Monday, July 22, 2013

Quick Orange Beef and Broccoli

Ah, Asian food. My ultimate comfort food. I craved Asian food the entire time I was pregnant with my daughter. Now I'm on a budget and don't get to go out for dinner too often. Sooooo .... I've been making it myself! I love it when I can cook something just as good as any restaurant and I think this recipe fits just right into that criteria. I make this recipe just a little simpler and more economical by using petite sirloin steak that I had the butcher slice up into "fajita" strips. This just makes dinner-time go twice as fast. I had this entire dinner done in 15 minutes flat. That's a win in my book for sure! Especially when there is no sacrifice in flavor.

Quick Orange Beef and Broccoli
Juice of 1 orange
Zest from 1 orange
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
¼ cup beef broth
⅓ cup orange marmalade
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon oil
1 lb. petite sirloin steak, very thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 head broccoli, washed and cut into bite-sized pieces

Mix the first juice, zest, ginger, soy sauce, broth, marmalade and cornstarch, whisking until the cornstarch is dissolved. Boil the broccoli for just a few minutes, until tender crisp. Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Add the steak and garlic and a bit of salt and pepper, draining off extra fat after a few minutes. Saute until evenly browned. Add the sauce to the pan and stir for 1 minute until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir in broccoli and cook for a couple more minutes. Serve over rice and garnish with orange zest and/or scallions.

Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Friday, July 19, 2013

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

Yup, I'm a breakfast fanatic. I make pancakes at least once a week. But I tend to get a little bored with plain old pancakes. I usually make banana pancakes because of the abundance of overly ripe bananas on my counter but this week I made my grandmas Banana Bread so I made these pancakes instead. They are super duper easy which is a must for busy mornings, but indulgent enough to serve on the weekend. Everyone at my house loves them!

Cinnamon Bun Pancakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 Tbsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 cup soy (or regular) milk
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp vanilla

Maple Icing Syrup
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 cups butter – melted
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 cup milk 

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients together. Add in the wet ingredients and mix well. (If you don't have coconut oil, use melted butter.) Drop the batter by about 1/4 cup fulls onto the pre-heated/greased griddle and cook until the tiny bubbles start appearing on top, then flip over. (I like using 1/4 cup to make pancakes because it makes the pancakes the perfect size to freeze and toss in the toaster.) These only take a couple of minutes to cook. Serve warm with maple icing.

Here's a bonus tip: Use a pizza cutter to cut pancakes fast. I saw my sister do this a couple years ago for her 5 kids and thought "Holy smokes, that's brilliant!" I've been doing it ever since!

 Looking for more pancakes? Try these:

Monday, July 15, 2013

Bars Fantastic

For any of you that live in Utah or have visited Temple Square know that the Lion House has great food! My first experience that I remember of the Lion House was at my grandparents wedding anniversary dinner. They held the dinner there and I remember all the food being incredible! The second time I went was with a church group and we just went for lunch. I was hooked. Now every time I am around Temple Square I have to stop in. They specialize in comfort food and their Chicken Pot Pie is to die for! Fortunately they are not greedy with their recipes and have numerous cookbooks, many of which I own. My newest cookbook of theirs is the Cookies & Sweets book. YUM-O! It's a dangerous book. I'm sharing one of my favorite recipes from this book today.

The base of this bar is just like any chocolate chip cookie bar but instead of adding everything into the batter, you layer it all in the middle. Genius! You will love it! Make sure you wrap up half of the pan to take to a friend or you just might eat the entire pan in one sitting.

Bars Fantastic

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1 cup caramel bits (or caramels cut into 6 pieces each)
1 cup Skor bar bits
1/4 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream butter, brown sugar, and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until fluffy. With mixer running on low speed, add salt, baking soda, baking powder and flour (in that order). Mix until well incorporated.
Line a 9x13 pan with plastic wrap and spray the wrap. Spread half of dough evenly into pan, the easiest way to do this is by spraying your hands with cooking spray and using them to pat it down. Lift plastic wrap and dough carefully out of pan and set aside. Spray pan with more cooking spray. Spread the other half of dough evenly in pan, again I used my hands. Sprinkle with white chocolate chips, milk chocolate chips, caramel bits, and Skor bits. Carefully turn the other layer of dough onto the chips and bits. Press down gently. Sprinkle nuts on top of dough and bake for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool, cut and enjoy!

A plate for a friend :)

Friday, July 12, 2013

Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

Wow, I have been so busy busy busy lately. I had to kind of put the blog on the back burner. That doesn't mean I haven't been cooking up a storm, just that I haven't been documenting any of it. Sorry. I am back ... for now anyway. August is going to be pretty busy too so we'll see how things go.

If you can't already tell, breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. It gets outshone most of the time but not in my house. I love healthy homemade breakfasts best and this one can't be beat. It's fast, tasty, and full of good-for-you ingredients that will keep you full till lunch. You certainly don't need to make this in the microwave, I routinely make it on the stove. But the benefit of microwave is I can toss it in a walk away. Always good on a busy morning. The kids love it too. Actually when I pull out the raisins my son kind of whines and says he doesn't want them but then he picks all the raisins out and eats them first. He's a goofy kid.

Microwave Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

1 Apple
1 1/2 cups old fashion oats
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup skim milk (or almond milk or water)
1 tsp cinnamon
Sweetener of choice (sugar, splenda, brown sugar, honey, maples syrup: all work well)
1/4-1/2 raisins (optional)
1/4 cup chopped glazed walnuts (optional)

First, prepare your apple. You can grate it if you don't want big chunks, peel it if you don't want skin, or just do what I did and dice it with skin on. I prefer the chunks of apple. Combine the apple, oats, water, milk, and cinnamon in a microwave safe bowl with a lid. Microwave for 8 minutes. (Make sure your bowl is big, it grows and may overflow if your bowl is to small.) Add your sweetener, I use about 1/4 cup of brown sugar. Add raisins and stir. Top each serving with walnuts. Splash on some extra milk if you would like and enjoy! Double the batch and eat it all week! I do!

Looking for other breakfast ideas? Try:
These Make Ahead Breakfasts (burritos, breakfast hot pockets, smoothies, fritatas, and more)