewhat dry. And I also wanted to just take the "bones" of the recipe & switch it up so instead of going Greek, I made it Italian style. This is the list of ingredients I used:

Couscous-Stuffed Chicken 

  • 1  cup  fat-free, lower-sodium chicken stock
  • 3/4  cup  uncooked couscous
  • drizzles of extra-virgin olive oil
  • salt  & pepper (I only measure salt when I am baking)
  • grated mozzarella (not fresh)
  • grated parmesan (fresh)
  • zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • chopped fresh basil
  • chopped fresh parsley
  • 1  minced garlic clove
  • 4  (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
I made the couscous on the side- Boiled 1 cup chicken stock with a drizzle olive oil, s&p... took off heat, added couscous & covered. Allowed it to cool... Fluffed couscous with a fork then microplaned mozzarella, parmesan cheese & lemon zest into the couscous. Squeezed 1/2 lemon's juice into it... Added the chopped basil & parsley & garlic...

Flattened out the chicken between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. Dropped couscous onto the middle of the thinned chicken & rolled it up, secured it with (pre-soaked) toothpicks. S&P.

Pre-heated my oven to 400°.

Heated my stainless steel saute pan, rubbed with olive oil, over medium-high heat. Seared chicken on both sides... (And here is where I veered from the recipe & tweaked it) Added some chicken stock & a little white wine to "deglaze" the pan.  Spooned the extra couscous mixture so that it surrounded the chicken... Juiced the remaining half of the lemon & microplaned a little parmesan on top for some crisp. Then transferred the saute pan to the oven for 8 minutes. 

Verdict: It came out very juicy (unlike the first time I tried the recipe). The chicken was fine... just fine but the couscous was delicious! Hubby & I decided I'd make the couscous this way next time but as a side dish. All in all a hit because we really enjoyed the couscous.  

PS- there is rolled chicken hidden under the couscous in the picture :) BUT the couscous is the star! 

Chocolate & friends make the best blend!

When friends invited us for dinner, I was so excited... when I said I'd bring dessert... & chocolate was requested, even moreso! I love everything Hershey... Michael & I were engaged there & cannot wait to bring Gabriel. Some of the best food is there & of course, there's the CHOCOLATE! So I went straight to a yummy crowd pleaser:
 Hershey's Hot Fudge Pudding Cake:

Sorry, the picture's blurry:

Serve WARM with homemade 
Whipped Cream 
1 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 & 1/2 tsp vanilla 

CHILL mixer bowl in freezer before you make the whipped cream. (I also chill a separate serving bowl.) Add all 3 ingredients in order above, into the mixer on medium speed. Mix until the cream is thickened, looks like pointy "mountain peaks" & does not easily slide off of a wooden spoon. Makes 2 cups.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

I'm dreaming of... Spanish Torta

All of this winter weather, not feeling well, & lots of snow has lead me to delusions of past trips to wonderful places... one being the South of Spain. Oh how I loved visiting Andalucia, Granada, Torremolinos, Malaga, Seville, Cordoba, Toledo, Madrid... the people, the food, the Sangria, the countryside, el Prado, the beaches... & I ate Spanish torta EVERY day... loved it so much that I had to find an authentic recipe to prepare here at home. What better place to find one than a web-site called "Spain Recipes: Authentic Recipes from Spain"? I followed this recipe to a "t" (just adding some parsley @ the end for some color). I used a mandolin to slice the potatoes & it was spot-on DELISH!

I just WISH I could have drank some yummy traditional Sangria with it too, like I made in Spain on a boat. Ah, a girl can dream.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Chocolate Chip Pancakes! (the Basics)

Snow, snow, snow... My hubby is shoveling so I quickly prepped pancake batter for when he comes in. Seems a simple thing to blog but sometimes it's nice to talk basics! So much better than a mix & healthier & fresher. I've used the following amounts since I can remember & I am not sure where they are from:

Lishie's "Best" Pancake Batter

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 TBsp sugar
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 TBsp (I use canola) oil

  • butter (for the pan)

Chocolate chips (this pancake batter is so versatile, you can add any type of chip, crushed nuts, blueberries, etc., etc. here.)

