Category Archives: Cooking

Sesame Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry

It was Monday night, and was deciding on what to prepare for dinner when I realized that I love stir-fry and hadn’t made it in a while. Don’t worry if you don’t have a wok, just a large frying pan will do fine. I used my large frying pan. It’s not an exact science but you will need certain key ingredients. I decided to make it and foraged through my pantry, I was missing a few things but substituted a few other things and it worked out just fine. It was delicious .I would have liked bok choy and some other chinese vegetables but used what I had. I had a little red pepper, a few mushrooms and broccoli. Onions would be fine too. Almost any veggies you like, and obviously tofu can be substituted for chicken. This is what I did. If using tofu, use the extra firm type.


5 Tbsp. soy sauce ( I always use reduced sodium)

2 tsp. toasted sesame oil

5 tsp. honey

1 1/4 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I had butcher cut it into strips or you can do it yourself

4 Tbsp. Canola Oil possible . you will need about 2 to cook chicken and then another 2 to cook vegetables, but you may need a bit more, I try to use as little as possible to start you can always add

2 green onions, white parts only thinly sliced and reserve the green tops

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger ( which I didn’t have , so I used powdered ginger, not as good but it will do)

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1 cup chicken broth ( again you may need a little more but I was able to make it work with 1 cup)

2-4 tsp. cornstarch ( I didn’t have this either so I used 3 tsp. flour and it worked)

1 Tbsp. rice vinegar

vegetables ( whatever you like) broccoli, cut into florets, bok choy, baby corn, onions, red peppers, mushrooms, snap peas, etc.

1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds ( just put sesame seeds in a small frying pan and brown up, watch them it happens quickly)

*1 tsp. chili paste (optional) but adds great flavor


in a medium bowl whisk together 3 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil and 2 tsp. honey , add cut up chicken , toss then marinate for about 1/2 hour

In a seperate small bowl, whisk together broth, remaining soy sauce, 1 tsp. sesame oil,  remaining honey,   vinegar and *chili paste. After whisking together I put in a small saucepan and heated it up till it thickened , I started with 2 tsp. of corn starch and added as it needed to thicken,  cook and stir for about 4 minutes till it darkens in color and gets thick. I let it just sit on stovetop till I needed it.( just stir it occasionally)

Heat up 2 tsp. canola oil in large skillet/wok  and cook chicken in hot oil until browned through about 6 minutes depending on the size of your chicken pieces. Transfer to serving plate

In same skillet as chicken heat 2 more tsp. canola oil add white parts of onions, ginger, and garlic. Cook and stir for a few minutes at medium high without burning. Adjust heat. Then add remaining vegetables and stir fry till they begin to cook , when vegetables are cooked, add chicken and pour sauce over chicken . Cook for a few minutes, and I served over brown rice. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion tops. Now I would use cauliflower rice as well with this, it would be veggie overload but quite delicious!

Thanksgiving ’13 –here we come

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Fully Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

Fully Baked Chipotle Sweet Potatoes

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It’s the elephant in the room and I’ve put off discussing it but the time has definitely come to start talking turkey. Thanksgiving is upon us, yes we have plenty of time to get it together but menus need to be planned so we don’t get caught unprepared. My menu is almost always the same because everyone has their favorite dish that they look forward to eating every year.  Last year I skipped mashed potatoes in favor of something else and the first thing one of my nephews said was “where are the mashed potatoes?” that was his favorite thing. So I try to please all but need to add a few new items every year. Haven’t really decided on all the items but will give you a list of some of my oldies but goodies so go and look them up on my blog. Just put in the title of recipe and it will and it should pop up. If you haven’t subscribed as of yet , what are you waiting for? Please do, it’s free and it’s fun. If anyone out there has any awesome Thanksgiving recipes that they’d like to share with me just email me at Looking forward to hearing from you all. Have fun and I will be posting like crazy for the next few weeks. Happy Turkey Day and Happy Cooking.

Remember Gratitude not Attitude

Here are some recipes you may want to start looking at:

Sweet and Spicy Mixed Nuts, Roasted Almonds Simply and Spicy , Baked Salami

Salad Dressing- Mustard Vinaigrette is always simple and delicious or Maple Syrup Vinaigrette will work perfectly on a green salad.

