Friday, February 18, 2011

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken

Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

1 ½ teaspoons garlic salt

1 Tablespoon oil

1 20 oz. can pineapple tidbits

¼ cup honey

3 Tablespoons lime juice

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 teaspoons cornstarch

Cut chicken into chunks and brown in oil with the garlic salt. Drain pineapple. Add ¼ cup pineapple juice to skillet. Cover and simmer 6-8 minutes. Remove chicken. Add honey, lime juice, soy sauce, cornstarch and remainder of pineapple juice. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir until thick and clear, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Place chicken, pineapple, and sauce in gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Heat until sauce is hot and bubbly and chicken is heated through. Serve over hot rice and garnish with lime wedges.

Note: As requested, this is a recipe that you could take directly from the oven to the stove. Just be aware that it will take longer to heat it through. I had to do that this last time but since it takes a while to get the rice going and cooked, I had plenty of time to do it that way.

I got this recipe from a book called Dinner is Ready by Deanna Buxton.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Pigs in a Blanket

Pigs in a Blanket

This recipe makes 16, so you will need 2 packages of hot dogs.

Mix in mixer and let stand 5 minutes:

2 cups warm water

2 tablespoons yeast

½ cup sugar


1 egg

2 teaspoons salt

¼ cup oil

5 cups flour

Knead 7 minutes. Let rise one hour. Divide in half. Roll out into two 18 inch circles. Use pizza cutter or knife to cut each into 8 pie wedges. Roll up hot dog in each wedge. At this point, if you are freezing them, stick them on a cookie sheet and put them in the freezer for a couple of hours. When frozen solid, put them in a freezer bag and label.

If you are eating them now, let them rise one hour. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes.

This recipe is so easy! And the "blanket" is absolutely delicious -- I never want to go back to a store bought hot dog bun! So I timed it the last time I did these and it takes about 3 1/2 hours from start to finish, or 2 hours to get it to the freezer stage. Most of that time is just letting the dough raise though - it really only took about 10 minutes to mix up and less than 10 minutes to roll out. So it's pretty feasible to crank out quite a few of them, just plan your time accordingly.

Also, when you pull them out of the freezer to use them, I usually put them on a cookie sheet and just warm up the oven a bit (not hot, just warmer than my house temp - ideal bread raising temp is 75 degrees, I believe) and stick them in there for about an hour and a half to two hours before I'm ready to bake them to speed up the raising. But maybe you could also pull them out of the freezer and stick them in the fridge the night before for a really slow raise??

(Got this from a blog somewhere...)

Friday, February 4, 2011

Baby Food

Did you know it is much cheaper to just make your own baby food? When we got our Blentec blender it came with a recipe book and one of the sections was on Pureed Foods... a.k.a baby food. Who'da thunk? I've just always paid the 50 cents or so for the little baby food containers at the grocery store. So I tried it. And you know what? It was ridiculously easy! And gobs cheaper... I could even afford to buy organic foods (pre-made version costs about $1 per container at the store) and it would still be cheaper!
For example: I cooked and pureed 1/4 of a butternut squash that I bought for less than $2 (on sale for about 50 cents/lb.) and got about 3 containers worth of baby food out of that, making it roughly 17 cents per container. This, of course is dependent upon the size of the squash and the price you buy it at, but I was pretty proud about that!
So let me tell you the secret. Most pureed foods need only two ingredients: a fruit or vegetable, and water. Yep, it's that easy. If it's a vegetable it needs to be steamed first though. And then you toss it in your blender with a little bit of water and puree it. I start with a little less water than I think I'll need and add to the desired consistency.
And then whatever the baby isn't going to eat in the next few days, you can stick in the freezer (did you wonder how this was a freezer meal?). It's helpful to freeze it in smaller portions for ease in thawing when needed. (I have also reused either the plastic containers or glass jars from purchased baby food.)
Some ideas for pureeing are: butternut squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, corn, carrots, peas, pears, peaches, bananas, cooked chicken, and cooked beef. Also, you can use a water/baby formula mixture instead of just the water if desired.