Sunday, November 13, 2011

Easy Cake For One Person

Some friends just told me about this recipe, and made some for me to try. It's pretty good! It's not something I would feed to guests, but if you are craving something sweet, this is really simple.


1 angel food cake mix
1 cake mix: your favorite flavor

Mix the two cake mixes, and store in an airtight container. You could substitute brownie mix for the second cake mix. If you do, decrease the water to 2-3 tsp.

1/4 C of the combined cake mix
3 TB water

Microwave in a bowl on high for 1 minute.

Oila! Instant one serving cake!

My friends used lemon cake mix, and topped it with some lemon curd. Yum!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chow Mein

The name "Chow Mein" means "Stir-fried noodle). It's kind of a deceptive name, because the noodles must be boiled and dried first. The "Frugal Gourmet" used to actually blow his with an electric fan to dry them. :) I just boil them as directed on the package, rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process, and let stand in the collander for a few minutes. I like to buy a chinese brand of noodle because the flavor and texture are better, but you could use plain old spaghetti noodles. That's good too. Here is how I make chow mein. It probably is different from how the chinese make it, but it tastes good to me. :P


Cut up the following ingredients in strips:
--1 chicken breast
--1 bell pepper
--about 1/2 head of cabbage (nappa cabbage tastes good) You could substitute broccoli, but if you use broccoli, add it to the pan last, and only cook it until it is slightly tender.
--1 onion
--Crush and chop: 3-4 cloves of garlic

Mix the following to make a cooking sauce:
--1/4 to 1/3 cup of soy sauce (less if it is dark)
--3 TB hot chili garlic sauce (or hot chili bean) This can be bought in chinese grocery stores, and some supermarkets.
--About 3 TB water
--1 tsp corn starch.

Mix the following:
About 1/4 C of light soy sauce
About 2 TB sesame oil

Heat your wok until it is HOT. Add about 1/4 C vegetable oil. Add onions and bell peppers and stir fry for just a couple of minutes. Add the chicken. Stir fry until the chicken is no longer pink. Add the cabbage, and stir fry until it wilts. Add garlic, and cook another minute. Reduce heat to medium, and add the cooking sauce, and cook until it slightly thickens. Pour this vegetable/meat mixture in to a bowl and set aside.

Rinse out the wok. (Some chinese cooks say not to do this, but I don't like burned soy sauce) Re-heat the wok until HOT. Add about another 1/4 cup of vegetable oil. Add noodles. Stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add "Cooking sauce 2" to the noodles, and stir until well coated.

Return vegetable/meat mixture to the wok. Stir fry until the meat/vegetable mixture is well distributed. Serve!

Salisbury Steak

I had never made Salisbury steak before, and the only time I have ever eaten it was in a frozen dinner. I knew the real thing had to be better than the frozen. This recipe did not disappoint me. I got this recipe off of "All", but as usual, I had to tweak a few of the ingredients. I didn't have any French onion soup, so instead I used some beef soup base mixed with dried onions. I added a little more worcestershire sauce than they called for, mainly because I like it. :) I served it with mashed potatoes and stir fried green beans with mushrooms and garlic. YUM! Here is the recipe:


1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed French onion soup
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ketchup
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon mustard powder

In a large bowl, mix together 1/3 cup condensed French onion soup with ground beef, bread crumbs, egg, salt and black pepper. Shape into 6 oval patties.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown both sides of patties. Pour off excess fat.
In a small bowl, blend flour and remaining soup until smooth. Mix in ketchup, water, Worcestershire sauce and mustard powder. Pour over meat in skillet. Cover, and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Nutritional Information

Amount Per Serving Calories: 440 | Total Fat: 32.3g | Cholesterol: 132mg

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Martha Stewart's Quinoa and Turkey patties in Pita with Tahini Sauce

Quinoa-and-Turkey Patties in Pita with Tahini Sauce

Per serving: 338 calories, 9 g fat, 39 mg cholesterol, 44 g carbs, 498 mg sodium, 21 g protein, 5 g fiber

Annual Recipes 2005
  • YieldServes 6


  • 1 cup white quinoa
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 12 ounces ground dark-meat turkey
  • 1/4 teaspoon plus 1 pinch ground allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon plus 1 pinch ground cumin
  • Pinch of crushed red-pepper flakes (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Vegetable-oil cooking spray
  • 6 lettuce leaves, torn into large pieces
  • 1 English (hothouse) cucumber (10 ounces), thinly sliced into rounds
  • 1 small red onion, cut into thin half-moons
  • 6 pita breads


  1. Rinse quinoa thoroughly in a fine sieve; drain. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add quinoa; return to a boil. Stir quinoa; cover, and reduce heat. Simmer until quinoa is tender but still chewy, about 15 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork; let cool.

  2. Meanwhile, process garlic, tahini, lemon juice, and 1/4 cup cold water in a food processor until smooth. If necessary, thin with water until pourable. Transfer dressing to a small bowl; cover. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Put turkey, spices, mint, scallions, and salt in a clean bowl of the food processor; pulse until a smooth paste forms. Add quinoa; process until mixture clumps around the blade, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. With dampened hands, roll about 2 tablespoons quinoa mixture into a ball; flatten slightly, and set aside on a plate. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 24 patties total.

