Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Snacks for teens - Sesame breadsticks

Everything is slowly winding down for my daughter as she heads towards high school graduation.   We have finished the 2 show productions of the year, closed the books on basketball season,  picked out our Prom dress and now this past Saturday helped the guys get their tuxes.   Following the tux shopping our daughter had her group of friends back to the house to "hang".  So with 6 teenagers in the house you want  to give them something more than chips and dip.
So Saturday morning I pulled out my collected recipes binder that I have had for years and  found a appetizer recipe I had cut out of the Sunday inserts back in 1994.  It looked really good then, and at the time I would clip out recipes I saw and file them away. The bad part about it was I never made them because I had forgot about the recipe.  We had plans to go grocery shopping  for dinner that night, so I jotted down the ingredients I would need and off we went. This old recipe did not disappoint.  Unlucky part was I didn't get to have any, they were gone in minutes, but did get rave reviews.  

Open Sesame Pick-Up Sticks          



1 egg  
1 Tablespoon water                        
1  teaspoon Dijon mustard                        
3  oz. (3/4 cup) freshly grated Asiago cheese                        
4 1/2 teaspoons sesame seed                        
1/2    teaspoon garlic powder                        
1 (11-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Breadsticks 

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Spray cookie sheet with nonstick cooking spray. Beat egg in small bowl. Add water and mustard; mix well. In shallow dish, combine cheese, sesame seed and garlic powder; mix well.

    Friday, April 4, 2014

    Game change

    This early in the spring you never know what the weather will bring.  Where we live the saying goes "wait 5 minutes and the weather will change."  That is for sure.  Now add the factor of spring sports and after school games.  Our daughter plays softball and our son plays baseball.  It is guaranteed that when one has a game so does the other one.  So as parents we have to split up and attend one game or the other.

    Now throw in the weather and you start the day planning around a 4:30 to 6:30 game, and boom, rain storm starts at 3:00 p.m.  So now what is your dinner plan?   Okay, not that we had one for the 6:30 ending, but dinner has now become an earlier emergency.  So hubby calls and ask what's the plan?  I quickly look up and find a stir fry shrimp recipe that looks easy and sound good.  As he heads into the grocery store I can text him what ingredients we might need.  

    So, when I get home cooking was not the first thing I wanted to do.  I needed a couple of minutes to sit back and relax before preparing the whole dinner production.  But, with a cancelled game and two kids suddenly home. I have a least one new chef in the the house....our daughter made this great dinner, with just a little bit of help from me.

    Stir Fry Shrimp with Spicy Orange Sauce

    • 1 1/2 pounds peeled and deveined large shrimp 
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice 
    • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
    • 2 tablespoons honey
    • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
    • 1 tablespoon chile paste with garlic (such as sambal oelek)
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil 
    • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
    • garlic cloves, minced
    • 1/3 cup chopped green onions


    1. Place shrimp in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with cornstarch; toss well to coat. Set aside.
    2. Combine juice, soy sauce, honey, vinegar, and chile paste, stirring with a whisk; set aside.
    3. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add minced ginger and garlic to pan; stir-fry for 15 seconds or until fragrant. Add shrimp mixture; stir-fry for 3 minutes. Add juice mixture and onions; cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens and shrimp are done, stirring frequently. Serve immediately over rice or udon (spaghetti).

    Wednesday, April 2, 2014

    Chicken Stir Fry

    Szechuan Chicken Stir-fry

    When hubby and I were first married we took a cooking class together at the local adult education facility.  Each week for about 5 weeks we headed off for an evening of preparation, cooking and guessed it Eating!   And if you couldn't of already guessed from this post it was a Chinese
    cooking class.  We made some traditional Chinese dishes using spices like wood ear, to-fu or bamboo shoots.  Class was a lot of fun and we had 5 great Chinese dinners along with the recipes to take home.  We have always loved Chinese cooking and have had a few favorite local restaurants around town to go.  Then one of our favorite national restaurants came to town, PFChangs.  Loved the crispy green beans and Mongolian beef.

    On rare occasions we pull out the old recipes from our cooking class and prepare the traditional steamed broccoli or cold pork appetizer that we remember.  But more often we find a recipe on the internet with lots of flavor that peaks our interest.  This chicken stir-fry is packed with flavor and pretty easy to prepare when you have all the vegetables ready to roll.

    Szechuan Chicken Stir-fry


    • 1 tablespoon dark sesame oil, divided
    • 1/2 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth 
    • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
    • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons chile paste 
    • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tablespoons canola oil, divided 
    • 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into bite-sized pieces 
    • yellow bell pepper, cut into strips 
    • red bell pepper, cut into strips 
    • 1 cup diagonally cut snow peas
    • 1/2 cup vertically sliced onion 
    • 1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger
    • 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
    • 2 cups hot cooked long-grain white rice
    • 1/4 cup (1-inch) slices green onions
    • 1/4 cup chopped unsalted roasted peanuts 


    1. 1. Combine 2 teaspoons sesame oil and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl. Heat a wok or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 teaspoon sesame oil and 1 tablespoon canola oil; swirl. Add chicken; stir-fry 2 minutes. Remove chicken from pan.
    2. 2. Add remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil; swirl. Add bell peppers and next 4 ingredients (through garlic); stir-fry 1 minute. Add broth mixture; cook 30 seconds or until thick. Return chicken to pan; cook 4 minutes or until chicken is done. Spoon 1/2 cup rice onto each of 4 plates; top each with 1 cup chicken mixture, green onions, and peanuts.