Monday, December 31, 2018

Japanese Fried Rice

This will be your new favorite rice recipe.

4 servings


4 C. cooked rice or 1 cup uncooked rice
1 C. peas
2 Tbs. carrots, finely diced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 C. onion, diced
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. soy sauce


  1. Cook rice following instructions on package (Bring 2 cups water to a boil, add rice and a dash of salt, reduce heat and simmer in covered saucepan for 20 minutes).

  2. Pour rice into a large bowl to let it cool in the refrigerator.

  3. Scramble the eggs in a small pan over medium heat.
    Separate the scrambled chunks of egg into small pea-size bits while cooking.

  4. When rice has cooled to near room temperature, add peas, grated carrot, scrambled egg and diced onion to the bowl.

  5. Carefully toss all of the ingredients together.

  6. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium/high heat.

  7. When butter has completely melted, dump the bowl of rice and other ingredients into the pan and add soy sauce plus a dash of salt and pepper.

  8. Cook rice for 6-8 minutes over heat, stirring often.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Thai Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Sauce

I've always enjoyed Chicken Satay, but I've never made them myself.
So now's my chance.

Of course, there would have to be one ingredient that I'm unfamiliar with.  You can find tamarind paste in an Asian or Indian Market. Or, I was able to find a substitute recipe for the Tamarind paste.


Chicken Marinade
     Bamboo Skewers
     1 pound chicken
     1/2 cup coconut milk
     2 TBL curry Powder
     1 Teas salt
     1 Teas sugar
     Peanut Sauce
     3/4 cup coconut milk
     1 TBL red curry paste
     2 TBL fish sauce
     3 TBL peanut butter
     3 TBL sugar
     1 TBL tamarind paste  * 
    Chicken Marinade
     In Medium bowl, mix ingredients together, cut chicken into strips, add chicken to bowl, mix to 
     coat well and let marinade several hours.

     Peanut Sauce
     Add well stirred coconut milk to a pan, on a medium low heat.  As the milk warms, add the curry paste, mixing to
      break up.  When you see the red oil shimmering, add the rest of the ingredients.

    * Tamarind Paste Substitute
     1 TBL chopped dates
     1 TBL Chopped Prunes
     1 TBL Chopped Dried Apricots
     1 TBL Lemon Juice
Place all fruit into a small bowl and pour enough boiling water over them to cover completely.  Let stand 5 minutes, drain water.  Place drained fruit and the lemon juice into a food processor.  Blend to a thick paste.  Store in fridge.
shopping list    

Monday, December 17, 2018

Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash is SO healthy.  It's also well liked by my family. 
This recipe has a little Mexican flare, which we all love.

Vegetarian Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash...A healthy dinner with tons of flavors!  323 cal and 9 Weight Watcher PP | #recipe

I cooked the spaghetti squash first in the microwave, which only takes 15 minutes. If you’re partial to roasting it in the oven, by all means do that. You can cook the squash earlier in the day and scoop out all of the strands to use later. This will make dinner prep easy-breezy.

Just before serving, sauté some onions, garlic and red bell peppers, then mix them with black beans, corn and enchilada sauce before scooping the mixture back into the shells of the squash. A couple of minutes under the broiler will make the cheese all melty and golden brown.

Vegetarian Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash...A healthy dinner with tons of flavors!  323 cal and 9 Weight Watcher PP | #recipe

This recipe can easily be made vegan (use vegan cheese) or gluten-free (use gluten-free enchilada sauce, such as Hatch). I went the easy route and used a canned enchilada sauce, but making your own enchilada sauce is pretty darn easy.  

A Helping of Healthy

There are more reasons to eat spaghetti squash besides its taste and texture. It’s a great choice when you’re looking for an easy way to replace more calorie-laden foods.
  • One cup of spaghetti squash contains only 42 calories and 0.5 grams of fat. Pile it on to your plate!
  • It’s a good source of Vitamins A, B6 and C, which are all powerful antioxidants.
  • It’s a great source of potassium, which is good news for people with high blood pressure.
  • If you’re following a low-carb diet, spaghetti squash may become one of your best friends. It has only 10 grams of carbs per 1 cup serving.