Use a non-stick flat pan or griddle on medium heat... add a dab of butter, melt it (but don't let it burn) & swirl it around the pan. Drop the batter onto the hot pan in dollups ;) Drop some chocolate chips on top of each. When bubbles begin to form on top of the pancake, it's time to flip!

Not the best pictures (can't even see the chocolate chips) but they were yummy!
Using a batter bowl like this one makes it so easy:

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Kiddie snacks time!

So my baby boy Gabriel is notorious for turning his nose up at all things "kid normal" food-wise ;) meaning no chicken nuggets, fries, pretzels, chips, cookies/cakes, etc., etc. so I even have to look for veggie & fruit snacks to make for him. Here are some great ones, that perhaps ALL children will love. Adapted from two different Sesame Street Books, "Silly Snacks""Yummy Cookies" .

Banana Cookies for Gabriel (pictured)
1 cup + 2 TBsp a-p flour (wheat flour would work just fine!)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup butter 
2 ripe, mashed bananas
1/4 cup apple cider
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Sift together (over medium bowl) flour, baking soda & salt. Beat the butter until creamy & add bananas, beat until mixed smoothly together. Add cider, egg, & vanilla until mixed in. Slowly add the flour mixture & blend together.

Drop dough 2" apart (I use a melon baller) onto cookie sheet (I use parchment paper.) Bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until "set".  Remove from heat & cool on a cookie rack. Makes 2 dozen cookies.

These are sooo good, they taste like banana bread in a cookie! The consistency is more like a bread than a cookie too. It just has that cookie shape that kids love! The hubby & I kept snatching these. YUM.

Tickle Stix
1 lb. watermelon
6 oz plain or vanilla yogurt
2 tsp honey
zest & juice of 1 lime or lemon

Cut the watermelon into "fries" (sticks). Mix the yogurt, honey & citrus for a dip.

Eggplant "fries"
1 egg
1 TBSp water
1 small eggplant
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs- Note: you can use any type here... wheat, panko, white... add your own Italian spices or herbs de Provence, etc. 
Olive Oil cooking spray
Marinara sauce (for dipping, optional ;) )

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Mix egg & water in a shallow dish/bowl. Place seasoned bread crumbs in another shallow dish/bowl. Use your judgment with the eggplant on peeling or not, depending on the type/season/toughness/preference, etc. Cut the raw eggplant into "fry" stix. Dip the eggplant stix in the egg mix then in the bread crumb mix completely. Lay out on the foil on the baking sheet with room in between. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until eggplant is tender & lightly browned. Serve with marinara.

Broccoli Trees in Haystax
1 small broccoli crown- break into little florets
2 TBSp water
1 cup a-p flour (wheat may be ok, haven't tried it)
1 cup whole grain cornmeal
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup low-fat milk (I use whatever we have & if for Gabriel, whole milk)
2 eggs (@ room temperature)
1/4 cup butter (@ room temperature)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line muffin tins with baking cups (12 cups). Steam the broccoli until crisp & tender. (I use my steamer but can do it in the microwave.) Mix together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder & salt in a large bowl. In another (medium-sized) bowl, stir together the milk, eggs & (room temperature) butter. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients until just moistened. Spoon 1 TBSp of the batter into each muffin tin (I use my melon baller). Nestle a floret of broccoli into the middle of batter in the tin, then top each with another tablespoon (at least) of batter until each tin is 3/4 full. Bake 15 minutes @ 400 degrees or until a toothpick, inserted into one of the "haystax" comes out clean. Cool in the muffin tin for 5 minutes, then remove to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

what to do with tons of tiny candy canes...

