Thursday, May 31, 2012

Hmong Eggrolls

Well if you checked out my facebook page at all you've seen the pictures from my Monday night PLC (Professional Learning Community) meeting at work. The whole elementary got together and learned the art of making authentic Hmong eggrolls. We all had a great time learning how to make eggrolls and wished we would have done it sooner.We all kept saying "Why did we wait til the end of the year to do this?"

We had several patient and talented teachers that taught us the art of making these delicious eggrolls. So I want to start by thanking them all for helping us learn how to make this yummy treat . Thank you Mia, Mor Chia, Crystal, Nou, Pa, and Pakou.

I also especially want to thank Sam for organizing this activity. She did an amazing job! Not only did we learn how to make eggrolls we all brought a recipe to share and we had an apron contest. Our winner for the apron contest was Jenna. She was over come with joy (notice the tears) tee hee!

Jenna being crowned by Sam for the best apron.
On that night we made like 300 eggrolls. We needed to cut the recipe down to a more manageable size and Mia was kind enough to write down the recipe for me to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy making these as much as we all did. Happy egg-rolling!

  Egg Roll
1lb. ground pork or beef
1/2 chopped cabbage
3 chopped green onions
1 bunch of cilantro chopped, if desired
4 shredded carrots or 1/2 bag
2 T Hoisen sauce
2-3 T soy sauce
1/4 box Vermicillian Noodles (look for pink bag at Oriental foods store or buy other thin rice noodles in oriental foods dept.)
fish sauce
25 pkg. bag of egg roll wrappers

  1. 1-2 hours prior.Pre-soak noodles in hot water and put aside.
  2. Chop 1/2 head of cabbage, 3 green onions, shred carrots. Option: use coleslaw mix and green onions.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine the cabbage, onions, carrots, the noodles cut intosmall pieces, soy sauce, Hoisen sauce and fish sauce. Ground pork should be pre-prepared for the filling by pan-frying until nearly cooked, not completely. Then add to the filling mix. Mix all of the ingredients together well.
  4. Add 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites (keep the yolks to use as glue). Mix all lf the ingredients together. (Note: you do not have to separate egg whites)
  5. Open the bag of egg roll wraps and place one at a time on the counter or on a plate in front of you so it is in a diamond position. Take 2 tablespoons of meat/vegetable mixture and place it on one of the corners of the wrap.Gently fold over the wrap forward. Fold over both edges of wrap into the center. Roll it until you only have a small corner left then dip your finger in the egg yolk and place a small amount on the final tip of the wrap and seal the roll shut. 
  6. Continue this same procedure until all mix or wraps are used up. At some point drain the mixture of excess liquid to prevent your eggrolls from being soggy or tearing.
  7. Place 1 inch of oil in a large skillet and heat at medium heat on the stove. Carefully place eggrolls in the hot oil and cook for 15 minutes (remember to flip several times while cooking. Egg rolls should be a golden brown in color. Remove carefully with a tong or spatula and place on a plate lined with paper towels. You'll know it's ready by testing with a slight tap on the shell to determine if it is hardened.
  8. They are now ready to eat as soon as they cool down for a few minutes. Uncooked eggrolls can be stored in the freezer until you are ready to make them.

Note: Eggroll wrapper pack needs to be set out so it can thaw. It's best to not thoroughly thaw out the wrappers. Thaw only enough so you can peel  then without tearing, because they are delicate.


All hands were on deck for the rolling of the eggrolls. If you want to see more pictures from this night go to my facebook page and check them out.

Also if you haven't liked my facebook page yet please do and tell a friend about my page and blog. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Mini Pretzel Ice Cream Sandwiches

With Memorial Weekend comes family get togethers and picnics. And traditionally these get togethers and picnics are all about grilling, summer salads and cold beverages. Of course we can't forget the dessert. It just has to be Ice Cream!

You can do ice cream in a variety of ways to please every age group. You can just simply buy an exotic flavor at the grocery store. You can get creative and make your own homemade ice cream, which is a lot of fun (see prior post for ice cream). You can also make ice cream sandwiches.

Now ice cream sandwiches can be as simple as getting cookies from the bakery and scooping some of your favorite ice cream and smooshing it in between two cookie. Some might even try making homemade ice cream sandwiches with the chocolate wafer (still want to try that). Or you could do what I did. Make mini pretzel ice cream sandwiches.

Now with these little ice cream sandwiches everybody can at least have a little taste. They are so small that if for some reason you're dieting or watching your weight you won't feel so awful if you just have one.

I kind of got the idea from my Simple and Delicious magazine. They had all these different ice cream sandwiches in it and I decided to try and make something that would be just as easy and taste just as great. Now that doesn't mean I'm not going to try some of those awesome recipes for ice cream sandwiches, because I am. I was just home alone last night and started messing around in the kitchen with what I had on hand.

