Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Game Day Food: All American Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

To be honest with you, the big game is probably more about the food than the game to me!

I haven't really been keeping up with the games this year, but still enjoy a good party.  Who doesn't?

It gives me an excuse to make some great food and share it with friends.  So we'll be watching the game (and the commercials) this weekend like so many others.

I like to serve a variety of foods that we can nosh on throughout the game.  That usually entails some dips, chips, and veggies.  Stuff that you don't have to cook.  Then during half time I cook up a couple of items like mini pizzas or some perfect All American Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders.

So today I'm sharing with you my recipe for this small version of an American classic.  You can't go wrong with bacon and cheese on a juicy hamburger.  And to create a small version that is so cute...they scream party food!

What's your favorite party food?

Excellent dips to make:

All American Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders

Makes 12 sliders

12 slices of center cut bacon
1 lb ground sirloin
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
kosher salt and pepper
6 slices of American cheese
12 slider buns or dinner rolls, split in half
Condiments as desired

In a large skillet cook bacon in batches over medium heat until crisp.  Repeat until all bacon is cooked. Remove bacon to a paper towel lined pan.  Drain most of the grease from the skillet keeping about 2 tablespoons.

Add ground sirloin, garlic powder, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce to a bowl.  Mix gently to distribute the seasoning.  Season with salt and pepper, mix again gently.  Using about 1/4 cup of meat mixture form patties.

Cook patties in the skillet with the bacon fat over medium heat about 3-4 minutes, then flip.  Place a slice of cheese on top of each patty and place a lid over the skillet to help the cheese melt.  Cook about 3 minutes until done.  This may be done in batches as well.

Toast slider buns halves under the broiler on a cookie sheet.  To assemble, put your favorite condiments on top of the bottom bun, top with a patty, add the bacon, criss-crossed, add any additional condiments and top with the top bun.  Serve hot.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

What a busy week!

My laptop was dying a slow death and I finally decided to wipe it clean and allow MGG to install a different operating system, Ubuntu.  

I was so hesitant to do this cause I've always been a Windows girl and going to a Linux based platform was so opposite, plus I'm possessive of getting rid of things that are familiar.  So, I took the leap and spent most of the week getting used to the new format.  Finding and loading new applications so that I can continue to blog, format pictures etc...  

They say change is far, so good, but we're not quite at the comfortable stage.  So the verdict on this 'change' is still being debated.

Which leads me to today's post.  I had mentioned that I was on an Asian kick lately.  Which is true.  Needing a dinner that was quick to make, yet tasty was a must (since I spent most of my time formatting the laptop).

Stir frys are one of my quick go-to meals.  I love the ease of them.  You can make them simple or complex.  It's your choice.  Using what's on hand is perfect for making this dish.  Just chicken, cashews, some lemon, and honey.  Items I always have on hand.  Mixed together they are outrageous!!

This is a basic recipe that you can tweak and enhance by adding your choice of veggies.  Served over fluffy rice this is a crowd pleaser, and a simple weeknight meal!  Perfect for the Chinese New Year holiday coming up soon and a 1000x better than takeout!

Why not give it a try!  Enjoy!

Try another great takeout recipe:   Teriyaki Beef and Sugar Snap Stir Fry

Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

serves 4

Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

1 Tbls. canola oil

1 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/3 c cornstarch
kosher salt and pepper

1/3 c roasted cashews
Honey Lemon Sauce (recipe below)

Honey Lemon Chicken Stir Fry

Toppings:  sesame seeds, chopped scallions, minced cilantro (optional)

Honey Lemon Sauce:

3/4 c chicken stock
1/4 c fresh lemon juice
3 Tbls. honey
2 Tbls. cornstarch
zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp ginger (I use this ginger)

1-2 tsp Siracha sauce

Heat canola oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.
Place the cornstarch in a flat bowl or plate and roll the chicken pieces in the cornstarch.  

Add chicken to the skillet and cook, stirring often, 6-7 minutes until cooked through and golden brown. Season with kosher salt and pepper.  Meanwhile make the Honey Lemon sauce.  To a small bowl add the chicken stock, lemon juice, honey, cornstarch, zest, ginger, and Siracha sauce.  Whisk until well combined.  Set aside.

Add cashews to the skillet and cook 1 minute until toasted.  Make sure to not burn the nuts!   Add the Honey Lemon Sauce and stir to coat.  Allow to come to a bubble and thicken. 