Butternut Squash Soup (no cream), Pumpkin Lentil Soup, with Butternut Squash Soup with Chipotle Cream (all soups can be made vegetarian)

Pumpkin Walnut Bread,  Hurricane Sandy Pumpkin Cranberry Bread

Cremini Mushroom Pumpkin Lasagna (vegetarian) , Ultimate Comfort Food Macaroni and Cheese (vegetarian)

Mashed Potatoes with Sour Cream and Chives (vegetarian)

Thanksgiving Corn Bread Pudding (vegetarian)

Stuffing that will be on our Table

Candied Yam Souffle (Easy Peasy), Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes, Aunt Pammy’s Chipotle Sweet Potatoes (nothing short of amazing) (vegetarian)

Fresh Cranberry Sauce, Karyn’s Famous Thanksgiving Cranberry Crisp (also nothing short of amazing), Joy’s Cranberry Sauce (vegetarian)

Fresh Green Beans with Lemon and Almonds , Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Michele’s White Chocolate Jumbo Macadamia Cookies, Pumpkin Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

This is just a start for you so you can start your shopping and firm up your menu. I will be posting for the next few weeks and if there is anything you can’t find please feel free to contact me. Happy Cooking.

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Sunday Night Stew on a Tuesday Night

I bought some Beef Stew Meat from Whole Foods, and was trying to decide what to do with it . It was Tuesday night and freezing out here in Colorado . We were caught in a frozen snap of weather and there was no way I was venturing out of the house again with temperatures dropping below O. I love to make my beef stew in the slow cooker but no time for that. This does need three hours but the slow cooker needs at least 6 .  If making in the slow cooker you’ll need more liquid. I will say that the key to a good stew is cooking a long time. This is super easy to make and I even got Joel to eat the turnips because he thought they were potatoes, but he knew better and asked so I had to fess up. He ate all of the carrots and all the turnips on his plate, maybe because I cut them up small? who knows. It does my heart good to see him eat a vegetable, any vegetable. I served with egg noodles, but must say mashed potatoes would be pretty awesome!


3 Tablespoons Olive OIl

1 tablespoon Butter

2 lbs. Beef Stew Meat ( Chuck Roast cut into Cubes)

Kosher Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 whole medium yellow onion, diced

4 oz. Tomato Paste

1/4 cup Red Wine

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce

1/2 teaspoon sugar* not totally necessary but rounds it out somehow

4 cups Beef Stock ( Broth) * you may need more if sauce thickens too much, you can always add a little water

4 whole carrots , peeled and diced

2 whole turnips, peeled and diced

* I cut this whole recipe in 1/2 for just the two of us, and it was perfect.

*use whatever vegetables you’d like , it doesn’t matter, I like the turnips because they have a potato like texture and parsnips will fall apart easier.


This recipe all took place in one pot, Le Creuset dutch oven for everything.( simply the best possible pot to own)

I like to pat my meat dry before seasoning, it helps to form a crust. I salt and pepper pretty liberally. (just a little tip)

Heat olive oil in a large, heavy pot over medium high heat. Add butter, and as soon as it is melted, brown half the meat ( or as much as you can at one time without crowding) until the outside gets nice and brown and forms a nice little crust. Let it sit for a couple of minutes , then turn it as it browns. Remove the meat from the pot with a slotted spoon and put it on a plate on the side. When all of the meat is browned, just set it aside.

Add the onion and garlic to the pot, stirring to coat it, and scraping up all the brown bits as you go. Cook for a few minutes till onions become transparent , add the tomato paste to the pot, and swirl around stirring it into the onions. Stirring constantly , pour in the beef stock, red wine and Beef Stew 012Beef Stew 016Beef Stew 018Beef Stew 021Worcestershire sauce. Add the beef back into pot, cover the pot, and reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered for at least 2 hours. If liquid starts to evaporate during this period , add more stock a little at a time, or water if you have no stock.

After the 2 hours of simmering, add the turnips and carrots to the pot. Stir to combine all ingredients, taste for salt and pepper,  cover and simmer for at least 30 minutes I simmered for an hour. Sauce should be thick but not too thick, you can always add a little broth/liquid.

Serve hot in bowls with noodles, rice, mashed potatoes or alone. It should serve 6 nicely this way.


Cooking Class at ICE ( cookies unlimited)