Enchilada Stuffed Spaghetti Squash
  • 2 small (2 lb. each) spaghetti squash
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 (14 oz.) can black beans (drained & rinsed)
  • 1 c frozen corn kernels, defrosted
  • 1¾ c enchilada sauce
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp ground pepper, or to taste
  • ⅔ c grated Monterrey Jack cheese
  • 3 tbsp minced cilantro
  1. Using a large, sharp knife, pierce a spaghetti squash in several places.  Place the spaghetti squash in a glass baking dish and cook in the microwave on high for about 15 minutes, turning the squash halfway through cooking.
  2. Before handling, let the squash stand for 10 minutes. Cut it in half lengthwise and scrape out the seeds and fibers.
  3. Using a fork, twist out strands of the spaghetti squash flesh and place in a large bowl. Let stand at room temperature. Save the shells of the squash for stuffing later.
  4. Preheat the broiler.
  5. Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cumin, and cook for 30 seconds.
  6. Stir in the spaghetti squash strands, black beans, corn and enchilada sauce, and cook until heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  7. Scoop the spaghetti squash mixture into the spaghetti squash shells and top with the Monterrey Jack cheese.
  8. Place the stuffed spaghetti squash onto a baking sheet and place under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is melted, about 2 minutes.
  9. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Chicken Francese

Chicken Francese, sometimes called chicken French, is one of those rare restaurant dishes that's truly easy to cook at home. If you can make chicken cutlets, you can make this lemony, buttery recipe; the only difference is an easy pan sauce that brightens the whole plate. This version includes lemon slices browned in butter, which are pretty and tasty but entirely optional. Although the name suggests that it's a French or Italian dish ("Francese" means French in Italian), it's actually neither: Like spaghetti and meatballs, it's a mostly Italian-American invention. Serve with something starchy to soak up every drop of the sauce; pasta is traditional.


  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper, plus more for seasoning
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • cup olive oil
  • cup vegetable oil
  • 4 to 6 large boneless, skinless chicken cutlets (buy the cutlets thinly sliced, or buy regular boneless breasts and slice them in half horizontally to make thin pieces)
  • 3 to 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced, seeds removed (optional)
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lemon, more to taste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons freshly minced parsley 


  1. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper until blended. Place the flour in a separate bowl. Line a baking sheet with paper towels.
  2. In a wide skillet, heat olive and vegetable oils over medium heat until shimmering.
  3. Working in batches to avoid crowding the pan, lightly dredge the chicken in flour and shake off any excess. Dip into egg batter, let excess batter drip back into the bowl and place in the skillet. Fry, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about 4 minutes per side. Adjust the heat as the cutlets cook so they brown slowly and evenly, with a steady bubbling. Transfer to the paper-towel-lined pan and repeat with remaining cutlets.
  4. When all cutlets are browned, remove the pan from the heat and pour off the oil. Wipe out the pan with paper towels. Return the pan to low heat. 
  5. If making the lemon slices (if not, skip to Step 6 below): Melt 3 tablespoons of the butter and then scatter the lemon slices over the bottom of the pan. Cook, stirring gently occasionally, until the lemon slices are golden and browning around the edges, about 3 minutes. Scoop out the lemon slices and set them aside. 
  6. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, the wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Boil until the liquid is syrupy, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour in the stock, bring to a boil and cook until thickened into a sauce, about 5 minutes. (It will thicken more when you add the cutlets.) Taste and adjust the seasonings with lemon, salt and pepper; it should be quite lemony and not too salty.
  7. Reduce the heat, tuck the cutlets into the pan and simmer very gently until the sauce is velvety and the chicken pieces are heated through, about 4 minutes. Turn the cutlets over occasionally in the sauce. Place the browned lemon slices on top. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve, spooning some of the sauce over each serving.                  

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Best Nachos

This recipe comes from Garlic My Soul Recipe Blog.
Everyone loves Nachos, right?
I know I do!   ~Shelly

Type: Appetizer, Quick Meals  
Author: Jennie
Oven Temperature: Broil°   
Difficulty: Easy  
Prep Time: 10 minutes  
Cook Time: 6 minutes  
Servings: 3-4  


  • 1 bag your favorite tortilla chips
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 block cheese, shredded (we used Tillamook Sharp Cheddar)
  • 1 jalapeño, diced         
  • 1 cup fresh pico de gallo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 ripe avocado, diced


  1. Preheat oven to broil setting - high. Disperse chips evenly across a baking sheet.
  2. Drain black beans of excess water and spread evenly over chips.
  3. Shred cheese and cover entire chip/bean operation liberally.
  4. Place tray on top rack of oven and broil for 2-3 minutes - keep close watch!
  5. Rotate, then broil for another 2-3 or until cheese is melted and chips are browning.
  6. When the cheese is melted to your liking, remove from oven.
  7. Top liberally with pico, avocado, and sour cream for dipping.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Every Loves Smoked Pork Butt

This is my pork shoulder recipe from bringing home a pork shoulder, to preparing it with a rub, to smoking it up delicious. Of course, I always start with the very best meat I purchase from Harter House Supermarket.

