Monday, December 29, 2008

Better than Bisquick

I've come to hate bisquick. Everything that it makes tastes the same. So I'm on a quest to find the best recipies for biscuits, pancakes, waffles, and taco pie. Thus far, I have conqured biscuits:

  • 2 c flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Appx 3/4 cup milk


  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Mix the flour, baking powder, and softened butter in a bowl. If you wash your hands and use your fingers, its easier. Add salt.
  3. Add milk and mix together to form a dough. Flour the counter and dump the dough onto it, kneeding for 30 seconds. 
  4. Flatten with a rolling pin to 1 about 1/2in thick.  Cut biscuits to desired size.
  5. Bake 12 to 15 minutes.

Sweet and Sour Chicken

I love chinese food. I've been eating it my whole life. Donald and I have perfected a few recipes, this is one of mine. Homemade sweet and sour chicken is nothing like what you get from the store, the sauce is far superior, a little saltier, but so good.

Sweet and Sour Chicken


  • 2 tsp flour
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Cubed chicken breast
  • 1/2 c soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp thick soy (optional)
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/3 c pineapple juice (from can of pineapple, you'll also use the pineapple)
  • 1 c pineapple in chunks (see, told ya)
  • Sliced vegetables of your choice, I recommend carrots and possibly onions, but this is totally up to you. 
  • Peanut oil (you can't use olive oil for this step, veggie or canola is also OK but peanut works best)

  1. In a small sauce pan, add the soy sauces, rice vinegar, brown sugar, and pineapple juice and heat thoroughly, but do not allow to reach a hard boil. Heat for 10-15 minutes. 
  2. In a bowl, mix the olive oil and flour and mix to create a paste. Put the chicken into the paste and coat thoroughly. NOTE: This is called velveting, which is a way to coat chicken so a sauce holds without deep frying and adding calories!
  3. In a wok, heat enough olive oil to cover just the bottom of the wok. Once heated, add the veggies and cook for a few minutes. Do not cook thoroughly or you'll end up with mushy veggies... gross. Remove the veggies from the oil and set aside.
  4. Add the chicken to the heated wok and cook completely.
  5. Once the chicken is done, add the veggies back and then the pineapple chunks. Pour the sauce over the entire mixture and allow to heat, which will only take 1-2 minutes. If you want to thicken the sauce, toss a spoonful of flour into the mixture.
  6. Serve over rice!

Easy homemade brownies

I love brownies, and I used to make the box kind all the time. I'm now ISO the best fully homemade recipe, and this was my first try. I gotta say, it was quite good, but made way too much.  Enjoy!

Easy Brownies

  • 1 c butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 c walnuts (omitted)
  • 4 1.0 oz squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 c sugar
  • 1.5 c flour (sifted)
  • 1 tsp baking powder

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt butter and chocolate together on low heat, stirring constantly. 
  3. Allow to cool.
  4. Beat eggs until light, then add sugar, chocolate mixture, and vanilla.
  5. Add dry ingredients (flour, baking powder,. salt) and mix well. 
  6. Add walnuts (optional).
  7. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. Yumm!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow Day Chili

Today was a snow day! The husband and I both stayed home and enjoyed a bonus day at home, we cleaned, played games, relaxed, and I made chili! I love stews and chilis on snow days, they warm the soul. I've also been on a spicy food kick. 

Here are a few pictures of our snow day: 

Snow Day Chili - in one dis


1lb ground beef
2 cans diced tomato
1 small can tomato paste + 1/2 that same can of water
2 cans kidney beans (or 1 can kidney, 1 can
 pinto, your call, I just hate pinto beans)
1 tsp trader joe's chili sauce
1 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tbsp chili powder
Black pepper to taste
Garlic, cumin, corriander to taste

  1. Brown the ground beef in the same pot you will cook the chili in, and I highly recommend a dutch oven, specifically the enamel covered one from Calphalon. The heavy cast iron allows for very even heating over long periods of time. Plus, since it is enamel coated, you can clean it with soap unlike regular cast iron.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients, if its too think, use some of the juice from the kidney beans to thin it out. 
  3. Simmer for as long as you can, at least an hour. 
  4. Serve with toppings of your choice, like cheese, sour cream, chives, chopped onion... 

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Russian Tea Cakes

I love Christmas cookies but I don't generally go through the efford to make 30 different ones. These are a family favorite and I've gotten Donald to love them too.  They are a little dry and best served with tea or coffee. My grandmother used to make these all the time.

Russian Tea Cakes


1 cup butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
6 tbsp confectioners sugar 
2 cups of flour
1 cup chopped walnuts
extra confectioners sugar to decorate


1. Preheat oven to 350
2. Cream butter and vanilla, add sugar and stir until creamy
3. Slowly add flour to the mixture, it will be very dry and cumbly
4. Add walnuts and mix
5. Using your hands, press dough into balls, place onto baking sheet
6. Bake 12 minutes or until the outside looks dry
7. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then roll each cookie in the confectioners sugar

NOM! Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Loss of a friend, gain of a new one

My trusty Casio exslim has met a sad end... its lens won't deploy anymore.  I think this is because on Thursday, I bought a new camera through which is arriving on Tuesday. The new camera is pink, a Pentax 8MP pretty nice camera I got for 90$!  I'm looking forward to its arrival, but I will miss my Casio, who has seen me through my honeymoon and through many other wonderful days of my life.

*cues When Will I Hold You Again*

(I get super emotional when electronics die, and don't get me started when stuffed animals get thrown away... I can't do it)


Donald needed something for his work potluck last week, and I didn't have a whole lot of time to whip up something awesome (like a typical guy, he gave me exactly 1 evening's notice). I found this recipe on which is one of my favorite cooking blots. They're simple and basic, but act as a good base that you can add fun things to. Enjoy!

The ones on the left have chocolate chips, the ones on the right have chopped walnuts.

8 tbsp butter, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup white flour
Pinch of salt

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Melt the butter in a pan, add the sugar, egg and vanilla. Stir until smooth.
  3. Add flour, salt to the mixture.
  4. Put in 8x8 pan, greased
  5. Bake 20-25 minutes or until the center is set
Suggested additions: 
- chocolate chips
- chopped nuts, toast them in cinnamon/spices for extra flavor
- raisins or other dry fruits

Pancake Bunny

Pancake Bunny
Sometimes, I don't know what I'm doing.