I have been married to a wonderful Christian man since 1976. The Lord has blessed us with two daughters and two sons. I consider each day the Lord gives me on the earth yet another chance to serve Him.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cinnamon Tortilla Chips

You can make the dough like I do or buy store bought tortillas if you want to make it easier.  I prefer homemade tortillas.   If you decide to make them with store bought tortillas, you will only have to deep fry them & sprinkle the sugar on them.





CINNAMON TORTILLA CHIPS
(makes 70-80 chips)

Ingredients:
*2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
*1-2 tablespoons lard or vegetable shortening
*1 cup hot water
*2-3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
*cinnamon sugar

Directions:
~Whisk the flour, salt & baking powder together in a mixing bowl.
~Mix in the lard/vegetable shortening with pastry blender or fork, until the flour resembles course crumbs.
~Slowly add water and mix until the dough comes together.
~Place dough on a lightly floured surface and knead 30-40 times.
~Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes.
~Divide dough in 16 equal pieces.
~Roll each piece into a ball.
~Allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
~Roll each dough into a very thin semi-round tortilla.
~Line a cookie sheet with paper towels.
~Heat oil in a heavy sauce pan to 350 degrees.
~Cut tortillas into small triangles.
~Carefully place in hot oil and cook for 30-60 seconds per side, or until a light golden brown.
~Remove from oil and place on cookie sheet.
~Sprinkle both sides with desired amount of cinnamon sugar.
~Repeat until all tortillas are cooked.


Variations:
`sprinkle lightly with sea salt for a sweet/salty taste.
`omit cinnamon sugar and sprinkle with sea salt.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Stuffed Chicken Breast

Who doesn't love stuffed chicken breasts?  It takes a little work, but isn't hard.  You will impress your family and friends with this recipe.




STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*3 tablespoons water
*3-4 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
*3 garlic cloves, minced
*1/2 small onion, chopped
*1 egg white
*2 teaspoons water
*1/2 cup italian bread crumbs
*1/2 cup all purpose flour
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
*1/2 pound fresh ricotta cheese
*3 cups fresh spinach, stems removed
*1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
*1 egg, beaten
*2 teaspoons italian seasoning
*1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, divided
*1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce (I make my own)

Directions:
~ In a large skillet, sauté spinach, onion & garlic in water over medium heat, until spinach is wilted.
~Remove from heat and place into a large bowl and allow to cool.
~Add ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, egg, italian seasoning and 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese to spinach mixture and mix well.
~Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
~Pound out chicken breasts until around 1/2 inch thick.
~In a small bowl whisk egg white & water together.
~Mix bread crumbs & flour in large plate.
~Dip chicken breasts into egg white mixture.
~Drag one side of chicken into bread crumb mixture.
~Add olive oil to skillet that was used for spinach.
~Place chicken in pan, breaded side down.
~Cook for 3-4 minutes.
~Remove from skillet.
~Place chicken on a clean surface, breaded side down.
~Fill chicken breasts with stuffing and fold in half (secure with toothpicks if needed).
~Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.
~Place stuffed chicken into prepared pan.
~Pour spaghetti sauce over chicken.
~Cover with aluminum foil.
~Bake  30 minutes or until chicken is done.
~Remove from oven and remove aluminum foil.
~Sprinkle remaining mozzarella cheese over chicken and return to oven.
~Bake for another 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.







Thursday, February 13, 2014

Spaghetti Sauce

Homemade spaghetti sauce has so much flavor and is so easy to make.  The best thing is you can make it ahead of time and fresh or can it.  You then have it ready anytime to you want it.




SPAGHETTI SAUCE

Ingredients:
*2 teaspoons olive oil
*1 medium onion, chopped
*6 garlic cloves, minced
*2 (28 ounce) cans whole Italian peeled tomatoes (I use the tomatoes I can)
*1 1/2 teaspoons salt
*1/2 teaspoon black pepper
*1 teaspoon granulated sugar
*2 bay leafs
*1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
*1 teaspoon dried basil

Directions:
~In a large saucepan over medium heat, sauté garlic and onion in the olive oil, until onion is translucent (careful not to burn the garlic).
~Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
~Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 - 3 hours or cook in slow cooker for 5-6 hours.
~If you like your spaghetti sauce smooth (my family does), use an immersion blender or blender to blend up the tomatoes.  
~Serve over spaghetti or chicken.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Spinach Orzo Salad

I love these mixture of flavors.  Very easy to make.  If you are like my family (minus me) you might want to leave out the olives.  Great by itself or to go along with some chicken.