Serve over fluffy rice and top with any of the optional toppings or not!  Enjoy!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Teriyaki Beef and Sugar Snap Stir Fry

I've been on a Chinese food kick lately.

Just craving it...

So, instead of takeout I've been making some new stir frys. What's great about homemade takeout? Well you know what ingredients go in them for one. You can make them low calorie, but full of flavor. Who doesn't love that? They can be made in under 30 minutes, so they are perfect for weekday meals.

I would say these are 1000x better than takeout! You have to try these recipes. PLUS...Chinese New Years is coming up soon, Feb 19th I believe and it's the Year of the Sheep, and a perfect time to celebrate by making one of my great stir frys.

First up is a quick Teriyaki Beef and Sugar Snap Stir Fry. It's to DIE for! You start with a good cut of meat, sliced thin (I used flank steak). Whip up a quick teriyaki sauce and add some vegetables and you have a great dish to serve over rice. Dinner...done!

Remember, theses are easy dishes. Very forgiving too, if you want to swap the meat for another cut, do so. Same goes for the vegetables. Use what you like best, but the sugar snap peas along with the flavor of the peppers and the sweetness of the carrot is a combo like no other!


Teriyaki Beef and Sugar Snap Stir Fry

serves 4

3 Tlbs  rice vinegar, divided
2 Tlbs low-sodium soy sauce, divided
1 (1-pound) flank steak, trimmed and thinly sliced across the grain
1 tsp sugar
2 tsp hoisin sauce
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tsp toasted sesame oil, divided
1/2 c chopped onion
1 tsp ginger, minced
1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1 c red bell pepper, sliced
1/2 c carrots, chopped
8-oz pkg sugar snap peas
1/3 c roasted cashews

Combine 1 Tlbs vinegar, 1 Tlbs soy sauce, and beef in a large bowl. Toss to combine.  

For the sauce:  Add remaining 2 Tlbs vinegar,  1 Tlbs soy sauce, sugar, hoisin, salt, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl; stir with a whisk to combine.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp oil to pan.  Add beef and stir fry 3-4 minutes or until done. Remove beef to a bowl. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in pan.  Add onion and saute 1-2 minutes. Add ginger and garlic and saute 15 seconds. Stir in bell pepper, carrot, and sugar snap peas,  saute 5 minutes until crisp tender. 

Add your meat back to the skillet.  Add the cashews and stir about 1 minute to roast (don't let them burn!).  Add your sauce and stir to combine.  Cook 2 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat and serve over steamed rice.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Off to a Healthy Start: Soups and Salads

It's a New Year and I can't wait to see what 2015 has in store!  Many of us have resolutions to eat healthier at the start of a new year.  I've been doing that for several years now and think I've done a pretty good job of making changes, but it's always a work in progress.  Those pesky chocolate bars seems to just always be around when I get a chocolate craving!  How does that happen?!

Since eating healthy is on our minds, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite soups and salads that I've posted throughout the years.  Now, some of them may not be considered "diet" salads, but hey they're salads, and everything in moderation right?  The soups, well they are all just wonderful.  So if you don't go eating a whole bunch of crusty bread with them, which being a professed carboholic, I have done, these will all help you along with your healthy eating.

I hope you find a wonderful salad or soup to make today.
Happy New Year!

Winter Slaw - A new favorite of mine, and a great salad by Ina Garten.

Caribbean Chicken Salad - Oh actually, I think this is my favorite from this list!  I love all the fruit and chicken. You will too!

Artichoke and White Bean Salad - A very popular salad made with easy ingredients.

Asparagus Tabbouleh with Prosciutto - A more complex salad, but don't you just love tabbouleh?

Edamame and Orange Salad - oh this one is just perfect using ripe winter oranges. Love it!

Now for the soups....

Easy Minestrone - This soup warms my heart.  I love the Italian flavors.

Italian Chicken and Bean Soup - Another Italian flavored soup with hearty chicken and beans. Yum?

Turkey and Wild Rice Soup - This is perfect with leftover turkey, but you can substitute chicken as well.

Chicken Enchiladas Soup - Love this soup!  This is a great slow cooker soup and the flavors really pop.  This is one of the easiest soups to make.

Chicken Ditalini Soup - Last but not least a perfect chicken soup with pasta.  Comfort food to say the least!


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