Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stir-Fried Lemongrass Chicken

I've been trying new ingredients it was lemon grass.  It looks like thick regular grass, but when I cut into it, you could smell the hint of lemon.  This recipe was originally from Cooking Light, but I updated it based on the ingredients I had on hand.  I served this recipe over wheat pasta, but I think it would be good over rice or rice noodles as well.


1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil, divided
1 tablespoon sliced peeled fresh lemongrass
2 cloves garlic
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
3 green onions, sliced
1 cup green beans, trimmed
1 pound chicken breasts
1/3 cup cashews
dash of lemon pepper and garlic salt

Combine first 5 ingredients into a sauce and set aside.
Heat large skillet over high heat and add 1 tablespoon oil and swirl to coat.  Stir fry garlic and lemongrass for 30 seconds, then remove to a small bowl with a slotted spoon.  Add bell pepper, beans, and green onions, stir fry 2 minutes, then remove and add to bowl with lemongrass mixture.

Add remaining oil to pan and add chicken as a single layer,   cook 2 minutes or until browned.  Add cashews to pan and cook an additional 2 minutes or until the chicken is done.  Stir in sauce mixture and vegetable mixture and cook 1 additional minute or until sauce begins to thicken.  I added a dash of lemon pepper and garlic salt to add more flavor.   Serve immediately over rice or pasta.
Ingredients chicken, lemon pepper and garlic salt

This is what lemongrass looked like after I peeled the outer layers off

Stir frying the veggies

Cooking the chicken and cashews

Cooking the sauce, veggies and chicken together

Dinner!  Yum!!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Gourmet Mushroom Risotto

I love to eat risotto, but have never tackled making it myself.  I found this recipe on and both my husband and I thought it was delicious.

Warning:  This recipe requires you to constantly stir this dish for over 20 minutes, so I would not consider this one of the easier recipes I've made.

Having said that, I'd say it rates very high in taste, so if you have the time, this recipe is a good one to try.


6 cups chicken broth, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 pound white mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 green onions
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
3 tablespoons finely chopped chives
4 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup Parmesan cheese

In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.

Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in the shallots. Cook 1 minute. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in wine, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.

Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Saute Mushrooms

Saute Onions

Adding the rice

Finished dinner

Lemon-Herb Marinated Pork Tenderloin

I found this recipe in the Star Tribune newspaper a couple weeks ago.  Since spring is here, something with a light citrus taste to it sounded good.  I paired this with my first attempt at risotto, and it was a great combination!

1 lemon, zest grated
1/4 c freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon minced  thyme
1 tablespoon minced rosemary
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 pork tenderloins (1 pound each)
1/2 cup dry white wine

Mix the first 9 ingredients (only 2 tablespoons of olive oil) in a medium bowl.  Put the two tenderloins in a large zip top plastic bag and pour marinade over the top, turn to coat.

Marinate pork for at least an hour to overnight.

Preheat oven to 400.  Remove tenderloins from bag, removing as liquid as possible.  Reserve the leftover marinade.

In a large oven proof skillet, pour the remaining two tablespoons of olive oil in the pan and heat over medium high heat.  Sear all sides of the tenderloin until golden brown.

Transfer skillet to oven and back until the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 140 degrees (about 20 minutes).  Transfer pork to cutting board.  Do not wash skillet. Let rest 10 minutes.

Place skillet over medium heat.  Pour wine in pan and scrape pan to deglaze.  Add the reserved marinade and cook for a few minutes until the sauce starts to thicken.

Slice pork and transfer to a platter.  Pour pan sauce over the top or serve on the side.

Mixing up the marinade

Marinading the tenderloin

Searing the tenderloin

Making the citrus sauce


Friday, April 18, 2014

Rachel Ray's Tingly Chicken Noodle Bowl

I happened to catch one of Rachel Ray's shows a couple weeks ago and noted that this recipe sounded interesting.  It was a fairly quick recipe to make and it tasted good...great to keep you warm during an April snow storm :-)  OK, it's been a little bit of a challenging winter in Minnesota.

I did not have ground chicken or Szechuan peppercorns on hand, so I substituted ground turkey and regular peppercorns.  It might not have been quite as tingly, but it was good.