  4. Heat a dry large cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, lightly coat both sides of patties with cooking spray. Cook patties in skillet, turning once, until cooked through, about 8 minutes per side. Transfer patties to a clean plate, and loosely cover with foil to keep warm.

  5. Divide lettuce, cucumber, and red onion among pita breads; top each with 4 quinoa patties. Drizzle each sandwich with 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon tahini dressing, and fold pitas over filling.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Sweet Chili Chicken

One of my most memorable meals was one I had in a restaurant in SLC, Utah. Looking back, it really was a simple recipe, but it was new to me and blew my socks off! I have recreated it, and love it.

Chicken breasts (I like to cut them in long strips, so we don't necessarily each eat a whole breast)
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup chili sauce. I use the asian kind

Saute chicken breast in olive oil until cooked through. Mix the honey and chili sauce and pour over the chicken. Cover and simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove the lid and cook until the sauce is reduced to a gravy type consistency. Pour the sauce over the chicken when you serve it. This sounds simple, but it is so good, and I think you could experiment with different kinds of chili sauce.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Mom's Other Enchilada Recipe

I just figured out why my siblings recipe for enchiladas seemed different from what my mother taught me. She did teach me the ground beef recipe below, but she used to always make turkey enchiladas. When my siblings talked about chicken enchilada, it didn't ring a bell in my head. But now I remember what Mom used to make. This was our standard "after thanksgiving" meal. This recipe is very forgiving, so if you don't use the exact amounts, it will still turn out good. :)

About 4 cups of cut up cooked turkey
corn tortillas
cream of mushroom soup
cream of celery soup (or cream of chicken)
1 can diced green chilis
About 1 cup milk
About 1/2 Cup sour cream.
grated cheese.

For this recipe, you don't need to roll up enchiladas.
Mix the soups, green chilis, milk, and sour cream in a bowl. Spread some in the bottom of the pan to keep the food from sticking.
Layer the bottom of the pan with corn tortillas. You may need to break some in half. You only need them one layer thick.
Layer on about 2 cups of the turkey, and about a 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese.
Pour 1/3 of the soup mixture over the top.
Lay another layer of corn tortillas, and then the last 2 cups of turkey and about 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese.
Pour another 1/3 of the soup mixture on top.
Lay one last layer of corn tortillas on top. Top with another 1 1/2 cups of grated cheese. Pour remaining 1/3 of soup mixture over the top.
Bake 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Layer one last layer

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mom's Enchiladas

I got this recipe from my mother, but come to find out my siblings got a different one! :) If I use chicken in the recipe, I use one similar to the one they use. But if I am using ground beef, I like this one.

corn tortillas...I use about 15 for a 9X13 pan
About 1/2 pound of ground beef
One onion chopped
grated cheese
1 can tomato soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
about 1/2 to 1 C enchilada sauce

Heat some oil in a pan, and dip tortillas in the hot oil, on both sides. You don't really want to cook them, just let them heat up for a few seconds. This makes it so that you can roll them without them breaking. Drain on a paper towel.
Brown ground beef and onions. Drain the grease.

Mix soups and enchilada sauce. Put about a 1/2 C of the sauce mixure in the bottom of the 9x13 pan. This helps the enchiladas not to stick. Take one corn tortilla and put in some of the ground beef/ onion mixture. Add some grated cheese. Roll up and place crease side down in the pan on top of the small amount of sauce. Repeat with other tortillas. Layer more grated cheese on top of the enchiladas. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top. Bake 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Food Review: Turkey Products

Lately I've tried several turkey products:

Ground turkey

When we were first married I used to buy ground turkey instead of ground beef. I didn't mind the ground turkey, although it doesn't really taste the same as ground beef. But my husband complained, so I went back to buying ground beef.

Turkey pepperoni

I think I will never go back to buying regular pepperoni again! There is so much less fat in the turkey pepperoni, and to me it tasted exactly like normal pepperoni. My kids gobbled down the pizza without even noticing a difference in taste. I'm sold on it!

Turkey Bacon

My experience with the pepperoni was so good that I decided to try turkey bacon. BLEH! Never again! What is wrong with turkey bacon? Let me count the ways:
--It doesn't crisp up. I like crisp bacon!
--It is very low fat, but the fat was so low that it kind of burned on the pan.
--It doesn't taste like bacon! In fact, it tastes gross to me. We ate it in a BLT sandwich, and it was okay in that because there were other things to mask the flavor. But when I ate a piece by itself, it tasted like fried bologna to me. Blech...I hate friend bologna.
--The only redeeming factor of turkey bacon is that it is cheaper than regular bacon.

