Some Kitchen Love From My Kitchen Heart....


Well, the kitchen is closed for the night and as I turned around to turn the light out I thought to myself "Whoa!  This is has been one crazy week!"  Yes it has! In the past seven days I have launched a blog, turned 36, survived bronchitis, and somehow managed to keep my sanity through it all!  But, looking back, I am so thankful.  I, in a million years, would have never thought anyone would want to read about my cooking.  And here you are, reading, cooking, and eating with me.  The only words I know to say are THANK YOU!  This is a dream of mine and I am so excited you have chosen to come along. 
 
Since this is the last night in January, let me share with you some things that will be coming up in February! I am excited to say I have lined up a couple guest bloggers, one that will be featured this Sunday!  Also, I have taken a money saving challenge in my home and because of that you will be seeing a lot of quick and easy meals that you can, most likely, find all the ingredients that you need in your kitchen already!  We will be talking about meal planning and pantry stocking, not to mention some great ways to save on your groceries! 
 
Well, time to sign off for the night.  Here is to a GREAT month of cooking in February!
Be Blessed and Be a Blessing!
 
Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
 
~The Kitchen Wife~
 
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Sesame Noodles with Sweet and Spicy Chicken

Take-Out!  God Bless It, ya know!  I mean, what would we do without it?  The thing is, one, it costs so much. And two, we have no idea what is in it!  No, no, no...I'm not saying you're eating cat or dog.  I'm simply stating that we don't know things like how much salt is in this exactly? 
 
However, take-out can totally be a stay-in thing that can be fun for the whole family!  Here is a great dish that everyone is sure to love!  So grab some chopsticks, some take-out boxes and a couple fortune cookies on your way home from work and make a movie night out of it with the family tonight!!
 
 
 
 
Sesame Noodles with Sweet and Spicy Chicken
*Prep Time:  15 min.  *Cook Time:  30-40 min  *Difficulty:  Easy  *Servings: 4-6
 
 

Here Is What You Will Need for the Noodles:

  • 1 lb. of Noodles, Cooked and Drained
  • 1/4 c. Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsp. Brown Sugar
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger, Minced (or Ground)
  • 2 tbsp. Rice Vinegar
  • 3 tbsp. Sesame Oil
  • 1/2 tsp. Sriracha Sauce
  • 4 tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 4 whole Green Onions, sliced thin
Tools You Will Need:

Mixing Bowl
Whisk
Cutting Board
Knife
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons





Here is What You Will Need for the Chicken:

  • 1-2 lb. Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Thighs
  • 3 tbsp. Canola Oil
  • 3 tbsp. Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. Sesame Oil
  • 5 tbsp. Honey
  • 1tbsp. Sriracha Sauce (if you want it less spicy omit or use a tsp.)
  • 4 cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • 1/2 tsp. Ginger, Minced (or Ground)
  • Black Pepper
Tools You Will Need:

Mixing Bowl
Whisk
Knife
Cutting Board
Measuring Cups
Measuring Spoons
Small Baking dish
Foil



First Up...The Chicken
 

Add everything in a small bowl and whisk together.  Be sure to taste and make any adjustments to suit your palette.
 
 
 
While all those flavors marry together, we are going to tend to our chicken.  Now I didn't have boneless, skinless chicken thighs. Yep, that's right, bone in, skin on.  OH NO!  What to do!?!  No sweat!  Let me show you how to easily remedy this problem.
 
First, trim away and excess skin with your pairing knife.  Then, work your fingers under the skin.  Break it free, and pull it off.  EASY PEASEY!
 
Now to deal with that pesky bone!  Simply turn your chicken thigh over, and find the bone.  Use your pairing knife to cut along the sides.  Then, carefully cut the underneath part away.  You should be able to easily pull the bone off the chicken now.  Look at you!!  You could be your own butcher!  Yeah, I know...me either, but hey!  This is a great start! 
 
NOW, we finally have those boneless, skinless thighs we needed.  :)
 
Now for your baking dish.  Here I have a square, 8x8 dish.  You don't want anything too large so the smallest dish you have will be best.  This ensures your sauce will coat evenly over your chicken and keep it from burning.
 
Next you want to line it with TWO layers of foil.  Yes, TWO!!  Trust me, you do not want to skip this step.  It will make clean up soooo much easier! 
 
After that, place your chicken in the dish, pour your glaze over it, and using your tongs (or fingers), make sure your chicken is thoroughly covered with the sauce!
 
