Saturday, March 27, 2010


First a Disclaimer . . . AKA . . . . . a lame excuse?  I have been side tracked so many times, by so many things &  so many little people.   Throw in a little eye surgery (I'll spare you the pic of that, my granddaughter told me it was disgusting!) and time has just evaporated. 

I am going through the old posts and trying to finish the follow-ups where promised, "pantry-fy"  & translate into make-a-mix where promised and just get it all pulled together again & get back on track.  So here is the first one!

First---Refer back to the original Orange Chicken HERE
Next---Find the pictures I put on last week or at least recently HERE

2 lbs. chopped chicken . .  or pork will work (like I used tonight . . .  oops, caught me?!?)

1 teaspoon            Ginger, ground
2 teaspoons          Garlic powder (I prefer granulated)
1 teaspoon            Crushed red chile flakes (recipe calls for red ceyenne pepper, only for masochists, I'd say)
4 tablespoons       Minced onion, dried (soak in hot tap water for a few minutes before adding)
1/2 cup                   Sugar
1-2 tablespoons    Orange zest, dried

3 tablespoons       Soy sauce
3 tablespoons       Water (OK confession time, I have been caught using orange juice concentrate . . . love that extra fruity flavor)
1/2 cup                 White Vinegar ( rice vinegar will also work or sometimes I         use apple cider vinegar . . .adds to that extra fruity flavor that I love!)

Mix the liquid ingredients in sauce pan, add the dry ingredients.  Mix and bring to a gentle boil.  Let it simmer for hm-m-m-m-m let's say five minutes.

While that is simmering, stir fry the chopped meat in your heavy skillet or wok (some day I will find mine again).  When the meat is nice and brown, thicken the sauce with 1 tablespoon corn starch dissolved in 1/2 cup water.  Add to the sauce, cook until thick.  Add to the meat in skillet and stir until it is well coated, heated through and nice and sticky.

If you forgot to put the rice on to steam before you started (yes, I forgot tonight)  get out those ramen noodles quick and serve on top of those, oh, and what the heqq, cook 'em first.

Just in case you didn't notice, I didn't coat and deep fry the meat tonight.  I sautee'd in about 1 T. peanut oil and 1 t. toasted sesame seed oil. Much lower in fat, fewer calories and it reheats much better than the coated meat does. 

This sauce freezes beautifully for future use. 

If you want quick yummy meals, coat the meat and freeze in ziplock bags after squeezing the extra air out.  Make some minute rice or ramen noodles while you thaw and heat it up . . . a great 5-minute meal or snack!

MAKE-A-MIX    (For ten batches of Orange Sauce)

 Here are the portions to Make-A-Mix of the dry seasons, etc. if you would like to shorten the prep time in the future.

3 1/2 Tablespoons      Ginger, ground
1/3  cup                       Garlic powder
1 1/2 Tablespoon        Red chile flakes
3 1/4 cups                    Minced onion, dried
6 1/4 cups                   Sugar
8 Tablespoons            Orange zest, dried

Add 1 1/2 cups Mix to liquids:

3 T.                             Soy sauce
1/2 cup                        Water (increased since onions will not be rehydrated before hand)
1/2 cup                        White vinegar

Mix the ingredients well.  To make a batch of Orange Sauce, scoop a scant 1 1/2 cups of mix.  Boil gently in liquids for about five minutes.  Thicken with 1 T. corn starch dissolved in 1/3 cup water.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


We have a rather ambitious lemon tree that drowns me every year.  No, I'm not complaining, I LOVE lemon everything.  

This year black and yellow seems to be very popular for weddings, so they have done double duty by making some great additions to the wedding season and now they ALL need to be squeezed, juiced, frozen, bottled and zested all at once.

Today, I also hit the jackpot.  I found a good Lemonade recipe.  I seem to always make it "OK" but never quite the right ratio and by the time I get it just right, I have downed half of it and lost track how much of each ingredient (you know, all three), that I have put into it.  This sounds pretty lame, but this has been my Achilles heel.  So I looked on and found this one.

Gabriel said that it was just right, but a little tart (where did a five year old get tart?) even though he just ate a lollipop.  So bring on summer, I'm ready now!

Lemonade Recipe #23038      2 quarts

SERVES 8  unless you're normal and it's a hot summer day)

1 1/2 cups fresh squeezed lemon juice
7 cups ice cold water
  1. Combine the first three ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved, add ice and lemon slices then serve.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Orange Chicken . . . . With My "Improvements" !