I really think this treat could be easily made with children and I even think that the edges could be rolled or dipped into sprinkles to make them look even yummier. I just am low on sprinkles right now. I simple used the knot style pretzels, Wilton's chocolate candy melts and some vanilla ice cream (my chocolate chip ice cream mysteriously disappeared), but you can use any flavor ice cream. It doesn't take long for the chocolate to harden after dipping so these can be made asap.

So here's the recipe. Give them a try and let me know if you have any suggestions. Happy Memorial Day!
Tools I used to make them.

Mini Pretzel Ice Cream Sandwiches
60 -70 pretzels
1 bag of Wilton's chocolate candy melts
ice cream of your choice
  1. Melt the candy melts in the microwave according to package directions.
  2. Lay out a couple of sheets of wax paper or parchment paper.
  3. Dip one side of pretzel into chocolate. Remove and place chocolate side up on paper. (I used a plastic fork with the middle tines removed to take pretzels out). Let the chocolate harden.
  4. Take ice cream out of freezer and let it soften a little to make it easier to scoop and squish between the pretzels. Once it is softened use a small scoop and scoop out a ball of ice cream. Place on the uncoated pretzel side. Place another pretzel on top with chocolate side up. Squeeze gently together. Place on a cookie sheet to place in freezer to set up. Once they have set up place in a sealed container.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Confetti Cookies

I just had to share a new found recipe for a soft, moist cookie. My daughter and I just really had a sweet tooth and we wanted something that was quick to make to satisfy our craving for something sweet. I also wanted something that was not too labor intense so I could whip it up without a lot of trouble and kick back on the couch and continue watching the Bachelorette.

I started looking around on some cooking blogs that I had bookmarked and I found this very interesting recipe for a cookie using a cake mix. The cookie had red and blue sprinkles in it and I had sprinkles (just a little different color).  I liked the picture of the cookie in the blog so I thought what the heck, I'll give it a try. I changed the recipe a little by not adding as much sprinkles to the mix and I used rainbow sprinkles.

Good thing I always keep a few cake mixes on hand for those times when you need a quick dessert. I usually have one white mix, one yellow mix, and one chocolate mix in the cupboard. I also keep a couple of brownie mixes and a can or two of frosting.

The bad thing about this recipe is it only makes 30 cookies. Once you make these you'll just want to eat and eat and eat these cookies. They remind me of that Funfetti cake and frosting that you can buy. Make sure you have a glass of milk ready when you sit down. You're going to need it. Enjoy!

Confetti Cookies

Confetti Cookies
1 box french vanilla cake mix, 18.25 oz*
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 C vegetable oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C rainbow sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together the cake mix and baking powder. In a small bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and vanilla. Add the egg mixture to the cake mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the sprinkles. Drop by spoonfuls onto a cookie sheet.
Bake for 10 minutes. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to cooling rack. The cookies will be very soft at first. Cool and enjoy! makes 30-32 cookies
 adapted from my funfetti cake batter cookies

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Southwestern Wontons

Southwestern Wontons

Today I've got a little twist on the Asian wonton. This time I'm going with a southwestern twist. Ever since I went to Tucson a couple of years ago I can't get enough of that TexMex, southwestern flair and these wontons are just the ticket.

These wontons are easy to make and they don't really take a lot of time either. You can even get the wontons made up ahead of time place them in the fridge and cook them later.

When making these wontons you have to think ahead a little though. I had cooked a couple of chicken breasts in my mini crockpot (one of the best little gifts I've ever gotten) the day before and then shredded it and put it in the fridge. That way it was ready to go when assembling them.

I did make these on the same day I made the Orange chicken, but we had plenty of them left over for the next couple of days. My family was happy to heat them up in the microwave for a little snack.

Also be aware that you will have left over black beans to deal with. I just used them up in another recipe, so don't worry you won't be able to get rid of them. You can add them to salads, Spanish rice, tacos or Southwestern egg rolls.

Southwestern Wontons
olive oil
1/4 C diced onion
1/4 C red bell pepper
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 C frozen corn
1/4 C black beans, drained and rinsed
1 C shredded chicken
1/4 t pepper
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
2 T dry ranch dressing
a sprinkle or two of red pepper flakes
24 Wonton wraps
canola oil for frying

  1. Heat some oil in a frying pan over medium heat and saute onions and pepper for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Add the corn, beans and chicken. Stir well to combine. Remove from heat and add pepper and stir in cheese and dry ranch dressing.
  3. Scoop about 1 teaspoon of chicken mixture into the center of wonton wrap. Wet two sides of wrap and fold over to form a triangle. Press out any air pockets so they seal well. 
  4. Heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot place a few wontons at a time into the oil. Cook about a minute per side or until golden brown and crispy. Place on a pan and put in a warm oven until ready to serve.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Garden Salad with Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

It's that time of year for serving up some fresh salads for lunch or dinner. I really enjoy having salads year round, but this time of year is especially nice with all those fresh vegetables that are starting to come into the produce section. I can't wait to go to the farmer's market.

