Thursday, July 29, 2010

Baked Green Beans with Bacon and Cheese

{cooks note}

When I had Blake, my friend brought this as part of her dinner to me.  My family was immediately in love.  She told me how she did it, so there is really no "real" recipe.  I'll do my best to explain.  Either way, it's pretty easy to put together and everyone loves it.  Definitely not on weight watchers plan.

Baked Green Beans with Bacon and Cheese
from my friend Brooke

1 package frozen green beans
Shredded Cheddar cheese (I use a Mexican blend from Costco)
Cooked bacon, chopped (about 6 slices)
Olive Oil
fresh ground peper
Kosher or Sea Salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Place frozen beans in a microwave safe bowl and add about half an inch of water.  Cover tightly with saran wrap and place in the microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until beans are not frozen anymore, but definitely not cooked.  Drain the water from the bowl and place the beans on a quarter baking sheet (half the size of a normal cookie sheet).  You can use a cookie sheet, but you will have more room on it.  I would use it if you double the recipe.  Drizzle about 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil over the beans and mix them so all the beans are lightly coated with oil.  Sprinkle salt and pepper over the top and bake in the oven for about 5-8 minutes.  Test one bean to make sure it's getting close to done.  Change oven temperature to a high broil  Add chopped bacon and put back in the oven for another 1-2 minutes. Take out and add the cheese.  Bake for another 1-2 minutes or until the cheese has melted.

Times may vary for each oven.

Sometimes, very rarely, I buy this full cooked bacon from Costco.  It's a complete time saver in situations where I have no time.  Other times, I cook 3 pounds of bacon in batches in my oven and freeze it.  A how-to on that is coming up soon.

The six ingredients.

I like to buy my frozen vegetables at Costco.  They are much cheaper and I like the quality far better than most grocery stores offer.

Bacon is key to this dish.

This totally takes the healthiness out of eating your vegetables, but every once in a while it's okay.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken
from Your Home Based Mom (via Tasty Kitchen)

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-1/2” cubes)
1 ½ C all purpose flour
1 eggs (beaten)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
Oil (for frying)

Orange Sauce-
1 ½ C water
2 Tbsps orange juice
¼ C lemon juice
1/3 C rice vinegar
2 ½ Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp orange zest (grated)
1 C packed brown sugar
½ tsp ginger root (minced)
½ tsp garlic (minced)
2 Tbsp green onion (chopped)
¼ tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp cornstarch
2 Tbsp water

Combine flour, salt, and pepper. Dip chicken in egg mixture and shake in flour mixture to coat. Deep fry chicken in batches at 375 degrees in a deep fryer (or use a wok) until completely cooked.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine 1 ½ cups water, lemon juice, orange juice, rice vinegar, and soy sauce. Blend well over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in brown sugar, orange zest, ginger garlic, and onion. Bring to a boil.
Combine 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with 1/4 cup of water and mix thoroughly. Slowly stir cornstarch mixture into sauce until it thickens. Pour sauce over breaded chicken, and if desired add red pepper flakes and garnish with green onions.

{cooks note}

Let's just put this out there...I am really picky about orange chicken.  I don't care for tons of breading on the chicken. I finally found a recipe that I like.  It's easy to follow and my whole family liked it, so that is a plus.  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Syrup

Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lime Syrup

1 cup cubed watermelon
2 nectarines, pitted and cut into chunks
1 cup hulled and quartered strawberries
Zest of 1/2 lime
1 lime, juiced
3 Tbsp honey
Pinch of salt

In a small bowl, combine zest, lime juice, honey and salt. Whisk until combined.

In a medium bowl, combine the watermelon, nectarines and strawberries. Drizzle syrup over the fruit. Stir well.

Serve chilled for best taste.

Yields 2 servings.

{cooks note}

We love this fruit salad!  I have made it three times in the last 5 days.  I used mangos instead of necatrines.  I am on a total mango frenzy these days.  Good thing you can buy 8-9 at Costco for $5.99.  This is a fruit salad that is so easy to prepare and a great addition to any summer meal.