Saturday, June 13, 2015

Homemade Sweet & Sour Takeout.

Did I say this is the best recipe for sweet and sour take out I've ever tasted...Better than restaurant...Amazing flavor, texture and versatility. Delicious for chicken, pork or shrimp. Once you've made this at home, you'll never order out again.  Mouth watering and crazy good! 
First the sauce:
This is a simple and delicious sauce.
1/2 cup sugar
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
4 tablespoons water
4 1/2 tablespoons ketchup
For the slurry:
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
To a sauce pan over medium heat, add all ingredients; except the slurry. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low.  In a small bowl mix cornstarch and water together and pour into the sauce to thicken, It will thicken fast, so continue to stir to incorporate. Remove from heat and set aside.
The chicken or pork:
1 to 2 large chicken breast or 2 country pork ribs
Wash meat and cut into bite size cubes, about 1 to 1 1/2 inches. Place meat into a bowl.
Marinade for meat:
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
1/4 cup water
Add marinade ingredients to bowl and mix with hands to coal well. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
1 egg
1 teaspoon garlic
dash white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup corn starch
1 cup water
1 1/4 cups flour
3 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon baking powder
Stir ingredients together and add 1 1/4 cups flour and beat well. 
Add vegetable oil and baking powder and mix well.
Heat oil to 370 F.
Add chicken/pork into the batter and coat all well with hands or spoon. One piece at a time lower into hot oil. Continuously move meat in oil with spider or spoon. Once meat is lightly golden brown, remove from pan.  Wait 30 to 45 seconds and return to hot oil. Fry again to golden brown and remove from pan. Set aside.
If desired, to a skillet with scant drizzle of oil,  add 1 bell pepper and 1 onion, cut into bite sized pieces and stir fry 1 to 2 minutes. Add 1 can of chunked pineapple to stir fry and serve with sweet and sour chicken or pork.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Homemade Pizza Pockets

I love pizza pockets and the great thing about this recipe is that it's so versatile. It's really totally up to you as to what you want to put in the filling. The dough is delicious and perfect for breakfast or dinner pockets. These amazing pockets were a family favorite when my kids were growing up.

For the dough:

1 pkg. Quick Rise dry yeast
1 c. lukewarm water
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tbsp. honey or granulated sugar
2 1/2  to 3 c. flour
 Additional water if dough is too thick.

In a bowl, add water/ yeast mix.
Next goes in one tablespoon of oil
1 tablespoon of honey or sugar.
In goes the 2 1/2 cups plus of flour
Now mix well with hands and cover in a greased bowl and allow to rise by double.

1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1/2 pound Italian sausage or 4 to 5 ounces pepperoni
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 jar marinara or pasta sauce
8 ounces shredded mozzarella
1 egg, beaten
grated Parmesan
While dough is rising...make the filling.
Heat olive oil in a skillet.  Add onion and garlic and cook until tender, Add peppers and cook 2 minutes. add meats and brown in the mixture. Drain off excess fat.  Return to heat and add just enough sauce so that mixture is still fairly thick. Add mozzarella cheese and  mix. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Sprinkle flour onto surface and roll out dough using enough flour so dough will not stick to counter or board. Once dough is rolled out, (I use a lid to a 3 lb. coffee can), and cut circles. After I've cut all the circles, I add about 2 tablespoons filling to each circle and fold over the dough. Using a fork, I seal the dough pocket and place on a sprayed baking pan. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and herbs if desired. Bake until golden brown. Serve immediately or freeze immediately. Serve with a side of marinara or pasta sauce.

Other suggestions:
Fill with shredded  BBQ, chicken, pork or beef and cheese. For a change fill with roasted or grilled veggies.  For breakfast, fill with bacon, eggs and cheese or sausage and gravy mix.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Deliously Easy Pork and Shrimp Wontons


1/2 lb ground pork
1/4 lb shrimp, minced
1 scallion, chopped small
1/2 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice
1 pack wonton wrappers
Water, for sealing
Oil, for deep frying
Heat oil for deep frying. While oil is heating, mix the ground pork, shrimp, scallion, fish sauce, soy sauce, cornstarch, pepper and salt together in a bowl. Stir to combine.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of the filling in the middle of the wrapper. Dip finger into water and seal outer edges of the wonton wrapper. Fold into triangle. Drop wontons into hot oil and fry until golden brown. Remove and drain on paper towel. Serve with soy sauce and sweet chili sauce.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

