February 25, 2015

Orange chicken

Orange chicken has always been one of my favorite Chinese restaurant take-out dishes and I've been trying to recreate it at home so that it's still delicious, but also a bit healthier. I know this dish is fried and full of sugar, so I've tried to cut down on both the sugar and the oil to make my version. The results? Still completely delicious and flavorful! It started with using this technique where you shallow fry the chicken and then bake it in the sauce. It still takes some time to make, but it was worth it to me. I'm going to try this method with other dishes in the future like Sweet and Sour Chicken and General Tso's Chicken.

This recipe will serve about four people with a side of rice. I also served this dish with these Chinese kabocha squash & sesame pancakes as an appetizer while the chicken baked. I think some stir-fried sesame green beans or carrots would also be a nice vegetable side dish to go with your Orange Chicken. 

February 20, 2015

Overnight sourdough pancakes

Light and fluffy pancakes made with sourdough starter are a perfect weekend breakfast. Get these started the night before and then just add a few ingredients to cook them the next morning.

My sourdough starter is doing so well and I've been practicing and perfecting my sourdough bread baking skills. I've been using my excess and unfed starter to make a lot of other recipes like these delicious pancakes as well as pizza crust, biscuits, and this banana bread. I'm excited because I really love to bake homemade bread and I enjoy the tang that sourdough gives to other foods as well.

These pancakes are terrific because you can start up the mix on Friday or Saturday night before bed and then add in a couple more ingredients in the morning before cooking them. The slight sourdough flavor makes them a perfect compliment to sweet maple syrup and we always love some fresh berries on our pancakes. These pancakes cook up so nicely too with a light texture and slightly crisp outsides.

If you have sourdough starter give these pancakes a try soon! Maple syrup season is starting here soon in our region, so pancakes will be on the menu even more than usual.

Light and fluffy pancakes made with sourdough starter are a perfect weekend breakfast. Get these started the night before and then just add a few ingredients to cook them the next morning.

February 16, 2015

Ham, bean, and rivel soup

This is a soup that my mom used to make when I was a kid and it was always one of my favorites. It's a simple, humble, and frugal soup, but that doesn't mean it lacks in flavor and heartiness. The rivels were and remain my favorite part. What is a rivel you ask? It's basically a dumpling that comes from the Pennsylvania Dutch. If you look in their old cookbooks, you'll often find recipes for rivels and rivel soups (this Kindle one is free but I can't guarantee it contains rivels). This recipe is made from my memories and from a conversation with my mom asking her what she used to put in the soup. 

This a soup to make on a weekend when you have a ham bone leftover from a dinner (don't toss it). Make sure it still has some meat on it to use in the soup. It's perfect for a wintery Sunday afternoon and will make a large pot of soup. 

February 10, 2015

Chicken and biscuit skillet pie

What's better on a snowy winter evening than a pot pie full of chicken, gravy, and lots of vegetables? How about one with a biscuit crust? Yes, it's awesome. Talk about comfort food! This pot pie is a delicious way to warm up and get a hearty meal after a long day playing outside. While I do love a pot pie in a regular crust, the leftovers tend to get soggy and I don't like that. Plus, I love biscuits. I mean, who doesn't, right? But to have a buttery biscuit layer that is firm on the top and fluffy and soft underneath is a special addition to any pot pie. While not a traditional "pie" in terms of crust, this dish is pie #2 of 25 Pies in 2015

The filling is my own, but I used this recipe for the biscuit topping. And speaking of the filling, don't feel limited here - you can swap in and out your preferred vegetables or even change it to turkey. I used carrots, potato, peas, and sweet corn - but you can use green beans, parsnips, turnips, whatever vegetables you enjoy! This recipe will feed about four people. 

February 4, 2015

Vanilla Earl Grey lattes

This is a drink to have by your side while you are curled up with a book and a blanket on a cold winter day. Earl Grey is one of my personal favorites teas, but adding vanilla, sugar, and some frothy milk make it an extra-special drink. It's been pretty snowy and very cold lately, so there have been a lot of hot beverages in our hands. Speaking of books, I just finished reading A Table by the Window on the recommendation of The Pajama Chef and really enjoyed it. I'll likely read the next installment soon, but am also looking for any other book recommendations - especially those that have stories that are set amongst food. Please feel free to leave your favorite food related books in the comments! I do read a lot, but have had trouble locating books I really love lately. So any recommendations are appreciated!

This recipe will make two servings of tea - perfect for you and your loved one when you need to warm up and relax this winter.