The actual pork shoulder is very big and most of us usually only smoke a pork butt or a pork picnic roast which is the two parts of an actual pork shoulder.
I Prefer the bone in pork butt which normally runs about 8 pounds or so. They say the meat is sweeter when it cooks with the bone in and I happen to agree.

Apply the Rub with Mustard
I always rub the pork shoulder down with a light layer of French's yellow mustard to help the rub to stick better throughout the smoke and apply about 1/2 to 3/4 cups of my favorite rub to the outside of the meat being careful to massage it into every nick and cranny.

Note: the mustard will lose its flavor during the smoking and will only leave a nice brown crust so you need not worry that your pork will taste like mustard.. it won't.

Smoke the Pork Shoulder
Prepare the smoker as you normally would to maintain a 225 degree temperature and lay the pork shoulder right on the grate for the long smoke.

How Long Does it Take?
Pork shoulder cook time can be figured at approximately 1.5 hours per pound so a 8 pound shoulder will require at least 12 hours in the smoker.

The pork is probably cooked in a few hours, but it takes much more time to reach fall-apart tender. If you end up hovering around 225 or less, shoot for 20 to 24 hours.

I have a friend who only leaves the shoulder in the smoker until it reaches the 140 degree mark and then wraps it in heavy duty foil and finishes it off in the oven for convenience. And that is fine if you need the convenience.

In either case, for the final two hours, wrap the pork butt in aluminum foil. This will give the meat a last minute steam that'll make it a little more succulent.

Some options include injecting the pork with apple cider, but definitely I keep a pan of water and apple juice underneath the shoulder to keep the exterior of the meat as moist as possible during the long cook time. That might sound like a lot, but it really isn't. The hardest part of smoking could be getting up in the middle of the night to stoke the coals and add a little more wood (which you could do every three to five hours) or I will tend to the smoker just before bed and restart the coals in the morning. The Smoker should stay around 100 degrees overnight.

200 Degrees.. Not a Moment Sooner
When the pork shoulder reaches about 200 degrees, pull it from the smoker and bring it into the house for a resting period. I like to let it rest for 45 minutes or better before I pull it to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.

Pull the Pork

I then use two forks to pull the meat apart into chunks.. be sure and add in the brown bark for added flavor and it makes the finished product look really good.. I have to say that because I have seen folks discard the outside bark thinking it is burnt or something. It is the best part.

Check out this vibrant pink smoke ring!

The simple Recipe Ingredients
• 1 (5-pound) or larger bone-in pork butt
• 1/4 cup BBQ dry rub, homemade or store-bought
• 1 cup apple juice in spray bottle
• Special equipment: Charcoal and hickory and apple wood chips soaked in water 1/2 hour prior to cooking

Season heavily with dry rub. Place in plastic bag and refrigerate overnight.
Remove pork from refrigerator 2 hours prior to cooking to come to room temperature.
Prepare smoker to temperature of 210 to 220 degrees F and place 1 handful of hickory chips and 1 handful of apple chips on hot coals.
Place pork butt in smoker and smoke for 14 to 16 hours adding 1 handful of hickory and 1 handful of apple chips every 4 hours. After 5 hours in smoker, begin spraying generously with apple juice every 2 hours.

Pork will be done when the internal temperature reaches 185 to 200 degrees F. Pull or chop meat as desired and top with your favorite sauce!

Choose a favorite store bought Rub and Sauce from Harter House Supermarket and Harter House World Flavors, or make your own special rub and sauce. Here are my favorite home made recipes.

Making the Spicy Rub

1/4 cup Dark Brown Sugar
1 cup Paprika
1/2 cup Celery Salt
2 Tbs. Granulated Garlic
1/2 Tbsp. Mustard Powder
1/2 Tbsp. White Pepper
1 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
2 tsp. Ground Thyme
1/2 tsp. Salt

Sift all ingredients into bowl. Mix well.

Smoky Barbecue Sauce1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1 cup Ketchup
1/2 cup chipotle ketchup
3 Tbs. Brown Sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
2 Tbs. Yellow Mustard

Mix all ingredients together and simmer for 10 minutes in a sauce pan.

Pulled Pork Sandwich, pulled pork tacos, and Oh, I make an awesome pulled pork pizza.