California Bean and Barley Soup


  about 7 cups water
1 pound pork pieces or ham chunks
1 1/2 cups dried pinto beans or Great Northern beans, picked over and rinsed
1/2 cup pearl barley
3 cloves garlic, minced
 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
2 ribs celery, roughly chopped
1 large russet potato, peeled and medium diced
1 onion, roughly chopped
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon or salt to taste
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning
 Freshly ground black pepper
  1 14-ounce can whole tomatoes, with juice
 Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
Directions :

Put 7 cups water, the pork, beans, barley, garlic, carrots, celery, potatoes, onions, bay leaf,  Greek seasoning blend, salt and some pepper in a slow cooker. Squeeze the tomatoes through your hands over the pot to break them down, and add with their juices. Cover and cook on high until the beans are tender and the soup is thick, about 8 hours.

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil.
Serve with crusty bread

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Pork, Potato and Cabbage Soup

Winter is hanging on here in east Texas and there's nothing more comforting than a pipping hot bowl of soup. This soup is one of my favorites. Enjoy!

Serves 6 to 8

1 pound pork stew meat or any pork cut into bite size pieces
4 slices thick bacon, diced medium
 1 onion, chopped, any size you like ( I use Spanish)
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
6 cups chicken stock
1 28 ounce can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup shredded carrots
1/2 medium head cabbage, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon (or less) coarsely ground black pepper
1 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

In a Dutch oven or stock pot, over medium high heat, add bacon, onion and garlic and cook until tender. Add pork and cook  until no longer pink.  Drain fat. Stir in stock, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and seasonings. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer uncovered for 40 to 45 minutes, or until cabbage is tender. Discard bay leaf. Serve hot with toasty bread.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Hamburger Steaks with Swiss Cheese, Mushrooms and Onions

 There's nothing more comforting than a good old fashioned hamburger steak for dinner. And I'm sure there are as many family recipes for them as there are people in this world. This is mine. Hope you enjoy!

2 slices bread ( I used sour dough)
1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef 
1/2 small white onion. minced 
 2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg, lightly beaten 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon course ground pepper
1 tablespoon vegetable oil 
1 (8-oz.) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium-size sweet onion, sliced 
4 slices Swiss cheese 


Place bread slices into a food processor and pulse into breadcrumbs. Add breadcrumbs and all other ingredients in a mixing bowl. Using clean or gloved hands or a wooden spoon, mix ingredients together until well combined and form into 4 equal size patties.

Place hamburger steaks in a non stick pan (or use cooking spray) over medium high heat. Cook on each side until done to your liking  Remove patties from pan. Add oil to the hot pan and add in mushrooms and onions. Sauté until tender. Place patties on plates, add cheese and top with hot mushrooms and onions. Add your favorite garnish. I love sliced jalapenos. Imagine that : ) Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2015

California Girl's French Bread Pizza

I love buying the day old french bread from Wal Mart. I pay as little as 60 cents a loaf for this beautiful bread, which is still perfectly delicious. I have to give a shout out to the absolutely lovely girls working in the bakery who do such a wonderful job putting out all the wonderful goodies like it's nothing. My favorite thing to do with it is French Bread Pizza. Out of this world yummy and so simple to make. There's no right or wrong here. Use what you have on hand or like best...Italian sausage, ground beef, pepperoni, peppers, onions, name it, you can't go wrong. Add a  little cheese and pasta sauce and dinner is done! And next time you're in a bakery, think of all the hard work that goes into all the baked goods we take for granted. I hope you enjoy this idea! xx

1 loaf French bread (1 pound loaf)
2 cloves garlic minced
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced 
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, ground beef or a mixture of (or, ground chicken, pork or turkey, also)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
12 to 15 ounces pasta sauce (you favorite, chunky or plain)
 1 8 ounce package shredded mozzarella cheese or your choice

Add your favorites: pepperoni,  mushrooms, black olives, tomato slices, jalapenos, etc.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 
Slice French bread into length wise. Set aside. In a large skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When oil is hot, add onions, garlic and peppers. Stir and cook until vegetables are tender, but still have a slight crunch. Remove from pan. Set aside. To the same skillet, add ground meat and cook until no longer pink.Return the vegetables to the pan and stir Add Italian seasoning. Add pasta sauce and stir to combine. Let cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes.

To Assemble:
Spoon meat and vegetable mixture on each slice of French bread equally. Add on other toppings as desired. Sprinkle cheese on each slice and bake in a 400 degree oven for 12 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is toasted. To serve, slice each piece of bread into 4 pieces. Serve with red pepper flakes and a crispy salad.