Friday, October 28, 2011

Fried Rice

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*Recipe revised

Here is the yummy goodness that needs no introduction.....Well, maybe a little.

My mom and I have been making this rice for as long as I can remember.

It is a wonderful side dish to any pork meal and also goes well with any Chinese meal.

I, of course, like it best the next day right out of the fridge.

Teriyaki Meatballs

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Tonight I was really in the mood for my Fried Rice so when I was thinking of what would go with it, I remembered I hadn't made Teriyaki anything in a long time.  So I thought that would be the perfect side to the rice or vise versa depending on how much you like my rice.  I remembered when I was browsing the freezer the other day that I saw a bag of meatballs just waiting to be picked for a meal, so out they came.  I hope you like this recipe as much as we do.

Here's what you need:

1 - 20 oz bag of meatballs or 1 - 1-1/2 lbs. homemade meatballs, fully cooked
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
Place all ingredients except meatballs into a sauce pan (I use a 3 Qt).
     
On med-high dissolve brown sugar and bring to a simmer.
         
Pour the meatballs into the sauce and turn to coat in sauce.  Put lid on and return to simmer.  Cook over low for 20 minutes or until warmed through.

Wonderful served with my Fried Rice recipe.


Serves:  The Trader Joe's bag has approximately 35 meatballs.  Enough for 4 - 6

Note:  This sauce is also wonderful with chicken.


Enjoy!


~Hugs~
Michelle

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Chicken Enchiladas

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For dinner tonight I again cooked another of my son Justin's favorite meals, boy he sure seems like the king of the castle doesn't he.  But my Chicken Enchiladas are my favorite too.

I make them every time my in-laws are in town and my Father-in-law goes on and on about how he tells everyone back home what a wonderful cook I am and what a pig of himself he makes when they visit.

Well, I take that as the highest compliment coming from him because he doesn't pass them out all that often, but I know how to get them.  Just cook my heart out when they are here.

Everyone seems to have some version of this recipe and I think I got the original, which I have adapted, from my friend Traci who might have gotten it off of a can of cream of chicken soup or something like that.

So now you can have it too and everyone will rave about your enchiladas.

Spanish Rice

Here is the rice recipe I have been making for years and always serve with Mexican food.  I got the original recipe from my friend Lupe, but have changed it many times over the years.

Here's what you need:

1 cup medium grain white rice
2 cups hot water
1/3 cup yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, micro grated or pressed
1-2 Tbs. chicken bouillon
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 Tbs. canola or veg. oil
Optional - you can add a few dashes of Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning for a kick

In at least a 3 Qt. stock pot heat the oil on high and add the rice and stir until rice turns opaque (white), about 3 minutes.
 
Add the onion and stir for about 1 minute.  Press two garlic cloves into the rice and stir continuously for about 30 seconds to 1 minute.  You don't want the garlic to brown.  Add the tomato sauce and stir until the rice is completely coated.
 
Add hot tap water and 1 Tbs. of chicken bouillon and stir to combine.  If not too salty for your taste add another Tablespoon of chicken bouillon and stir.  I always use 2 Tbs.  

Cover, bring to a boil then reduce to low and cook for 25 minutes WITHOUT LIFTING THE LID OR PEEKING, and believe me when I say this is the hardest part about cooking rice.  Give the pan a swirl with the lid in place about half way through the cooking time to distribute the liquid. 

Take lid off and quickly stir with a fork, put lid back on and remove from heat and let sit for at least another 10 -15 minutes with the lid on and no peeking.   Fluff with a fork and serve with dinner.
 
Enjoy!

Serves 4 - 6

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Spanish Rice


**Note - This recipe had many different variations over the years and I have now gone back to the original way of making it so I revised this recipe to reflect that.  Sorry for the inconvenience, but if you printed this before 3/26/12 please re-print. 

Roast Beef & Gruyere Panini

I have been in the mood for a Panini lately so I made a couple of variations today for lunch for me and my hubby.  I love Gruyere because it has a subtle nutty flavor and it is AWESOME with roast beef.  My husband, Royce, likes cheddar so hence, the two different Panini's today.

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Here's what you need:

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere (or your favorite) cheese
3 slices Angus Roast Beef, sliced for sandwiches, they are about 8 - 10" long ea.
1 Ciabatta Roll
Mayo - The good stuff (Best Foods or Helmans NOT Miracle Whip)
Dijon or yellow mustard

  
Ingredients for both sandwiches.

   
The left sandwich is spread with Dijon and mayo, the right has yellow mustard and mayo.
    
First place 1/2 the cheese on each side of the roll.
    
 Then place the roast beef on one half.
      
Place the top on and make sure all the yummy cheese stays inside.
      
Heat up the Panini press to 375 degrees.
 
I have a Breville Panini Press that fits two Panini's front and back.  Press for 5 minutes.
If you don't have a Panini press you can use a skillet and place a plate with something heavy (like a 28 oz. can of tomatoes) on top of the sandwich to press the sandwich down like a Panini.  Cook a couple of minutes then turn and cook the second side until golden brown.
Tada!  Here are the yummy Panini's we had for lunch today!  YUM

They are super simple and I'm going to try Ham, Gruyere, Dijon/Mayo, and sliced pears next.

Enjoy!

~Hugs~
Michelle

Here's the handy printable - Roast Beef & Gruyere Panini

More machine embroidery - Thanksgiving

Here is the second design I completed on my machine last night and only just spent the last hour or so snipping the threads and I thought I got them all until I took the picture and noticed a few.  Oh well, back to the snipping. This is another design I bought from Embroitique.

