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Sunday, May 15, 2016

General Tso's Chicken (healthier version)

My family loooooves General Tso's Chicken from the carry out places but it's so unhealthy the way they make it so I did some research.    I was happy to find this Rachael Ray recipe.  We all loved it.  I made a few changes to the original recipe because we like a lot of sauce.  We served the chicken over brown rice and broccoli.  (I don't have a picture of this dish but my kids have requested that I make it again very soon so I will add one then, lol). 

1 egg white
5 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoon plus 2 1/2 tsp reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
2 teaspoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 1/2  tablespoons vegetable oil
1 bunch scallions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg white, 4 tbsp cornstarch, 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce and 1/2 tsp ginger. Stir in the chicken until evenly coated.

2.  In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil and the remaining soy sauce, 1 tbsp cornstarch and 1/2 tsp ginger. Stir in the honey and vinegar.

3. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil and swirl to coat. Carefully add half of the chicken pieces in a single layer. Cook, turning once, until the meat is no longer pink. about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the chicken to a plate. Repeat with the remaining 1 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil and chicken.

4.  Discard the excess oil from the wok or skillet   Add the scallions and garlic; stir-fry for 1 minute. Stir in the sesame oil mixture. Return chicken to the pan and cook, stirring, until the sauce is thick and the chicken is cooked through, 1-2 minutes. Serve over rice.

*recipe adapted from Rachael Ray magazine

Crab Cakes & Peach Slaw

This recipe was super yummy.  I found it in a Rachael Ray magazine under recipe makeovers.  Low calorie.  I've made crab cakes plenty of times in the past but I tried this recipe this time and it was very good.  The peach slaw stole the show though.  Even my kids devoured it.  I chopped my coleslaw mix up because my kids hate it when it's stringy but you can do whatever you want.  It was even better the next day so I will probably make it ahead of time from now on.  I used the jar peaches from the grocery store instead of fresh ones since they aren't in season right now.  If you do the same, be sure to let them drain well.  The picture is from the website but I promise mine looked just as good!  :)

1 1/2 pounds lump or backfin crabmeat
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 large egg
1 large egg white
3 tablespoons canola mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 14 ounce bag  coleslaw mix (chopped up if you prefer)
2 medium peaches, cut into chunks (or you can use the jar kind but if you do, let them drain well)
2 pickled hot cherry peppers, sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons olive oil


1.  In a large bowl, toss the crabmeat, bell pepper and herbs. In a small bowl, whisk the egg, egg white, mayonnaise, Dijon, Worcestershire sauce, 1/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper.  **I omitted the salt and it still turned out great so do as you wish with that.  Add to the crab mixture; mix until combined. Add the panko; mix gently. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.

2.  In a medium bowl, toss the coleslaw mix, peaches, cherry peppers, vinegar, sugar, 2 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 tsp. salt. **I again omitted the salt.   Let stand, tossing often, for at least 30 minutes. It definitely gets better the longer it sits. 

3.  Form the crab mixture into eight 1-inch-thick cakes. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tbsp. oil over medium. Add 4 crab cakes; cook until browned and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Place on a rack set in a baking sheet to keep crisp. Repeat with remaining 1 1/2 tbsp. oil and crab cakes. Serve with the slaw.

*photo & recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray magazine

Monday, April 6, 2015

Asian Pork Tenderloin with Ginger Glaze (crockpot)

This recipe is ranked up there with the Funky Fusion Fajitas - it is SOOO tasty. The meat is like candy and melts in your mouth. I love the flavors with the cloves, cinnamon and ginger. My most favorite part is that 99% of it is done in the crockpot!

  • Ingredients: 

  • For the rub:

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 pounds pork tenderloin
  • For the glaze:
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ cup rice vinegar (or white)
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fresh ginger, minced
  • fresh cilantro, to garnish (optional)
  • lime wedges, to garnish (optional)
  1. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar, salt, powdered ginger, cinnamon, garlic, cloves, black pepper, and crushed red pepper.
  2. Place the tenderloins in the slow cooker. Rub the seasonings over the pork, including the bottom.
  3. Pour ½ cup water in the slow cooker, on the edge or in the middle so that you don't wash off all the spices you just rubbed on.
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hours, then preheat your broiler.
  5. While the pork is finishing up in the slow cooker and your broiler heats up, combine 1/2 cup brown sugar, cornstarch, rice vinegar, COLD water, and soy sauce in a small saucepan.
  6. Set over medium heat and stir until mixture thickens, about 4 minutes.
  7. Remove from heat and stir in minced ginger.
  8. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick spray.
  9. Remove the pork from the crock pot (discard the liquid) and place on the lined baking sheet. Brush a generous amount of the glaze on the pork.
  10. Put your oven rack as high as it will go, and broil the pork for 1 or 2 minutes, until bubbly and caramelized. Don't walk away! Repeat 2 to 3 more times until it is as crusty as you want it. I wouldn't go many more times than this though, or your pork will dry out.
  11. Serve with remaining glaze on the side, and garnish with lime and cilantro. 

recipe from

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Grilled Chicken, Artichoke & Roasted Red Pepper Panini

 So I finally bought a Panini maker and I don't know how I have survived without one this far!  This was super easy and had my dinner guests begging for the recipe.  I found this recipe on (my new favorite recipe site!).   I changed a few minor things but I'm pretty sure you can't go wrong with this recipe.  This recipe makes 4 paninis. 