SPINACH ORZO SALAD
(serves 6-8)

Ingredients:
*3 tablespoons olive oil
*3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
*1 garlic cloves minced
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*dash of red pepper flakes
*1 pound orzo pasta, cooked for 6 minutes
*1 red bell pepper, diced small
*1 yellow bell pepper, diced small
*1 (6 ounce) jar marinated artichokes, drained & chopped (keep liquid)
*5 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
*1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced thin
*4 green onions, chopped
*1/2 cup red seedless grapes, sliced 
*2 small tangerines, peeled & sectioned
*8 ounces baby spinach leaves, lightly chopped

Directions:
~In a small sauce pan, over low heat, heat up olive oil & minced garlic for 3-5 minutes.
~Remove from heat and allow to sit for at leaf 10 minutes.
~In a large bowl, add chopped vegetables, fruit & cheese.
~Add spinach and mix well.
~Add cooked, drained hot orzo pasta.
~Stir into veggie & fruit mixture.
~Pour artichoke liquid & red wine vinegar into olive oil.
~Add salt & red pepper flakes into olive oil mixture.
~Pour over salad and mix well.  
~Chill and enjoy.

Variations:
`add 1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
`add 1/2 cup fresh raspberries

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Sweet & Sour Pork

This takes a little time, but is not hard to make at all.  Very good.  I use a butterfly pork chop and brine it before making this recipe.  It makes for very tender pork.  I like to serve it over rice.





SWEET & SOUR PORK
(serves 4)

Ingredients:
*1 pound butterfly pork chop, cut into 1-inch cubes
*1/2 cup kosher salt
*4 cups water
*1/3 cup granulated sugar
*3 tablespoons ketchup
*2 tablespoon soy sauce
*1/4 teaspoon salt
*1/3 cup pineapple juice
*1/3 cup white vinegar
*1 garlic clove, minced
*1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon corn starch
*5 tablespoons water
*1/2 cup all-purpose flour
*1/3 cup corn starch
*1 teaspoon black pepper
*2 eggs whites, lightly beaten
*1 tablespoon vegetable oil
*1/3 cup water
*1 large carrot, peeled and sliced into 1-inch diagonal pieces
*1/2 red bell pepper, cut into small cubes
*1/2 green bell pepper, cut into small cubes
* 3/4 cup fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
*3-4 cups ole for deep-frying, or as needed

Directions:
~In a medium bowl, marinated pork in 4 cups water & 1/2 cup kosher salt.
~Marinate for 1 hour, remove pork and rinse.
~In a small bowl, combine sugar, ketchup, soy sauce, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pineapple juice, vinegar & garlic.
~In a separate bowl, mix 5 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon & 1 teaspoon cornstarch.  Mix until cornstarch is dissolved.
~In a heavy pot or wok, heat the oil to 375 degrees.
~In a medium bowl, combine flour, 1/3 cup cornstarch & black pepper.
~Stir in egg whites & enough water to make the batter thick enough to stick to the pork .
~Dip pork chops into bater.
~Carefully drop in, and cook until a golden brown (do this in batches so you don't overcrowd the pot or wok).
~Remove and let drain on paper towels.
~In a small saucepan, bring sweet & sour sauce to a boil, over medium heat.
~Add carrots, green peppers, red peppers & pineapple to sauce.
~Bring to a boil again and pour in cornstarch mixture,  stirring until thickened.
~Place pork over hot rice & pour sauce over it.

Helpful Hint:
`if you prefer your veggies to be more tender; put veggies into a microwavable bowl with 1 tablespoon water.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for a 2-3 minutes.  Then put them into a the sauce before adding the cornstarch mixture.  

Variation:
-I will often skip the batter and just dust the pork with flour.