This last grocery trip I found that Aldi's had cucumbers, so naturally I had to pick some up along with a bag of salad mix. I know it's kind of cheating, but sometimes a girls just gotta have a quick, healthy salad and those bags are great in a pinch.

My daughter had fallen in love with this Honey Mustard dressing that I had picked up at Aldi's, but now of course I haven't been able to find it there ever since. She keeps asking me every time that I go grocery shopping if I found it yet. I'm holding out that eventually I find it again.

Well to help her with her Honey Mustard desire I decided that we could try and make it ourselves. A sort of DIY thing. I just so happen to be looking at my new Simple and Delicious magazine and found a recipe for Honey Mustard Salad Dressing. How convenient!

Since it only called for like four ingredients I decided that I'd give it a try. Of course when I went to Aldi's I couldn't find Dijon mustard so I settled for this other mild mustard with herbs and I just used regular vinegar instead of the cider vinegar. I also put the ingredients into a shaker to mix. The result was a sweet and tangy honey mustard dressing.

I might try and mess around with the ingredients a little to perhaps try and make a spicy mustard dressing with this hot, spicy mustard that Aldi's sells. I really don't think a person could mess it up. I think the family would be up for something hot and spicy like that.

Anyways, you've got to try this recipe. It is really good and it sure spiced up our garden salad. Let me know if you try and make another kind of honey mustard dressing with your own twist.

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing

Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
3 T honey
2 T Dijon Mustard
1/4 C cider vinegar
1/2 C canola oil

Combine the honey and mustard in a small bowl. Add the vinegar and whisk until blended. Gradually whisk in the canola oil. Serve over a garden salad. If using a shaker shake before pouring over your salad.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Orange Flavored Chicken

 I love Asian cuisine! I love the ability to make Asian food at home even more. Usually recipes for this type of cuisine are very simple to make and they always seem to make a lot. I actually have a few really good recipes that eventually I'll have to share, but for today I'm going to share my son's find this weekend. He was going through some cookbooks that I got from the library and he found a real treasure. The cookbook was America's Most Wanted Recipes.
Orange Flavored Chicken

The recipe that he found was Panda Express Orange Flavored Chicken.  It is a lightly battered chicken with a sweet and tangy orange sauce with green onions. Serve it with some rice and you've got an excellent meal.

My son and I were on a cooking binge this weekend and we got right to work on this one Saturday night.  We spent Saturday night together cooking dinner for the family and it was amazing. We actually made some wontons too, but those will come at a later date.

This recipe for Orange Flavored Chicken, however, will be a keeper for us and we even thought of a way to simplify it. If you don't want to cut up and fry chicken we thought that one could always buy the popcorn chicken from Sam's Club, bake it and add it to the orange sauce. We were thinking that this would make it easy for those that don't want to be deep frying chicken.

Here's the recipe. Hope you enjoy it.

Orange Flavored Chicken

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 egg white
1 t salt
1 t sugar

Orange Sauce
1 C water
1/2 C ketchup
1/2 C sugar
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 T soy sauce
1 T + 1 t cornstarch
2 t sesame oil
2 T vegetable oil
1 T grated orange zest
2 T chopped green onions

4 C vegetable oil, for deep frying
1 C cornstarch

  1. Cut the chicken breast into 1/2 inch cubes and set aside.
  2. Combine the egg white, salt and sugar in a bowl and stir vigorously until the ingredients are thoroughly mixed. Add the chicken cubes to the egg white mixture and stir to coat well.
  3. To make the orange sauce, combine the water, ketchup, sugar, vinegar, soy sauce, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch and sesame oil; stir and set aside. Place a pot over high heat. When the pot is hot, add the 2 tablespoons vegetable oil and heat. add the orange zest and green onions and cook, stirring for about 20 second, taking care not to burn the orange zest.
  4. Pour the combined sauce ingredients into the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the sauce has thickened, 12 to 15 minutes. 
  5. Heat the 4 cups of oil to 350F in a deep fryer.
  6. Meanwhile, put the coated chicken in a resealable plastic bag containing the 1 cup cornstarch. Shake the chicken well for about 20 seconds, until the chicken is covered with the cornstarch. Shake off all the excess cornstarch and deep fry in hot oil. Remove with a slotted spoon, drain well on paper towels and set aside. Add to hot orange sauce and stir for 30 seconds and serve immediately.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Applebee's Mudslide

Oh the fun of having your oldest be of legal drinking age! 