I had my favorite kitchen helper, well maybe not my favorite helper, but he is my favorite person (my "Old Feller"), make the fresh orange zest. The bottle of dried zest says that 1 teaspoon equals 1 teaspoon of fresh. I haven't found that in making my own, 1 Tablespoon fresh = 1 teaspoon when I have dried it.

Here the chicken is, fried all crispy. "Old Feller" and I had a hard time staying out of these while I was getting them all fried and then making the sauce. The coating fries up very light and fluffy, just as it is. If you put more seasonings in the dip, it wouldreally be yummy just as it is!

I know, this doesn't have all the changes I made, but I wanted to get this much on. I am going to make the other style, non-fried style, in a few minutes, so I will take more pictures at the same time.

Thinking Healthy as You Prepare . . .

I signed up for SparkPeople on the internet a long time ago because it seemed to have a lot of good advise that were reasonable and do-able. I have found some great guide lines for helping me lose and then hold my weight. Isn't it great what we can find, at no cost?

Whenever I label a post, "Better for Your Health", I have defatted and probably lowered the carbs & salt in it. I have been shocked at what the food industry has created as they throw instant food type products at us. Water retention & diabetes have taught me a lot! The same eating principles are good for everyone, and could actually help others from developing these health conditions, which are terrible common in today's world.

This morning, while checking out some of the emails from SparkPeople, I found the website showing Chef Meg's videos where she is demonstrating ways to make healthier versions of some pretty yummy foods. Check it out HERE. I cruised through a few of them. They sound delicious, many can be used as leftovers, a must in my house, and pretty simple to make . . . . without too much invested time.

Sparkpeople also is publishing some top tips for losing weight and improving health, successfully. By successfully, I mean, permanently. You can find the first nine tips HERE.

Keeping this in mind, I will repost the Orange Chicken I made last night.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Great Thoughts

Here I again, ripping off from another blog, kind of. Julie B. Beck is a wonderful women who has led the women of our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, beautifully and with wisdom through inspiration from our loving Heavenly Father. This was posted on "Safely Gathered In" , a blog well worth your time to check out on a regular basis.

“ ‘Self-reliance means using all of our blessings from Heavenly Father to care for ourselves and our families and to find solutions for our own problems.’ Each of us has a responsibility to try to avoid problems before they happen and to learn to overcome challenges when they occur. …

“How do we become self-reliant? We become self-reliant through obtaining sufficient knowledge, education, and literacy; by managing money and resources wisely, being spiritually strong, preparing for emergencies and eventualities; and by having physical health and social and emotional well-being.”

Julie B. Beck, Relief Society general president.

I would like to add, it is important to gain this knowledge by opening our minds to the many sources around us. Too often we find someone who is an expert and want to just rely on them to teach us or do the planning for us. That is such a mistake. With the internet so full of so much information, we can be very blessed to plan for our families needs wisely. Prayerfully planning for our individual family's needs will assure us that we have addressed the project in the best way and maybe even prepare of needs that we are not aware of coming in the future.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Orange Chicken - - - - Better than Panda Express!

When I made this in the past, the family loved it! As I was looking for something posted in the past, I realized that I never got this on, so here it is. I will photograph it as I make for dinner tonight and add those in the next couple of days.
Since the whole family loves it and it freezes so well, I will make the pantry version next week and post it then.
Panda Express Orange Chicken Recipe #103215
A copycat recipe from Panda Express. This chicken is tangy and flavorful. Give it a try! I'm sure you and your family will enjoy it. by KatieMom84 - - - - 45 min | 15 min prep - - - - - - SERVES 6
Orange Sauce for Stir Fry
  1. Place chicken pieces in large bowl.
  2. Stir in egg, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon oil and mix well.
  3. Stir cornstarch and flour together.
  4. Add chicken pieces, stirring to coat.
  5. Heat oil for deep-frying in wok or deep-fryer to 375 degrees.
  6. Add chicken, small batches at a time, and fry 3 to 4 minutes or until golden crisp.
  7. (Do not overcook chicken).
  8. Remove chicken from oil with slotted spoon and drain on paper towels; set aside.
  9. Clean wok and heat 15 seconds over high heat.
  10. Add 1 tablespoon oil.
  11. Add ginger and garlic and stir-fry until fragrant; about 10 seconds.
  12. Add and stir-fry crushed chiles and green onions.
  13. Add rice wine and stir 3 seconds.
  14. Add Orange Sauce and bring to boil.
  15. Stir water into remaining 1 tablespoon cornstarch until smooth and add to chicken.
  16. Heat until sauce is thickened
  17. Add cooked chicken, stirring until well mixed.
  18. Stir in sesame oil and orange zest if desired.
  19. Serve over jasmine rice.
To see pictures click HERE.   To try the pantry style,  click HERE.