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Peanut Butter Cookies

We are back! Sorry for being a little late, but we were in Mexico City for a short visit last week. We stayed in the Condesa area which had been damaged by the earthquake. The B and B was not damaged, but two buildings nearby collapsed and others sustained major damage. Restaurant and museums were closed until this past Sunday, including the world famous Ballet Folklorico at the magnificent Bellas Artes theater. Yellow tape prevailed on many streets with red tape where buildings were unable to be lived in. Everywhere though, the neighbors were pitching in to help each other. It was wonderful to see so many young people pitching in!!! So now I am back in Progreso. My husband is in Canada and I am free to bake (normally he does it all). So here goes one of my favourites. LOL…I believe this was one of his grandmother’s favourite plates…

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World’s Greatest Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter (I only use JIFF crunchy)
  • 1 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar (i would recommend cutting back)
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Lightly coat a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  • Mix flour and baking soda in a small bowl; set aside.
  • With a spoon, mix butter, peanut butter and brown sugar in a medium bowl until smooth.
  • Add egg and vanilla; beat until smooth.
  • Add flour mixture and stir until combined.
  • Cover dough and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
  • Roll dough into 1-inch balls and bake for 8-10 minutes. (8 was adequate in our oven)
  • Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes; allow to cool in the refrigerator for another 20-30 minutes.
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Chinese Pork Meatballs/Chinese Fried Rice

You just can’t have one without the other, as the old song used to say! Oh, that was love and marriage….for those old enough to remember. I had purchased ground pork and ground beef to make Low Carb Crustless Taco Pie. Since I did not use all of the pork I had fresh ground pork to use up. Pinterest again! There was also some leftover chicken breast from the rotisserie chicken I had purchased. Clean out the fridge!!! Today you are getting both recipes…..

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Chinese Pork Meatballs

Ingredients

∙ Makes 20 meatballs

  • 1 lb. Ground pork
  • 3 Garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp Ginger
  • 2 tsp Soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1 tsp Five-spice powder
  • 2 pinches White pepper, ground
  • 3 tbsp Peanut oil

Instructions

In a large bowl, combine the pork, cornstarch, ginger, garlic, brown sugar, soy sauce, five-spice powder, and pepper, and mix well.

Roll 1 heaping tablespoon of pork mixture into a ball and continue until all the pork mixture is used.

In a wok over medium heat, heat the peanut oil. Using a wok spatula, spread the oil to coat enough of the wok surface to fry about 10 meatballs at a time. Lower the meatballs into the wok in batches.

 Cook without moving for about 2 minutes, or until the bottoms are cooked through. Use the spatula to carefully rotate the meatballs to cook on the other sides.

Keep rotating the meatballs gently until cooked through.

Serving Tip

For a heavenly dipping sauce, combine equal parts low-sodium soy sauce and honey.

Chinese Fried Rice  Serves: 4

Ingredients

  • 4 cups cooked brown or white rice
  • 1 cup frozen peas and diced carrots
  • 1 egg, whisked
  • cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger (optional)
  • 3 green onions, diced

Instructions

  1. Add veggies and oil to a large pan or skillet and sauté for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Scoot all of the veggies to one half of the pan. Add egg and allow to cook for 1 minute, then scramble it with a spoon or spatula and stir in with veggies.
  2. Add rice to pan. Add soy sauce and stir over medium heat for 6-8 minutes until browned. Sprinkle remaining seasonings over the rice and stir another 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in green onions.

 

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

I know it sounds a little odd, but this is a very good dish served with rice or maybe Costco Ancient Grains. As usual my slow cooker had it ready in three hours on HIGH, contrary to what the recipe says. It seems every time I use my SC I have the same problem. What do the rest of you find? Mine is a Hamilton Beach with setting – High, Low and Warm. I can never go away and leave it even on LOW…grrr. Be aware…

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Mongolian Beef

  • 1.5 lb. trimmed flank steak
  • 2 cups sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 T. quick cooking Tapioca, crushed
  • 1 T. grated fresh ginger
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, sliced (whites and greens separated)
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice (or Ancient Grains)
  1. Cut meat into 6 portions. In a 3.5 cup slow cooker combine meat and sliced onions.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the next 6 ingredients (through garlic). Pour over the meat. Sprinkle with WHITE portions of the green onions
  3. Cover and cook on LOW 8 to 10 hours…or HIGH for 4 to 5 hours. (3 in my case!)
  4. Remove meat, reserving cooking liquid.
  5. Slice meat across the grain or coarsely shred and return to the cooker.
  6. Serve over rice and sprinkle with the GREEN portions of the green onions.