So we have a bunch of them & the holidays are over but the yum is just beginning. I decided to make homemade peppermint ice cream (My Cuisinart ice cream maker & the recipe HERE).

Inspiration came from (1) Edy's has a special Limited flavor called... you guessed it- Peppermint Ice Cream, (2) my friend Feisty & her ice cream making obsession as of late plus (3) our household's love of peppermint. Even my in-laws who weren't too keen on the idea of a minty ice cream loved it. Next, I'll have to make Coffee Peppermint Mocha. YUM.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sausage & Peppers hit the spot!

What's quick, tasty & wonderful on a freezing cold Monday night? Chicken sausage & peppers... Chicken sausage, you say? These are not your ordinary, packaged, pre-cooked chicken sausage! Oh no, we go specially to the butcher (22nd Street Meat Market :) ) & get their freshly made Italian-seasoned (with fresh basil, oregano, parsley+) sweet chicken links, as well as the spicy for my hubby. These pack so much flavor, I don't have to add extra seasoning besides S&P!

This isn't really a "recipe", I mean I do it differently all of the time & add here & there spices or fresh parsley, etc. But... here goes: I heat some canola oil on medium high & brown the sausage links on both sides... Take them out of the pan & add in the sliced onions & peppers, S & P. I usually use two different types of pepper- whatever looks good. Today I used red bell peppers & sweet italian cubanelles (light green) which I love, love, love... remind me of an elderly Italian neighbor in Florida who use to hand me them from his garden (what's better than a neighborly gift of produce? Almost nothing.).  Stir the onions & peppers until cooked a bit, add a little chicken stock, stir some more, place the sausage links on top of the veg & cover. Stir occasionally & all is done when the sausages are steamed & the peppers & onions semi-soft.

My hubby loves his chicken sausage & peppers on potato rolls:

Gabriel & I love them sliced into "coins", minus the "skin" &, with the peppers & onions, topped onto rice:

Can you tell we really love peppers in this family?!


"Wingsday"... Go, Buffalo Chicken fries, Go!

Sundays are great with a thoughtful homily tying Go Green! into prayer & then some Squoosh-time (my toddler Gabriel)... followed by grocery shopping, prepping, chopping, steaming & cooking... Then topped with a football game & Big Love.

Sunday steaming: sweet potatoes & carrots... For dinner: I made Buffalo Chicken Fries for the hubby which we had with my Father-in-law's famous potato salad (YUM):

Buffalo Chicken "Fries"

  • 12 oz. Frank's hot sauce
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts  (slice into strips that are about 3/4" thickness)
  • S & P1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • Canola oil to fry

Whisk together hot sauce, butter, and honey in a large bowl.

Dunk chicken strips in flour (seasoned w/ S & P) & shake off the excess flour.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high; saute all of the chicken strips until browned (about a couple minutes per side) & then transfer strips hot sauce mixture and toss to coat. 

Did I mention "I" can't eat them? Or that I do not like the smell of hot sauce? Ha! 

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Call me the Friendly Cookie Monster

Today we went out to look at some good, running shoes for the long, daily walks I take & I've chosen these Nikes  in a color not there, white, pale blue & grey... They are so comfortable & light... Anyway, on the way back we grabbed Wendy's, ha ha, a girl has to splurge & don't you love the beautiful irony of buying running shoes AND fast food in the same trip? I do! Free of cooking dinner, I set my sights on baking for a friend. I figure this certain someone needs a bit of a smile... I chose Mrs. Field's Marble Cookies because they are delicious & look like they are from the bakery.

I only changed one thing on the recipe- I switched out the sour cream for 4 0z. organic vanilla yogurt... it's healthier & I had it already. I just lessened the amount of actual vanilla extract I put into the batter. I also sifted the dry ingredients (not mentioned in the original recipe). The recipe yielded exactly 30 cookies- I used a melon baller to drop the batter.