I had gone to the library a few weeks ago and got a ton of cookbooks, so my son decided to peruse a couple of these and found a recipe for Applebee's Mudslide. It was fairly simple to make and low and behold I had the four ingredients it takes to make it.

I think the whole idea of ice cream and chocolate in the drink was a little enticing for a novice to drinking alcoholic beverages and I was game. The recipe said that it makes one 16 ounce drink, but we split it between the two of us just so we could give it a try and we didn't want the ice cream to melt before we could drink them.

The mudslide was really good and so we are going to share the recipe with all of you. We found this recipe in More of America's Most Wanted Recipes. We will be sharing more recipes from the first book in a few days. But for now here's Applebee's Mudslide.

Applebee's Mudslide
2 C vanilla ice cream
2ounces Kahlua coffee liqueur
1 T chocolate syrup
Whipped cream

  1. Combine the ice cream and the Kahlua in a blender and process until smooth.
  2. Swirl the chocolate syrup in a 16 ounce wineglass (we used 2 smaller glasses), holding the glass by the stem, until the sides of the glass are well coated. Pour the ice cream mixture into the glass and top with whipped cream. Add a straw (or a spoon) and enjoy. Serves 1

Friday, May 4, 2012

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Happy Cinco de Mayo!
Well as promised on my facebook page I'm going to share my recipe for Cinco de Mayo. I'm making it very easy today. My recipe is homemade taco seasoning.

I have too many times wanted to make tacos and have found I have no taco seasoning mix in the cabinet. Because of this it has forced me to find an alternative, making my own.

After perusing the internet I came upon a few recipes that I just kind of tweaked and made my own. It is quite good and after thinking about it, I don't think you could really mess this one up too much. I used this recipe last week when I made taco salads with my daughter. Sorry there are no pictures of the salad. They were so good we just gobbled them up.

 You can use this with either hamburger or chicken. And as I stated before not only can you make excellent tacos with this it works great to use in taco salad. I also usually buy my seasonings at Aldi's making it easier to make this seasoning mix. The spices are at a reasonable price and the jars are large.
Taco Seasoning Mix

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix
4 T chili powder
3 T paprika
3 T ground cumin
1 T dry minced onion
1 t garlic powder
1/2 t cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Store in an air tight container until ready to use.
When preparing taco meat use 2 t of seasoning mix and 1/4 C of water with 1 lb of hamburger. I always cook my hamburger in the microwave, drain and then add the seasoning and water. Cook for 2 minutes and your done.
You can use chicken to make this too.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Pecan Supremes

Pecan Supremes

Today is a feeling like a really nice day to me. I know it's looking a little cloudy and feeling a little humid with a chance of rain, but everything is feeling good on the home front. Now not that things were disheveled, on the contrary, things and people have been going in so many directions that it is finally feeling like we are all falling into our respective places.

Some of the reason I'm feeling this way is stuff for my two college kids is finally getting settled for them. I know that even though they are adults I still worry about them and want everything to work out well for them. I guess once a mother, always a mother. I try not to be too vocal and keep it inside, but it's hard. So I'm going to celebrate some of their good news!

My daughter got accepted to go study abroad for J-term next school year. She gets the opportunity to go to Thailand! How cool is that? This will be a trip of a lifetime for her. I wish I could go too, but I settle for lots of pictures and a souvenier or two. Hopefully we can skype while she's gone for the month.

My son is finally back from college for the summer. Moved him out of his dorm during a tornado warning. Kind of creepy. Wasn't long after he was home and some of his friends came over to chill. I miss those days when their friends came over to hang out. He is also fortunate to be able to transfer from the store he was working at while going to school to a store close to home for the summer. And last, but not least he will be staying in college apartments next year. A step up from the dorms!

So since I'm so happy I'm in the baking mood and I've baked up some Pecan Supremes from Mrs. Fields Best Ever Cookie cookbook. I love making cookies from this book. She has some amazing recipes. I don't think I've ever made one from this cookbook that I didn't like. So enjoy!

Pecan Supremes
2 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
3/4 C quick oats (not instant)
3/4 C dark brown sugar
3/4 C sugar
2 sticks salted butter, softened
2 large eggs
2 t vanilla extract
4 ounces chopped pecans (about 1 cup)
6 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup)

  1. Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. In a medium bowl combine flour, soda, salt, and oats. Mix well with a whisk and set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, blend sugars with an electric mixer at medium speed. Add butter and mix to form a grainy paste. Scrape down sides of bowl, then add eggs and vanilla. Beat at medium speed until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the flour mixture, pecans, and chocolate chips, and blend at low speed just until combined. Do not over mix.
  5. Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets, 1 1/4 inches apart. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Let them cool slightly on pan before moving them to a wire rack for further cooling. If you do it too soon they will fall apart.
  6. Makes about 3 dozen.