Have you tried any other turkey products that you liked?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Stir Fry

My brother "Mr. Giggles" has been asking me to write some tips for making stir fry. This is a difficult assignment for me, because my definition of "stir fry" is probably different from that of most people. Most people I know cut up all kinds of vegetables, and stir fry them with some soy sauce. That is their definition of "stir fry". You have to think of the words "stir fry" not as a recipe, but as a form of cooking. Asking for how to do stir fry is like asking how to make casserole. There are as many different recipes for stir fry as their are vegetables and meat combinations. But there are some basics to chinese cooking that can help you get started.
First of all I would suggest getting some good recipes. One of my favorite cook books was given to me by one of my missionary companions. It is written in both chinese and english. But I also have a "Sunset" chinese cook book that I like. Martin Yan has some good cook books as well.
Here are some ingredients that I always like to have around for chinese cooking:

--Fresh garlic (the bottle kind tastes sour)
--Fresh ginger (but I actually don't mind the bottle ginger)
--Soy sauce (both light and dark)
--Chinese fragrant vinegar. This is a brown vinegar, not the rice wine kind.
--Sesame oil
--Oyster flavor sauce
--Hoisin sauce
--Black bean and chili sauce
--Chili and garlic sauce
--Chinese dried noodles

One thing to keep in mind when doing chinese cooking is that the chinese like to have similar shapes to the food they cook together. I don't really follow this for this most part, except if I am cooking noodles. When I cook noodles, I like to cut my vegetables and meat in long strips to mirror the length of the noodles. So if you were to make fried rice, you would want to cube the vegetables and meat in small pieces.

Let me give you two quick simple recipes that we eat often.

Green Beans and Chicken

I buy quite a bit of fresh green beans for this dish because my family loves them. Wash them and cut off the ends.
1 Chicken breast cubed
Crush about 3 cloves of garlic
Soy Sauce
Salt to taste

Heat a wok, or other frying pan until hot. Add about 3 tablespoons. cooking oil. Stir fry the chicken until done. Remove from the pan. Add about 3 more TB. cooking oil. Cook the green beans until tender. I usually have to add a little water as I'm cooking to prevent them from burning. You could use oil instead, but I try to be healthy. ;) When the beans are about done, return the chicken to the pan. Add the garlic, and about 2 TB soy sauce. My family loves this!

Garlic Cauliflower

Cauliflower cut in florets
1 chicken breast cubed.
4-5 cloves of garlic crushed
white pepper
Salt to taste

Heat wok til it's hot. Add about 3 TB cooking oil. Cook the chicken and remove from the pan. Add more oil and cook the cauliflower. Cauliflower tends to soak up the oil, so if it starts to get too dry in the pan, I usually add a little water or broth if I have it. When it is almost tender, add the chicken back to the pan. Add the white pepper, and garlic. Add tiny amounts of water as needed to keep it from burning. You can also vary this recipe by adding a small amount of soy sauce. (like 2 TB) When the cauliflower is tender it is done.

I'll try to add more recipes as I can, but most "greens" can be cooked with just oil, garlic and salt. Good luck!

Sandwich cake

Today I went to a baby shower, and they served this special sandwich. I'm not giving an exact recipe, but you will get the idea.
The person who made it said that she goes to a bakery to get the bread, and asks them to slice it lengthwise instead of in regular slices. Lay one layer of the bread on a plate. Spread on a layer of egg salad. Lay another layer of bread on top of the egg salad. Spread on a layer of tuna salad. Lay another layer of bread on top of the tuna salad. Spread a layer of deviled ham. Put one last layer of bread on top of the deviled ham.
Next soften some cream cheese and beat it until soft. This woman added some food coloring to make it festive. Spread the cream cheese over the top and sides of the sandwich. It will look like icing on a cake. Chill for at least an hour, then slice. It was fun to have because we all thought it was a layer cake at first! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pesto Potatoes

I was trying to come up with a good potato recipe to go with our dinner one night and I threw this one together. I had gotten some pesto at a good price, and had it on hand. I think it turned out really good.

Red potatoes (one per person)
1/4 C olive oil
3 tablespoons of pesto
1 tablespoon fresh chopped garlic
sea salt

Wash and quarter the potatoes. Place in a baking dish.
In a separate bowl, add pesto, garlic, and olive oil. Blend well and pour over potatoes. Stir well so that all of the potatoes are coated. Sprinkle with sea salt. Cover with aluminum foil. Bake 350 degrees about one hour until done.

Note: sea salt really does give a different flavor to the dish. If you don't normally use it, try it!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Red-Braised Meat

This is a recipe that was taught to me by our chinese babysitter when we lived in Beijing. It's a good winter dish. She uses pork with the fat still on it, and cooks it until the fat is jellied, but I make a healthier version.

2 lbs lean pork, cubed
3 tb. cooking oil
3 slices ginger
1/2 C soy sauce (part dark, part light)
6-8 boiled eggs, peeled. (one per person)
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 sections of star anise.

Cook pork in oil until browned. Add soy sauce, and just enough water to cover the meat. Add ginger and star anise. Bring to a boil, and simmer for about 1 hour. Add additional water as needed to keep the meat covered.
Add potatoes and boiled eggs. Do not cut the boiled eggs. Simmer 20-30 minutes. The eggs will soak up the soy sauce mixture. Serve over rice.