©Life of a Foodie and Her Family 2008-2013, Lynn Tabor



Kung Pao Chicken with Panda Express Sauce

Last week I was at walmart finishing up my large shopping list for my son's pre-deployment cookout and spotted Panda Express Sauces in the Asian aisle.  I have never eaten at Panda Express, but everyone that has, has raved about it.  Well I picked up a couple different sauces.

I decided to make the Kung Pao Chicken.  Well the link on the bottle does not work, so I just had to wing it.

1 pkg of boneless skinless chicken cut into bite size cubes
Pepper and Onion frozen veggie mix, thawed

I made a little breading station and heated my wok to medium high and added peanut oil.

In batches, I dipped the chicken in the egg then dredged in the cornstarch.  Cook in the wok until golden brown and no longer pink in the middle.  Remove to a paper towel lined plate.  Continue until all the chicken is cooked.

Add the veggies to the wok to heat up, add the chicken to reheat.  Add as much sauce as you like and until all the chicken and veggies are coated.  Toss for about 30 seconds until the sauce is hot.

Serve with fried rice or white rice.

The sauce was FANTASTIC!!!!  It was hot and spicy but not over powering.  I am looking forward to trying some of the other sauces and maybe even try eating at Panda Express.


Bzz Campaign - Cafe Escapes

I recently was chosen by Bzz Agent to try Cafe Escapes.  The bad thing was that my Keurig had died.  It was only three years old and we only used it a handful of months each year.  I had pleaded with customer service but they explained for $79.00 they would send me a new one.  Everyone that I knew with the same model also died but they got brand new ones for free.  I am not thrilled with their service.

So I asked a few neighbors if they had any Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons and sure enough I found a stack in my mailbox.

I bought the Keurig Mini for $79.00 and if it breaks I will not be purchasing another.

So back to the Cafe Escapes campaign.  The campaign had Chai Latte, Milk and Dark Chocolate Hot Cocoa, Café Mocha and the two newest Café Escapes® flavors: Café Vanilla and Café Caramel.

Miss V tried the Cafe Mocha first and really enjoyed it.  It was chocolatey with just a hint of coffee.  We both tried the Cafe Vanilla which we both really loved!  It was creamy, sweet and just right for our tastes.

I tried both Cafe Caramel and well I just didn't like the flavor.  It was a little burnt tasting.

We have also tried out the Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate and hot Cocoa and we love them!  I did use a coupon and bought another box of the Cafe Mocha.  I really need to get another box of the Cafe Vanilla.

I would highly suggest that if you have a Keurig, try out all the flavors from Cafe Escapes!

My favorite:

Miss V's favorite with mini marshmallows

White Bean and Bacon Soup

It was a bit cooler than normal here in SW Florida.  I knew that I had to make a soup that I spotted on Pinterest.  The original recipe can be found at Table for Two.  It was such a warm and filling soup.  It was seriously yummy!

3 cans cannelini beans, drained and rinsed
5 strips of bacon, cut in small pieces
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 sprig of rosemary
4 cups of chicken stock
1 tbs tomato paste

In a large dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove the bacon and place on a paper towel to drain.

Add the onion, carrots to the bacon drippings and saute.  Add garlic and continue to cook for a minute.

Pour in the chicken stock, add the rosemary and tomato paste and mix will.  Add the beans.

Gently simmer the soup for about 45 minutes.  Remove the sprig of rosemary.

Ladle some of the soup into a blender and process until smooth.  You may do this with all of the soup, but I did want some texture.

Serve with the reserved bacon.


Hot and Spicy Braised Peanut Chicken

So I spotted this on Pinterest and I have to say my version looks pretty gross.  It was very tasty though.  The  original recipe can be found at BHG.

2 medium onions cut into wedges
3 large carrots sliced
1 red pepper cut into bite size strips
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
3/4 cup chicken stock
3 tbs creamy peanut butter
1/2 tsp lime zest
2 tbs lime juice
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs tapioca
1 tbs grated fresh ginger
3 tsp red curry paste
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1 cup frozen peas

In a 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, place onions, carrot, and sweet pepper. Top with chicken. In a medium bowl, whisk together broth, peanut butter, lime peel, lime juice, soy sauce, tapioca, ginger, curry paste, and garlic until smooth. Pour over all in cooker.

Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 5 to 6 hours or on high-heat setting for 2-1/2 to 3 hours. Stir in coconut milk and peas. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes.

Serve chicken mixture with fried rice or over hot white rice.

I also served this with frozen veggie mix.


Chicken Sandwich with Roasted Red Pepper and Avocado

This sandwich looked to good NOT to pin!  You can find the original recipe at Kayotic Kitchens.

Crusty rolls
(leftover) cold chicken, I just roasted up a couple boneless skinless chicken breast with salt and pepper
1/2 a small red onion, sliced thin
1 Roasted Red Bell Pepper, I used one from a jar cut into slices
1 medium avocado, sliced
2 tbs mayonnaise
1 tbs yellow mustard
Iceberg lettuce, I think Romaine or Spinach would have been good too

In a small bowl combine mustard and mayo and a bit of pepper.

On the bottom half of the roll place in order

Roasted Red Pepper

Spread a bit of the mayo/mustard on the top half of the roll.

Assemble sandwich and enjoy!

I served these on Focaccia Rolls and had chips on the side.


Thin Mint Puppy Chow/Muddy Buddy

Disclaimer:  No Thin Mints were harmed in making this new snack ;o)

I saw this on Pinterest a couple days ago and we all know how awesome Thin Mints are.  Anyway you can find the original recipe at Shugary Sweets.

14 oz bag of Wilton Dark Cocoa Mint Candy Melts
1/2 a bag of Milk Chocolate Chips
10 Cups of Rice Chex
1 bag of Mint M&M's
2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar

2 Gallon Ziploc bag, don't try this in a 1 gallon bag.  It just doesn't work well.

Place the Powdered Sugar into the Ziploc bag.

In microwave, melt chocolates together for one minute, stir and continue melting in 30 second intervals until smooth, it usually takes about two minutes.

Gently mix in the Chex cereal.  When cereal is coated, place the mix into the ziploc bag and seal.  Gently shake until cereal is coated with the sugar.  Pour in the M&M's and gently shake again.

Pour out onto a large piece of wax paper and allow to set up.

Store in an airtight container.

Sharing here

Melt in Your Mouth Monday #111


Chicken with Sausage, Peppers, & Onions

Here is another wonderful recipe I found on Pinterest.  It is from Sugar & Spice by Celeste.  I did have to make a few modifications since I don't have a large enough skillet for this recipe.  I started it on the stove top and then then put it in a baking dish for the oven part.

1 tbs light olive oil
8 ounces sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
2 pounds bone-in, skin-on chicken breast halves (I only had boneless, skinless chicken)
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
1 medium onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick 
1 large red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch strips
3–5 pickled hot cherry peppers , stemmed, seeded, and roughly chopped
3 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp granulated sugar
1/3 cup white wine vinegar plus 2 additional tbs
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth plus 1 tbs
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tbs minced fresh parsley leaves 

Heat oven to 375

Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add sausage and break apart.  Cook until no longer pink and remove to a paper lined plate.

Season chicken with salt and pepper.  Add chicken to the skillet and brown on both sides until golden brown.  Transfer to a plate. Wipe out skillet and return it to the stove top.

Add a bit more olive oil and cook onion for about two minutes.  Add the red pepper and cherry peppers.  Cook until they begin to soften, about 4 minutes.  Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.  Add sugar, 1/3 cup vinegar, and 3/4 cup broth.  Bring mixture to boil, scraping up browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

Place the onion and peppers in a baking dish, mine is a bit smaller than a 13x9 pan.  Then place the sausage and chicken.

Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through.

Combine the 1 tbs stock, cornstarch, thyme.

Remove baking dish from the oven.  Remove the pan juices and put into a small sauce pan and heat on high until bubbling.  Add the cornstarch mixture and allow to thicken.

Adjust seasoning of the sauce, you can add a bit more vinegar.  Spoon the sauce around the chicken and serve immediately.

I served this with baked potatoes.  This came out really good and I loved the hot peppers with it.

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