*If you think you do not have a "double boiler", you are probably wrong ;) If you have a sauce pan (most do, especially if you have gotten them as a set) & a glass bowl that can nestle into it- there you go, a double boiler! Just make sure the water, when boiling, does not touch the bottom of the bowl. And if you still do not have these 2 items, you probably have a microwave.

*Make sure the melted chocolate is cooled before pouring it onto the raw batter (or it will "cook" the  egg ) & carefully fold it in to swirl!

*I use parchment paper... no sticking & you can shift the entire sheet of cookies on the paper to the counter off of the hot pan rather fast. Definitely take the cookies off of the hot sheets & place them on wire cooling wracks quickly so the process of baking stops.


Friday, January 21, 2011

"Quick" bread, my blog! (Cinnamon Bread)

So the other day (for those of you in the NE, you know, the day it snowed? What, you say- It keeps snowing? Yes, yes, it does) it heavily snowed & I was "stuck" at home. Bake, of course! The house gets warmer & smells outrageously delicious especially when cinnamon is involved. I made one of my favorites, something I knew my Mother-in-Law would love getting a loaf of & something I could bring into work the next day to share: Cinnamon Bread! YUM... Now it's called a quick bread because instead of waiting for yeast to rise, the baking soda & powder combine to do their stuff & puff up the bread "scientifically". Well, other than that reason it's certainly not quick to make from scratch but that's where the fun comes in... that & in eating it... Wish there were scratch n sniff apps for blogs:

Cinnamon Bread

4 C flour
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 C shortening (1 stick!)
2 C sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 C whole milk OR buttermilk

Cinnamon-y goodness- the inside swirl:
2 Tbs. sugar
1 Tbs. Cinnamon
1. Sift flour, baking powder, soda and salt. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350. Butter two Loaf pans.
Combine shortening and sugar. Mix together, then add eggs and vanilla. Stir in sifted flour mixture and buttermilk. (add in thirds, 1/3 flour and 1/3 buttermilk; mix in then add the next third.) Mix until smooth. Pour 1/3 into a greased loaf pan.

Mix together cinnamon and sugar. Swirl 1/3 of the sugar mixture into each layer or batter with a knife. Repeat. Don't swirl the cinnamon into the top layer of batter. Lightly dust it over the top for a crusted effect.

Bake at 350ยบ for one hour.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Peppers, Eggs & Potatoes... Oh my!

I miss my sister lots this week & I think somehow the comfort food she & I have shared over the years sub-consciously came to mind. Tonight, I made something really easy, so easy I don't think I need to post a recipe for it at all... but yummy just the same. It brings to mind Brooklyn, Italian pizzerias- peppers, eggs & potato heroes. My sister & would order these a lot from the local place when we lived in Brooklyn together & there's just something so delicious & comforting about the combination & colors. Here's where the food prep I did on the weekend comes in again... The baby new potatoes were already steamed & cubed, peppers julienned... break some eggs, whisk, warm a little oil in a non-stick skillet, & all is prepped & ready! Kosher salt & pepper... delicious, especially with crusty Italian bread. So fast & easy for my tired soul.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Kasha - Some Jewish Soul Food

So most people that know us know that Wednesday = Wingsday for my hubby. He has a schedule he loves to stick to & he orders in hot wings & fries. But that still leaves me & the baby... so many times Wednesdays mean I get to make something for ME, something I love. Tonight I wanted comfort food Lishie-style- kasha (aka "kasha varnishkes"). Kasha, you say? It's a grain, buckwheat, & a great substitute for rice or pasta because it is low in sodium & fat, has no cholesterol & is wheat & gluten-free.
(Think "like" cous cous- because you can use it like cous cous & add vegetable too!)

My maternal grandmother use to make it & my sister & I loved it. When I visited Russia back in 1989, I (thankfully) had kasha varnishkes at Gorky Park in Moscow. Yes, Russians consider it fair food too. It came in a tin & was topped with gravy. The most delicious thing I've ever had since the food was not too appetizing nor abundant on that leg of the trip. Of course, I also got indigestion jumping off the non-stopping ferris wheel (but that would be another Blog, another day, kind of story!)

