Fried Rice with Meat or Vegetables

WIN_20140622_134612One thing I struggle with as a solitary cook is food waste. No matter how hard I try or how careful I plan it seems I always have something that goes to waste before I use it. Some ingredients just aren’t packaged for the single cook so I am always on the lookout for recipes to use up leftover ingredients. A really good way to use those little bits of leftover meats and vegetables is to make fried rice as either a main or side dish. This morning I was looking for something quick and easy to make to take to lunch for work. I had leftover rice from a stir fry, baby corn from a failed moo shu pork recipe, and a little pork from the same recipe. None of it on its own was enough to make a meal but thrown together they became a lovely fried rice and along with a salad was more than enough for lunch. So I got my lunch and used up several little bits of things that would otherwise gone to waste. Win and win!

Fried Rice

2 TBS neutral oil
2 cups cold, cooked rice
¼ cup onion, chopped
1 tsp garlic, minced
½ tsp fresh ginger, minced
1 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp dark sesame oil
protein choice

Put a tablespoon of neutral oil in a large skillet over high heat. When hot, add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they are soft and brown, 5-10 minutes. When done, transfer to a bowl. Add the protein and cook 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Put remaining oil in the skillet, followed by the garlic and ginger, about 15 seconds later begin to add the rice a little bit at a time, breaking up the lumps and stirring into the oil. Return the meat and vegetables to the pan and mix well. Add the soy sauce and sesame oil. Mix well. 2 servings

Note: this recipe is incredibly versatile. Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, stir-frying the hard or frozen vegetables until tender before adding then to the rice. Please to feel free to use any protein you have on hand. Remember, using day old, cold rice will prevent mushy fried rice.

Adapted from How To Cook Everything

Wacky Cake

WIN_20140522_071015 (2)
This morning when I went to work on a post for my blog, I discovered I had two followers! I was so excited! I have two followers and one of them doesn’t even know me! Okay, this isn’t on par with the Pioneer Woman’s blog or even some of the lesser known food blogs I read. It is exciting to know that someone was interested enough in what I wrote to want to see more. So I thought I would celebrate my second follower with a cake.

Wacky Cake

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
2 ½ TBS cocoa
½ cup sugar
¼ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup water
2 ½ TBS canola oil
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp vinegar

In a 2 cup baking dish, combine the flour, cocoa, sugar, salt and baking soda. Mix it until it is well combined. Make four wells, two large and two small. In the large wells, pour the water and oil. In the small wells, pour the vanilla and vinegar. Stir until well moistened. When the batter is well mixed smooth it out and spread it into place with a spatula. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let it cool 30 minutes before slicing.
— Sprinkle with powdered sugar or serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Buttermilk Pancakes

Pancakes and Eggs

As the weather gets further and further below zero I crave something more substantial and carb heavy than cereal for breakfast. I crave pancakes and eggs.

I know what you’re thinking, pancakes take too long to make for a busy weekday morning; they are strictly for weekend mornings. Usually, you would be right. Making a batch of pancakes for a family is out of reach for most of us on weekday mornings. However, there are benefits to being a solitary cook. One of these benefits is only making 4 pancakes at a time instead 12-20 pancakes at a time. If you have a griddle, these pancakes can be done in about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a griddle, you can do them two at a time in a large skillet and be done in about 15 minutes.

Buttermilk Pancakes

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 ½ tsp sugar
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
2 TBS buttermilk powder
1/8 tsp salt
3 TBS lightly beaten egg
1 TBS canola oil
½ cup water

Preheat the griddle or frying pan over medium heat; about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, buttermilk powder, and salt; mix well. In another bowl, combine the egg, oil and water. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just moistened. Drop by ¼ cupfuls onto a heated pan coated with cooking spray. Cook until the bottom is golden, 2-4 minutes. Flip the pancakes and cook until the other side is golden. This recipe makes two, two pancakes servings.

— If you don’t have buttermilk powder, omit the powder and water and substitute 1/2 cup milk
— Buttermilk powder can be found in the baking aisle of most grocery stores. Once you have opened the can it keeps indefinitely in the fridge.