Taking A Break

Last week was a very bad week for reasons I won’t go into here.  I will just say it broke my heart and I need some time to mend.  So this will be my last post for the month of November.  I will be back December 1 st with the start of my traditional small batch Christmas treats.  Have a very Happy Thanksgiving. Julie

Advertisements

Stir-Fried Chicken With Broccoli

IMG_4954

This weekend I was just clicking my way through You Tube when I came across a video about how to get the most from an all you can eat Chinese buffet.  The basic premise is most of us are doing it all wrong.  We fill up our plates and our bellies with the food that is cheap to make, like fried rice, lo mein and sweet and sour pork.  We then neglect the most expensive stuff, like crab legs.   In order to get the most of an all you can eat Chinese buffet, we should be concentrating more on eating the expensive stuff.

I guess I am doomed to never get the most out of all you can eat Chinese buffet because my favorites are all things that, according to the video, are the cheapest to make.  I love fried rice, lo mein, sweet and sour pork and stir-fried chicken and broccoli the best.  The rest is nice but if I don’t get to it I haven’t missed anything.  Well,  I don’t think I miss anything.  The gentlemen in the video might disagree.  Maybe, if I make more of the Chinese food I like at home, I’ll get more out of the next Chinese buffet I go to.

 

Stir-Fried Chicken With Broccoli

From How To Cook Everything The Basics

1 lb broccoli

2 TBS minced garlic

1 TBS minced ginger

1 medium onion, halved and sliced

1/2 cup water

1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1/4 cup olive oil

salt and pepper, to taste

2 TBS soy sauce,  sub coconut aminos and adjust salt for Whole 30

Prepare all your ingredients before you start cooking.  Once you start cooking things progress quickly.  Trim your broccoli and cut into 1 -2 inch pieces; set aside.   Mince your ginger and your garlic; set aside.  Peel and slice your onion; set aside.  Place your salt, pepper, water and soy sauce to the side with your vegetables.

Add 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat.  When hot, add the chicken and season with salt and pepper.  Stir it once, and then let it sit for at least one minute, until it begins to brown and sizzle before stirring again.  Add the garlic, ginger and onion to the chicken.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink and the vegetables are soft, 3 -5 minutes.  Remove the chicken mixture from the pan and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan.  Add the broccoli right away and raise the heat to high.  Cook, stirring frequently, until the broccoli starts to char in some spots and turns bright green, 1- 2 minutes.  Add 1/4 cup of water and stir to scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the brown bits. Taste the broccoli, it should be tender but not mushy.  If it isn’t tender, cook for 1-2 more minutes.  Return the chicken mixture to the pan and toss to combine.  Add the soy sauce, and the remaining 1/4 cup water, if the mixture looks dry.  Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary. 

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

IMG_4990

Celebrity Chef Tyler Florence isn’t going to write any more cookbooks because …. “Recipes are dead.”  His reasoning behind this statement is …. “I’ll publish a cookbook and I’ll have a 125 recipes.  People only use five and they won’t even follow them:  They’ll use those like a guide that they’ll kind of interchange different ingredients with ….”   (The Smart Kitchen Summit via The Washington Post).

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this statement irked me.  First of all, every recipe since the first caveman threw a piece of meat on the fire has come into existence because someone used someone elses’ recipe as a guide and changed out the ingredients.  This includes every recipe that Chef Florence has ever created.  Second, I wonder if it ever occurred to Chef Florence that more people would use his recipes as written if they were more accessible to the average home cook.

Maybe, I am sensitive to what Chef Florence said because I have spent the last 5 1/2 years adapting other people’s recipes.  Over the years I have asked dozens of professional and hobby bloggers for permission to post my adaptions for their recipes.  None of them have said no because they don’t want their recipes changed in any way.  Most of them are happy I like their recipes enough to include them on A Solitary Feast.  In fact, only one blogger has ever said no when I asked permission to post one of my adaptions. It was more of wanting the views for her recipe on her blog rather than mine not because she was upset I changed her recipe.

Personally, I want you to take the recipes I have posted here and make them your own in whatever way you wish.  To me finding new ways to make a recipe is what cooking is all about.  It’s where we get new flavor combinations, new recipes and new cooking techniques.  So go grab a recipe, get into the kitchen and play.  When you are done come here and tell me about it so can get in the kitchen and play too.

 

Baked Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

Adapted From Budget Bytes

1 cup pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

3/4 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp vanilla

3/4 cup milk

1 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a small bowl, combine the pumpkin,  brown sugar, egg, vanilla and milk; mix well.  In medium bowl, combine the oats, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.  In a 1 quart baking dish, spread the oat mixture in the baking dish.  Bake 45 minutes or until firm. 

 

Giant Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

1540365566742

I was going to get the recipes using Christina Lane’s pumpkin pie spice last week but life got away from me.  So here is the first one, Giant Pumpkin Spice Muffins.  I don’t have a Texas sized muffin pan so I just made these in a regular muffin pan and ended up with 10 regular muffins instead of 6 giant ones.

Giant Whole Wheat Pumpkin Muffins

Adapted From The Breakfast With Beatrice Cookbook

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

1 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spiced

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/2 cup pure pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling

8 TBS dried cranberries or raisins

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease 6 large, 4 inch muffin cups.  In a medium bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and pumpkin pie spice.  In  another medium bowl, combine the buttermilk and pumpkin; mix well.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients; mix until just moistened.  Fold in the raisins.  Evenly spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups.  Bake 35 – 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Remove the muffins and cool on a wire rack.