  • 1 cup English Cucumbers, in matchsticks (or use seeded Cucumbers)
  • 1/2 tsp Sugar
  • 3 cloves grated Garlic
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground Szechuan Peppercorns
  • 2 tbsp Canola Oil
  • 3 tbsp Soy Sauce
  • 1 bunch torn, stemmed Rainbow Chard leaves (or use Swiss Chard)
  • 9 oz wide Rice Noodle (or use Egg Noodles)
  • 1 lb ground Chicken
  • 1” peeled, grated Ginger
  • 1 1/2 tsp Sriracha
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 tsp Fish Sauce
  • 1 bunch trimmed, sliced Scallions
  • Lime wedges
  • Salt
  1. Sprinkle cucumbers with salt and sugar, tossing well to coat evenly.
  2. Mix ginger with garlic, chicken, Sriracha, and peppercorns.
  3. Heat oil in a skillet on medium high.
  4. Cook chicken mixture, breaking it up as it browns for about nine minutes.
  5. Pour in stock with soy sauce, fish sauce, and one cup of water.
  6. Stir and deglaze with a wooden spoon.
  7. Bring to a simmer and add scallions with chard.
  8. Stir a couple minutes, just long enough to wilt the chard.
  9. Cook noodles in a large pot, following box directions.
  10. Divide noodles among bowls.
  11. Serve chicken mix with cucumbers and lime wedges over the noodles.
Boiling the noodles 

Browning the turkey mixture

Matchstick cucumber pieces salted and sugared

Chicken Stock and Water Added to Turkey

Swiss chard and Green Onions added

Noodle Bowl assembled...Enjoy!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Australian Shrimp on the Barbie

Last Sunday was the first really nice day of spring, so we decided to get the charcoal grill out and barbecue for the first time of the season.  The first grilling of the season calls for a new recipe as well and we found one that we really liked from called Australian Shrimp on the Barbie.

It requires time to marinade, but it was well worth it!


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced fresh herbs (parsley, thyme and cilantro)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallot
  • salt and pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 1/2 pounds large to x-large-shrimp, peeled with tails in tact, and deveined
  • Spinach leaves
  • Lemon slices
  • Skewers
Combine first 8 ingredients in large bowl. Mix in shrimp. Marinate at room temperature 1 hour or in the refrigerator 5 hours, stirring occasionally. Prepare barbecue with medium hot coals. Soak the skewers in water to prevent burning on the grill. Thread shrimp on narrow skewers. Grill until just opaque, about 2 minutes per side. Line platter with spinach. Arrange skewers on platter. Garnish with lemon and serve.

Shrimp in Marinade
Shrimp placed on skewers
Barbecuing the Shrimp

Nice Sunny Day and Yummy Shrimp!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Mandarin Orange and Mint Crackers

Kelly and Kaitlin at the shower during the games
You probably noticed in the last post, that there was another appetizer on the tray.  Kaitlin, my daughter-in-law, Kelly's sister-in-law hosted the shower and brought these.  I thought they tasted delicious and would be a refreshing summer appetizer.  The ingredient list is simple and they were a hit as well.


Triscuit Crackers
Cream Cheese
1 can of Mandarin Oranges
Mint Leaves

Spread Cream Cheese on the Triscuit Crackers, add a small piece of mint, then top with a mandarin orange.

This recipe also will need to be made within a couple hours of the event where they are served to keep the triscuits from getting soggy.

MacKenzie, Kelly, and Kaitlin

Lady Bug Cracker Appetizers

Here's a picture of Kelly and I at her shower

I know it's been a while since Kelly and I posted a new recipe.  Kelly's been preparing for her wedding and I've been helping along the way.  Frankly, I've been using the recipes all ready on the blog  instead of looking for new ones recently.  We held Kelly's bridal shower this weekend and so I did need to find a few more appetizers to post.  The theme of the shower was  "Love is in Bloom", so it was a flower theme.  The ladybug appetizers just seemed to fit.

The appetizers were good, but this recipe comes with two warnings:
  1. Adding ladybug spots is a bit challenging, but they do make the look complete.
  2. Plan to make these within 2 hours of eating them, otherwise the ritz crackers may get soggy.

3 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons plain greek yogurt
1 tablespoon chives, chopped, but more for creating antennas
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
black paste food coloring
36 Ritz Crackers (I used whole wheat ones)
18 cherry tomatoes, quartered
36 small black olives

Mix cream cheese and yogurt together until smooth.  Reserve 1 large spoonful to be dyed black for lady bug spots.  Mix the chives, parsley, and garlic salt in the remaining mixture.

Spread mixture on each Ritz Cracker, place two pieces of quartered cherry tomato to form the back of the lady bug.  Add one olive for the head and take two 1 1/2 inch pieces of chives and place them in the olive to resemble antennas.   We did this first for all the crackers.

Mix the black paste food coloring with the reserved cream cheese/sour cream mixture.  Once the coloring is complete.  I used a tooth pick to put ladybug spots on the back of the cherry tomato quarters.  If the cherry tomato was a bit moist, I dabbed off the moisture with a paper towel to allow the spots to stick better.