Thursday, July 10, 2014

Cashew Chicken

My sister-in-law is from Hong Kong and she's an excellent cook, so I was excited to live close to her last year to learn lots of cooking tips from her! She taught me how to make this delicious dish. And it's really easy. The only time consuming part is cutting up all the vegetables, and there are two ingredients you may not have on hand: ginger and oyster sauce. But now I always have them on hand, just to make this dish or a yummy stir fry. Don't try to cheat and use ground ginger. Just buy a chunk of ginger and it'll last you a while. If you're like me you'll have to ask the man stalking the bananas to show you where to find ginger cause you have no idea what it looks like! And oyster sauce you'll find right by the soy sauce. Buy a big thing of cashews at Costco and you'll be set for a while.

1 chicken breast, cut up (marinate with 2 Tbsp. soy sauce for 10 min.)
1 medium sized red pepper, diced
2 carrots, diced
3 celery stalks, diced
2/3 C. cashews (not the raw ones)
1/2 Tbsp. grated ginger
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. oyster sauce
2 tsp. soy sauce
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch + 1 1/2 Tbsp. water

1. Preheat frying pan (medium high heat), stir fry ginger, garlic, and red pepper in olive oil for about 30 seconds.
2. Add chicken, fry til all of the pieces turn white on the outside.
3. Add carrots and celery, stir occasionally for 2 min.
4. Add a bit of water (just enough to cover the bottom of the pan. The first few times my sauce was a little runny so be careful not to add too much water), cover and reduce heat, let it simmer for 4-6 min. depending on how soft you want them to be.
5. Combine all the sauce ingredients then add sauce to the pan, stiring until the sauce thickens.

Serve over rice. Done!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Strawberry Oatmeal Bars

Kim mentioned yesterday on our "giggle chat" that we've all taken a significant break on this blog, so we've probably all accumulated some more good recipes to share. I agree, and I couldn't help but post this one very first because we just ate them and they are too stinkin good not to share!! I am first of all not making any claims to these being healthy. But they are easy and DELICIOUS. It says to let cool completely before serving, but we can't help but cut into them while they're still warm and soft, preferably with a cold glass of milk. Sort of like a warm apple crisp or something. While I'm sure it would work well for a dessert, we like it for a snack :). Then we can enjoy it again later when they are completely cooled, and firmed up more. Basically I'll eat them in any way I can. I got the recipe from my favorite Pioneer Woman, on her food network episode I looked up online. It makes your house smell so good too! Who doesn't love the combo of oatmeal, butter and brown sugar? :)

1 3/4 sticks salted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for greasing pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups oats
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 10-12 ounce jar strawberry preserves


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9 x 13 inch rectangular pan.

Mix together the butter, flour, oats, brown sugar, baking powder and salt. I just have the butter a little bit soft and use my pastry blender to cut it into the mixture. Press half the oat mixture into the prepared pan. I usually end up doing a little more than half, maybe closer to 2/3. I think it's more important to have a solid layer on the bottom. Spread the strawberry preserves (or any kind of preserves/jam you like) on top of that. Sprinkle the other half of the oat mixture over the top and pat lightly. Bake until light brown, 30-40 minutes.

 For the "preserves" this is what I always use, just because it's what we buy and have on hand. You can substitute a variety of flavors and kinds, I'm sure it would all work great.