Not truly sure where or how I learned to make it, & there are many varying ways, but here's mine:

Kasha Varnishkes

2 TBSp canola oil
1 small onion, diced 
kosher salt
1 cup kasha (I get the medium granulation -check the package, it says it on there)
1 & 3/4 cup chicken stock (Or vegetable stock OR water)
1/4 of a box cooked farfalle Or small bowtie pasta

Warm oil in a 2 qt. sauce pan over medium-low heat, add the diced onion & kosher salt... sweat the onion until it is translucent*. Add the kasha allowing it to soak up the oil & get "toasted" (like the beginning of making popcorn & toasting the kernels). Add the liquid- I used chicken stock, makes it tasty & hearty. Cook over medium-low heat, fluffing the cooking kasha with a wooden spoon until the liquid is cooked out (or in, in this case!)  Fold in the pasta with the wooden spoon, fluff & serve!

*If you wanted to add more veggies, this is where you'd add them. Mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, peas, carrots... so many options would work beautifully.

I ate it with brown pumpernickel slices slathered in salted butter (Breakstones, of course!), on the side. Delicious, out of the ordinary, nutritious, comfort food! Food for my soul.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Snowy, Sleety & all-around, Some-Tuesday, Day! Crock-Pot Peppered Steak

I knew today was going to be rough even before the snow started falling last night so I planned on crock-potting it. I am so glad I did! It made the house smell delicious all grey-rainy-sleety-yucky-I-was-off-because-things-needed-to-be-done day. And I had something to look forward to!

So at 8am I prepped the pot with stuffed peppers. This crock-pot meal is not for everyone since the peppers come out extremely soft & just kind of "melt" into the stuffing once it's plated. This is a part the DeMaria household all love, including toddler Gabriel.  And I like to use some combination of green/red/orange/yellow peppers for the prettiness & vitamins. (One tiny note: when I prep bell peppers for any meal I clean the insides extremely well because one of my pet peeves is when seeds are left in the finished meal. I know some chefs even call that "rustic" but I call it lazy. There's just something awful to me about biting down on a little, white seed.) 

"Slow-cooker" Stuffed Peppers
5 bell peppers, cleaned out (I put the tops back on, see picture below) 

1 lb. raw, ground beef 
32 oz of tomato sauce 
2 cups of cooked, white rice 
I eye amounts: parmesan cheese, s & p, fresh parsley & basil & dried oregano & garlic powder & some bread crumbs

2 cups water

Mix stuffing, stuff peppers, add back their little cap hats :)
Extra stuffing I added to the bottom of the crock-pot. Pour the water into the bottom of the pot for the peppers to be slightly immersed. Cook on SLOW, 6-8 hours (may vary according to your pot).

Monday, January 17, 2011

When the A&P gives you free apples... Lishie makes Apple Sauce

Lishie makes applesauce! The special of the week at my supermarket was a free 3lb. bag of Rome apples. I hadn't figured on getting any apples so what immediately came to mind was applesauce for Gabriel.

I quickly peeled, cored & sliced (using this) all of the apples, then tossed the pieces into my Versaware Crock-pot. Zested & juiced one lemon over the slices & added 1/4 c sugar & 1/4 c light brown sugar. Although Gabriel doesn't like anything too sugary (nor does he like cinnamon in his applesauce but it would be a delicious addition), these Rome apples weren't sweet enough on their own.

Well, most of the 3 lbs. went into the pot... minus maybe one... I nibbled on sugar coated slices & also made Gabriel a smoothie... 1/2 banana (because he asked for the other half when he saw it), apple pieces, oz. vanilla yogurt & 1/2 cup whole milk.