Makes 6 servings.

 

Best Chicken Marinade Ever!

Well maybe an overstatement, as I am still looking for the BEST one…LOL. In the interim I tried this one and was quite happy with it overall. Any suggestions you might have would be greatly appreciated as I approach 14000 views on this blog!! Thanks to all of you have stopped by… here is the result with chicken thighs…

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Best Chicken Marinade Ever

Ingredients

  • 6 Chicken breasts or 3.5 lb. chicken
  • 2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Rosemary, dried
  • 1/2 cup Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon or spicy brown mustard
  • 1/8 cup Lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup Soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 3/4 cup Brown sugar ( I cut this back to 1/4 cup so not so sweet)
  • 2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Olive oil, extra virgin

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients, except for chicken, in a large Pyrex measuring cupor mixing bowl and whisk together.
  2. Remove a half a cup of marinade and reserve for basting the chicken later.
  3. Place chicken in a large, Ziploc bagand pour marinade over the top. Close securely.
  4. Marinate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours.

To grill

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat and lightly oil the grates.
  2. Remove the chicken from the marinade, letting the excess drip off.
  3. Grill chicken for 5 to 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
  4. Baste the chicken occasionally with the reserved marinade.
  5. Remove chicken from grill and tent with foil. Let chicken rest for at least 5 minutes before serving

 

 

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Thought I could Thai one on since it is now summer…LOL. Sorry that there is no photo, but we were travelling and no camera available.

Thai Basil Beef Bowls

Yield: about 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups jasmine rice or long-grain white rice for serving
  • 1 lb. flank steak, sliced against the grain into thin strips
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp + 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, cored and seeded, diced into 2-inch strips
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup matchstick carrots
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves (roughly chop larger leaves), plus more for garnish
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

Sauce

  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 Tbsp packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp Sambal Oleek, or more to taste (optional)

Directions

  • Cook rice according to directions listed on package.
  • For the sauce:
  • In a small mixing bowl whisk together soy sauce and cornstarch until smooth. Stir in water, fish sauce, oyster sauce, brown sugar, lime juice and Sambal Oleek if using, set aside.
  • For the beef and veggies:
  • Toss beef with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp cornstarch. Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a large skillet or wok over moderately high heat. Add beef and cook until browned on both sides but still slightly under-cooked in the center. Transfer beef to a plate while leaving oil in skillet. Reduce heat slightly, add bell pepper, onions and garlic and sauté until crisp tender, about 2 – 3 minutes (if needed you can add another 1 tsp of oil to the skillet). Add carrots, whisk sauce mixture once more then pour into skillet and allow to simmer, stirring frequently, until thickened, about 1 minute. Return beef to skillet along with basil leaves, toss until basil has just wilted. Serve immediately over cooked rice garnished with small basil leaves and sesame seeds if desired.
  • Recipe source: Cooking Classy

Marinated Pork Chops

We are back! On March 10th we flew with two friends to Mexico City for three days and then we flew over to Puerto Vallarta for a few more days to visit with our friends who have moved over there last year. A bonus was seeing our old friends Bruce and Mary who we had last seen four years ago. FYI…Bruce and Mary have a wonderful blog Set Free in Mexico  https://setfreeinmexico.com/ if you want to read about their adventures.

Today’s recipe is an easy one…mix the marinating ingredients and pour over the chops, refrigerating for 6 hours or so. After that, just BBQ…

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Marinated Grilled Pork Chops

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 to 6 pork chops
  • ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon brown mustard or gourmet mustard blend
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed
  • 1 clove garlic finely minced
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper

 INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Wash chops and pat dry. Put in a large food storage bag. Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the chops. Seal the bag and turn to coat the pork chops. Refrigerate for *3 to 6 hours, turning occasionally.
  2. Grill the chops over high heat for 5 to 7 minutes on each side or until the chops register about 160° on an instant read thermometer.