I love the towels I got too.  Bought them at Bed Bath & Beyond yesterday for $3.99 ea. and got a variety of colors for fall and winter designs.  Thinking about starting my Holiday projects early this year so I might actually get to enjoy December instead of rushing to make all the homemade gifts I love to make.
Keeping an eye on the machine today so she isn't naughty again :)
Up close and personal....This is a 6" x 6" design.  Perfect for kitchen or bath hand towels.
The whole towel.

Apple Sauce

3 Lbs. Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed into 1" pieces
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 - 1 cup sugar depending on the tartness of the apples, may use brown sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice, fresh

Place apples, cinnamon, lemon juice and 3/4 cup sugar in a 3qt. stockpot and cook covered over low - med for 30 minutes.
Stir well and taste.  If more sugar is needed add 1/4 cup at a time to get the sweetness correct.  cook an additional 30 minutes, stir and break up any chunks with a fork, unless you rather have chunky applesauce.  May be served warm or cold. Yummy either way.  
Serves 4 cups - approximately

~Hugs~
Michelle

Monday, October 24, 2011

Embroidery project

Okay, for those of you who don't know, I have a Brother Embroidery machine that my parents gave me for Mother's Day about 10 or 12 years ago.  I use to use it all the time when the kids were little to make all kinds of cute Disney things and I even made quite a few outfits for them too.  So over the weekend I dusted off my machine (literally) and went to work.  First I spent most of yesterday on a few awesome sites.  The first one is Polka & Bloom which can be found at Polka and Bloom, where I ordered several hand embroidery patterns and a couple of books which I can't wait to get.  The second site was Etsy where I ordered several patterns for my machine from Embroitique.

Here is what happened today in all it's hilarity.

First I thought about all the cross stitch bread covers I have on hand right now because I have also decided to start cross stitching again after about a 15 year absence.  Then I figured I could just as easily machine embroider on a square meant for cross stitch as I could on a towel or shirt.  So I got out the iron and made sure it was all nice and pretty.  Then I got out the sizing and my hoop, backed the material and got it hooped without to many readjustments.  Then I sat down to my machine and had to adjust all the colors because of the fact that my machine is set up for Brother colors and I don't really know if I can change that (but I'll be looking into it soon).  Then when I got the pattern to an agreeable color scheme I attached the hoop and started to stitch.  All was going well until the first goof up of a particular color and it bunched the thread up on the bottom and tangled in the bobbin three times.  Each time I had to take the hoop off the machine and snip the threads off the fabric and clean it all up.  Well, after the third time I decided to take the plate (I'm sure it has a technical name)off the machine and clean out all the little snippets of thread that were caught under the plate.  I ALSO decided that maybe that pink color was jinxed and really, how many candies in life are pink?  So I changed to a different color and reattached the hoop and off I went....For about another 3 minutes until I tried to figure out where that left side of the bread cloth had disappeared to????  You got it.  I had folded it under the hoop and now it was hopelessly sewn to the back of the cloth.  So it will forever reside in the land of "Oops".   I did make a second one, without even trying the pink and it came out beautifully.  Now I am on to more towels and when I get my hand embroidery patterns I'll post those too.

First Bread cloth:
 My beautiful machine.
Ironing the bread cloth.  Call me crazy but I do love to iron.
All hooped and ready to start.
Ready, set, go....
And this is what happens when you try to blog and think that machine can be left all by herself with nobody watching.
And this is where the bread cloth ended up.
 
Here's is the happy ending.  The second bread cloth was adorable.  And you would never even guess it's supposed to be used for cross stitching on.

This cute design is from Embroitique.

Pumpkin Pancakes

Many of you might not know it but I love anything pumpkin, so every year about this time I am always trying to come up with different pumpkin recipes.  I have always wanted to try my hand at pumpkin pancakes and waffles so yesterday I made some pumpkin waffles and they were delicious, but like most recipes I develop I didn't write down the recipe as I was making them.  Kinda just a scoop of this and a dash of that, so I was in the mood for pumpkin pancakes this morning and decided to actually write it down.  Boy oh boy the yumminess of the Pumpkin Pancakes was out of this world!  I hope you enjoy these as much as I know we will for years to come.

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Here's what you need:

2 Cups Bisquick
1 - 1-1/2 cups milk (I use 1 % in most recipes unless I'm serving company or making mashed potatoes then I use whole milk, but you can use whatever you have in the fridge)
1/3 cup pumpkin, solid pack, not pumpkin pie filling
2 Tbl. brown sugar
1 tsp. pumpkin pie spice (ya know that one we all buy then never have any recipes to use it in)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl (but only add 1 cup of the milk for now) and mix until smooth.
Let rest while the pan is heating up on low-med.  The mix will thicken as it sits.  Before you make the pancakes give the batter another stir and add milk if needed until it is the right consistency.  I used 1-1/4 cups.
Pour batter into 3 to 4 inch circles.
When they have formed bubbles and they have mostly popped, they are ready to be flipped.
Here's a picture of the bubbles.  Forgot to get one of them popped.
Here's what they looked like after I turned them.  Nice and fluffy.
Look at the steam coming off the yummy pancakes!
Now drizzle with syrup and enjoy.
YUM!

This would also make wonderful waffles.

Enjoy!

Serves 12 pancakes - approx.

~Hugs~
Michelle
Here's the handy printable - Pumpkin Pancakes