Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bourbon Chicken

I found this recipe by googling the title and came across this recipe on  It scored 4.5/5 stars and over 2,500 reviewed the recipe!  I've never seen a recipe reviewed so many times!  This dish was easy and delicious!  Great for a weeknight meal.  Mark liked it too!  I modified it a little from the original and this served 2 people for dinner plus 1 or 2 meals for leftovers. 

It's funny that this recipe is called "bourbon chicken" when it actually has no bourbon at all.  It's supposed to taste like the "mall chicken", you know, they are always handing out samples in the food court.  A lot of reviewers said it tastes like the chicken in the mall food court.  I didn't think it did but I thought it was good in it's own right.  The one in the mall probably has a LOT more sodium and other unhealthy things in there. 

Update: I ended up with some sauce leftover after we had eaten all the chicken, so I ended up dicing up some firm tofu to put in the sauce over rice.  Delicious!  So you can make this dish vegetarian/vegan too.

Bourbon Chicken
5 chicken tenderloins, cut into bite sized pieces
about 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup low-sodium soy sauce
1 package frozen "asian medley" vegetables or any other veggie of choice

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Coat chicken pieces in about ONE tablespoon of cornstarch.  Add chicken to the hot skillet and cook until lightly browned.  Remove chicken.  Add remaining ingredients, heating over medium heat until well mixed and dissolved.  Add chicken and bring to a hard boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.  After the first 10 minutes of simmering, you can add the frozen veggies so that they can cook until crisp tender.  In the last few minutes of simmering, slowly add about 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until desired consistency is reached.  Serve over hot rice (I used a rice blend of brown, white, and wild). 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies

In this month's issue of the Food Network magazine (my favorite food-related magazine), there were several recipes for chocolate chip cookies.  There were different recipes depending on how you like the texture of your cookies (e.g., crispy, cakey, chewy, etc).  I like chewy cookies, so I decided to try that recipe.  To be honest, I didn't think they were going to be that good.  Until now, I swore that store bought cookie dough is better than home-made.  This is my favorite store bought cookie dough:

Everything is measured so precisely, why mess up a good thing?  I still stand by my opinion that store bought cake mix makes better cakes then homemade.  Maybe it's just that I'm not a very good baker.

In any case, I decided to give this cookie recipe a try and it would be a good reason to try out my stand mixer, which I haven't used since I got it for Christmas.
There She Blows!!!
 I stand corrected about my previous theory regarding cookies...these homemade cookies were probably the best chocolate chip cookies I've had in my life!  Mark loved them too!  I made the batter as directed here, but I froze about half the dough in a ziploc bag. 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, and baking soda together in a large bowl.

2. Beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar in a bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes (use the paddle attachment for a stand mixer).  Beat in the eggs one at a time, then beat in the vanilla.  Reduce the mixer speed to low.  Add the flour mixture and beat until combined.  Stir in the chocolate chips by hand.  Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the dough and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

3.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.  Drop heaping  tablespoonfuls of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.  Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges but still soft in the middle, about 12 minutes.  Remove the cookies from the oven and let cool 10 minutes on the baking sheets, then transfer to racks to cool completely

Friday, February 24, 2012

Coconut Water

So glad it's Friday!  The other day I posted about my 2012 obsession with canned pumpkin.  Another thing I'm obsessed with this year is coconut water.  I've read about it being the "currently trendy" water but it never peaked my interest enough to seek it out or buy it.  When I was in Austin with my mom in early January we saw it at the local HEB and it was on sale for $2.99 so we decided to try it.  We both really liked it!  Unfortunately, my mom hasn't been able to find it at her local HEB.  I have seen it here in NJ in a few different types of grocery stores, but the best price is at Trader Joe's ($3.49).  I usually buy the largest size it comes in, which is a one liter carton that looks like this:
They also make flavored coconut water such as mango, pineapple, and lime.  I haven't tried the flavored ones because I quite like the flavor of just coconut.  I find the water to be extremely refreshing and great after a workout or just when you are thirsty.  If you are interested in the nutritional benefits of coconut water, you can go to their website.  I'm not being paid or anything to write this about the product, it's just my honest opinion and what I'm into at the moment.  

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