A little taste of India on MLK day - Aloo Gobi Matar

My favorite Indian dish to order is Aloo Gobi Matar which literally means "potatoes, peas & cauliflower". I have great memories of a small, Christmas-light trimmed restaurant in Little India on 6th street. Lately, between my food allergies, etc.& the baby, I rarely eat out. So I asked a friend of ours, Nirmala Narine, a world-remowned spice expert & Cookbook writer if she had a recipe for the dish. She gladly wrote one up, with notations on what to leave out for Gabriel's sensibilities! I must say, for my first foray into making the dish, it came out delicious. I only wish I had the hindsight to stop on East 6th Street on Friday to pick up some papad bread before catching the commuter bus.

Because this is Nirmala's, & she is published, I am not going to post the recipe (sorry-copyright!) I will say it's a delicious marriage of cilantro, cumin, chili powder, tumeric & coriander... Served over rice, I felt like I was at my little Indian restaurant... All's I need is mango sorbet & a big mug of hot chai ;)

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday= Food for the Mind, Body & Soul= Chicken Stir Fry

Sundays are wonderful, especially book club Sundays... They begin with food for my family's soul (Church/Mass), then food for my mind (book club choice was GOOD, go Stacey L.: The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton ) & a diner brunch with the "World's Best Pancakes", then onto the supermarket for the week's necessities. I create my list around a weekly menu & go from there. The rest of the day is food prep for the week! Being a full-time, working mom, this part is really important. Heck, just being a commuting, working woman, it's important!  It provides me with ample time to cook a real dinner for my family which can be difficult during the week especially with my schedule.

For this part, I have to stress how much I love my rice-maker/steamer! It's wonderful.
My toddler, Gabriel is 21 months & loves his vegetables so besides prep for the week, I also prepare go to veggies for him since he's not the average eater (won't eat pizza or chicken nuggets!) Today's steaming was: cauliflower, potatoes & carrots... Then onto rice for another meal.

Meanwhile, I was cleaning other produce & chop, chop, chopping for dinner. What's quicker & healthier  & least demanding on a prep day like this? Stir fry! Now some have said to me they are afraid to stir fry because they do not have a wok BUT that is OK! You can use a stainless steel saute pan and a flat wooden paddle spoon. I actually have a Stainless Steel Wok (Stir Fry Pan). Stir fries are so versatile but the one I made tonight is a combination my husband Michael loves.

All of the following amounts are approximate:

Chicken Stir Fry

  • 1 & 1/2 pounds of boneless chicken, cut into pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch
  • Chinese Five Spice (Star anise, cloves, cinnamon, pepper & fennel)
  • Soy Sauce (we use low sodium)
  • sliced scallions (green onions)
  • white, button mushrooms
  • Sugar snap peas or the flat pea pods
  • S & P to taste

I place the chicken pieces in a bowl, add the corn starch & Chinese five spice and some soy sauce & mix it up with tongs...

I use a little canola oil in the wok on medium-high heat... add the white part of the scallions for a moment then add the chicken pieces. Cook chicken halfway through, then add the mushrooms... cook some more till the chicken is almost done, add some more soy sauce, & then, near the end, add the sugar snap peas... Stir, make sure the chicken is cooked & it's done! 

I serve with white rice or rice noodles.

Did I mention that cleaning & chopping produce is therapeutic for me? I love Sundays...
Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Welcome! Grab a plate & make yourself at home...

Hi, I'm Elisha, "Lishie" & I have loved to cook & bake ever since I was little. I'm not sure where I learned- probably from watching & absorbing, how I learn most things, and maybe a tiny bit from home ec, having grown up & schooled in Florida where it still seemed to be a requirement! 95% of my cooking & baking is from scratch & many of the recipes are my own or tweaked to my family's preferences. I have a wonderful husband & lovable toddler who actually eats his veggies! I try to cook wholesome & organic when I can.
I hope to be able to bring some smiles, love & happiness into your home through my shared recipes & stories.