3 medium-large chicken breasts, grilled & seasoned to your liking (we used italian seasoning & cooked on stovetop)
1 medium sized jar of marinated artichoke hearts (VERY WELL DRAINED & patted with paper towels - I let ours sit for about 2 hours in between paper towels)
1 medium sized jar of roasted red peppers (VERY WELL DRAINED & patted with paper towels - I let our sits for about 2 hours in between paper towels)
4 slices Swiss Cheese
4 Chiabatta rolls sliced lengthwise (or bread of your choice)
Basil Garlic Mayonnaise (recipe below - BEST THING EVER)
1 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1.  Time to make the Basil Garlic Mayonnaise!  Combine all these ingredients in a small bowl:
2 TBS dried basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
3/4 cup mayonnaise
 Taste test and add to your liking.   Let sit in fridge for at least 30 minutes before using.  

2.  Meanwhile, thinly slice your chicken breasts.  Season & cook thoroughly.  Set aside.

3.   Heat panini maker to med-high heat.  Coat panini maker according to their instructions.  Mine calls for a slight layer of oil before cooking.

4.   Lightly brush a thin layer of EVOO on OUTSIDES of each roll (to help them crisp). 

4.  Coat the INSIDE of the bread (both sides) with the basil garlic mayo.  Then add a few pieces of chicken, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers and a slice of Swiss cheese.  Top with the other half of the roll.  

5.  Cook until you see the groove marks and your cheese is melted.   Ours took about 5-6 minutes with the lid closed. 

Enjoy!  :)

*recipe adapted from
*picture courtesty of

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Eggplant Bruschetta

Another one of my husband's creations.   Delicious!  But the eggplant doesn't hold for too long so this is best served right away.  It's optional to drizzle a tiny bit of balsamic vinegar on each one when they are done but we preferred the taste without.  

1 eggplant, sliced (about 1/2"-3/4" thick)
1 tomato sliced
Fresh mozzarella cheese
1 TBS Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar (optional)

1.  Slice the fresh mozzarella and lay on a plate lined with paper towels.   Cover with additional paper towels and let sit for at least 30 minutes to draw out the moisture.  

2.  Slice the tomatoes and also lay on a plate lined with paper towels.  Sprinkle a dash of kosher salt on each slice and let sit for 10-15 minutes to also draw out the moisture. 

3.  Lightly brush the eggplant slices with olive oil.   Heat grill on medium.  Add the eggplant.  Gently turn over after 2-3 minutes.   Should take no more than 5 minutes total. 

4.  Remove eggpant from grill.  Turn on broiler on stove.   Spray a cookie sheet lightly with cooking spray.  Add the eggplant and then add a tomato slice and then the mozzarella. 

5.  Broil close to the heat for 2-4 minutes or until the cheese is slightly browned and bubbly.   Once done, remove from heat.  You can optionally drizzle the balsamic vinegar on them before serving.   Enjoy! 

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Watermelon, Feta & Bacon Stackers

My husband's new favorite weekend hobby is coming up with fun appetizers and I am NOT complaining!  This was so refreshing and light tasting.  Perfect summer appetizer.  Look pretty fancy too!  This recipe made 6 stackers. 

Watermelon cut into cubes.  About 2" deep and maybe 2.5" wide (give or take, doesn't have to be exact)
1 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (more or less to taste)
6-8 fresh mint leaves, grated finely
6 strips of bacon

1.  Make bacon according to directions until crispy.

2.  Meanwhile cut watermelon into cubes.   Once cut, hollow out about a 1/2" of the top of each one.

3.  Sprinkle the feta into the hollowed out portion of watermelon.

4.  Sprinkle with the grated mint leaves.

5.  Once bacon is done and patted to get off excess grease, break into half and place on top of the watermelon feta cubes to form an X.

6.  Sprinkle a bit more feta on top of the bacon.   Enjoy!

Fried Ravioli (with marinara dipping sauce)

No words to describe this masterpiece!  Simple to make and cheap ingredients.  You could serve this as an appetizer while entertaining for less than $10 (I had most ingredients on hand so I only spent $5).    This is the kind of appetizer that everyone will want you to make over and over again.  Super delicious.  You can make as little or as much as you want.  I was shocked at how crispy they came out.  They tasted better than some of the ones I get in restaurants sometimes. 

One bag of frozen cheese filled ravioli (we used the smaller ones)
2 cups of Italian seasoned bread crumbs (may need more if you are making a full bag)
2 large eggs, beaten (we used egg whites)
2 TBS grated parmesan cheese
One jar of your favorite marinara sauce
2 cups of Olive Oil (or whatever oil you prefer)

1.  Beat the eggs in a bowl.

2.  Place the breadcrumbs in a separate bowl.

3.  Pour the oil into a frying pan and turn on medium - high heat (closer to high side but not all the way up on high).   Wait for the oil to heat.    You will know when it is ready to use when the food sizzles when it touches it. If it doesn't sizzle, WAIT longer or else the food will get soggy.

4.  Dip the frozen ravioli into the eggs and then coat with breadcrumbs.  GENTLY place each breaded ravioli into the frying pan after you coat them.   Again, they should sizzle right away in there.    Be careful not to put too many ravioli in at once.  If you are doing a full bag, you may need to do it batches.  

5.  Turn the ravioli over gently with tongs after a minute or two and fry until golden brown (about 3-4 minutes usually but just watch for their color to change).

6.   Immediately remove the fried ravioli with tongs and place on a paper towel lined plate.   Let sit for about 5 minutes.

7.   While the ravioli sit, warm up your marinara sauce, however you prefer.  Once warm, place about one cup into a bowl for dipping.

8.  Sprinkle the ravioli with the grated parmesan and ENJOY!