 

Not So Secret Family Meatloaf

So I was in the need for some comfort food! Ground meat was in the freezer and I wanted something simple, something my granddaughters could make for their families. Pinterest to the rescue as always. Erica’s recipe was perfect except for one slight change I made since spouse doesn’t like sauces too sweet.  Let me know how you like this one…

Not-So-Secret Family Meatloaf      Author: Erica DeSpain

Prep time:  15 mins  Cook time:  1 hour 10 mins

Total time:  1 hour 25 mins Serves: approx. 6 servings

Ingredients

  • FOR THE MEATLOAF:
  • 1.25 lb. ground beef or ground turkey (we usually do ground turkey and never taste the difference!)
  • 1 egg
  • ⅓ cup milk
  • 4 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • FOR THE SAUCE:
  • 3 tbsp brown sugar (cut back the sugar unless you like it very sweet)
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • 3 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Combine meatloaf ingredients well and then shape in meatloaf pan.
  3. Combine sauce ingredients and pour over meatloaf.
  4. Bake uncovered for 50 minutes if using ground BEEF and 65 minutes if using ground TURKEY.
  5. Enjoy immensely!

Slow Roasted Ribs

Sadly, my Maple Chipotle Rub being sent from Canada seems to have gotten lost along the way. In desperation I sought out another rub recipe on Pinterest as I bought some lovely boneless beef ribs at Costco. The recipe was posted from inthekitchenwithkath.com. (It had been adapted from Mark Bittmans How to Cook Everything the basics). It can be used on beef, pork or poultry. Below are the instructions with the recipe for Southern Barbecue Rub below that. The rub will keep in the fridge…

Slow Roasted Ribs (one 3 or 4 lb. rack)

Method 

  1. Preheat the oven to 250˚F*
  2. Remove the membrane from the back of the ribs. This is easily done by loosening an end with a knife and then grabbing the piece with a clean paper towel and pulling it off.
  3. Place the ribs on a large rimmed baking sheet, meaty side down. Rub a generous amount of the barbecue rub on both sides of the rack.
  4. With the ribs bone-side down, put the baking sheet in the preheated oven and roast for 2 hours.
  5. Turn the ribs over and roast for another hour.
  6. Turn the ribs over so they are again bone-side down and roast for one more hour, or until the ribs are fork-tender and practically falling off the bone.
  7. Cut the ribs into serving pieces and enjoy!

*NOTE Because my ribs were boneless I was able to reduce the cooking time! I cooked them first for 1 hour at 300 degrees F  and then turned them over to cook for another half hour, reducing the heat to 250 F. They were done, but you should check them before turning off the oven, depending on the thickness of the boneless ribs.

*Southern Barbecue Rub (Adapted from a recipe in Joy of Cooking)

 Ingredients

  • ¼ cup sweet paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder (You could use smoked paprika instead.)
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar (optional) I used this

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

As promised that I would report on my latest find from FaithTap – https://www.facebook.com/faithtapping/?fref=ts

Slow Cooker Pork Chops

  • 6 medium thick pork chops
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  •  ½ cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup ketchup
  • 2 cloves of smashed garlic
  •  salt and pepper to taste.

Pour all of the ingredients over the six pork chops and cover. The slow cooker does its magic for approximately 6 hours on low.

Results – Yes indeed they were very tender! They cooked in a little over 5 hours…by six they would have been burned dry, so watch them, depending on the thickness of your chops.

I would modify the ingredients to 1/4 cup soy and less sugar, and more garlic!

Personally I prefer my daughters slow cooker pulled pork sauce recipe  with Coca Cola! https://buenprovecho.me/?s=slow+cooker+pulled+pork

Boston Baked Beans

My sister-in-law made great baked beans! This recipe is very similar to hers but she skipped cooking the beans and used canned beans to cut the cooking time. So do I.

Boston  Baked Beans

Ingredients

2 large cans baked beans
1 cup bacon chopped
1large onion chopped
1stalk celery chopped
2 garlic cloves chopped
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup molasses
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

Mix all Ingredients in a large casserole dish. Microwave 30 minutes on medium until bacon and celery are cooked.

Alternately bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes or until bacon is cooked.

Best if cooled and refrigerated and then reheated just before dinner.