Then it goes in a 425 degree, pre-heated oven, uncovered, for 40 minutes!  What I like to do is at the 20 minute mark, take it out and turn the pieces a few time to keep them nice and saucy!  When it gets to be around 30 minutes, keep an eye on things.  There is quite a bit of sugar in this, and your don't want it to burn.  If that begins to happen, take it out.  Your chicken will be done by the.  :)  Feel free to check it with a meat thermometer though. 
 
This is your final result!  Aren't they beautiful?  *sigh* Sticky perfection!
 
Notes on the Chicken:
 
If you are watching your weight, you can use boneless, skinless breast meat.  You will simply need to cut the cooking time back by 10 minutes.  Also, keep in mind that the chicken may be a little dryer.  :) 
 
 
Now for the noodles...
 
First things first, you will bring a pot of water to a boil.  Remember to add a tbsp. of salt to your water.  This is the only time you will have to actually season your pasta. Take every opportunity to create flavor in your cooking!  Once the water is at a rolling boil, add your pasta. 
Here I am using simple spaghetti noodles, but you can use the fancy Asian kind, if you like. 
9 minutes and your pasta is finished.  (*always make sure to follow the cooking instructions on the box of your pasta.)
 
While your pasta is cooking, you will assemble your sauce.  Put everything in a bowl, except the green onions, and whisk.  Then you can slice your green onions and set them to the side.  I like to cut mine on the bias...to make it pretty. 
 
When the pasta is finished cooking, drain, and return to pot. 
(Sorry for the horrible pictures.  My camera died and I had to switch to my phone. :-/)
 
Pour in your sauce...
 
Add green onions, but be sure to save some for garnish later...
 
Stir...
 
 
And VIOLA!!!  I cut up my chicken thighs and put them back in the sauce when they came out of the oven.  So here you have it!  Sesame Noodles with Sweet and Spicy Chicken.  I know you will enjoy this meal and I would love feed back if you try it, as well as seeing your pictures!  Find me on www.facebook.com/foodlifeandspice as well as on twitter @thekitchenwife.  Also, I have just joined Pinterest!  Look for me at http://www.pinterest.com/Thekitchenwife/.  Thanks again for reading!
 
Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

The Kitchen Wife
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 



 

 
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A Benedict Birthday Breakfast...

Today is my 36th Birthday!  Now, you know as well as I do that once you get to a certain age birthdays become less and less about parties and gifts (that's not to say that I don't enjoy a gift or two;) ) and more about feeling special and celebrating the life you have lived.  For example, today I am hanging close to Facebook reading all the loving posts from my friends and family, watching one of my favorite movies, Julia and Julia, going to our local gourmet kitchen store and purchasing something fun for my kitchen, and cooking whatever I want!  I love to try new things on days like this, fancy things, and to kick this foodie fest off I wanted to try my hand at Eggs Benedict. It sounds tres chic! I have never had hollandaise sauce, nor have I ever poached an egg.  So here it goes...Birthday Eggs Benedict!

Here's what you will need:



  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Juice of one whole lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Paprika
  • English muffins
  • Canadian Bacon
  • Vinegar

Tools you will need:

  • Blender
  • pot of water
  • slotted spoon
  • frying pan

First things first...Add your three egg yolks to your blender.  Make sure you save your egg whites!  You can totally use those for breakfast tomorrow!  :)




Then you add your lemon juice.  Now I know that all those fancy poo-poo chefs on TV will tell you that you HAVE to use REAL lemons, but when all you have is a bottle in your fridge, that will do.  1 tbsp. is the equivalent of one lemon.  :)



Buzz that up and bit and get ready to add the magic!



While your blender is running, on low, gently and slowly add your melted butter. 



Once everything is blended it should look something like this!




Add your compliments (salt and pepper) and your paprika, give another little buzz, and taste.  YUM!



Now for the eggs....

I have to admit I was very nervous about this part.  I have read that this is a culinary art of sorts and is not for the novice cook.  But, I am nothing if nor fearless in the kitchen!



First you will need to bring a pot of water to a simmer...NOT A BOIL...a simmer.  It will look like this.  When you get to this point, add a cap full of vinegar. 



Take your spoon and spin your water around. 



Using a bowl, gently drop your egg into the water and let it fold over itself.  Let it go for 2 minutes...
Use your slotted spoon to pull it out and....


Viola!  Okay, so it too me a couple try to get it perfect, but COME ON!!!  Not bad for my first time!  *LOL*
You can just set these on a towel till you are ready right before you serve them, put them back on your spoon and dip in the hat water again.  They will be just right!



Brown up your muffins and serve up your meat.....


SERVE!!!!

This was truly amazing!  It was creamy and silky, almost like cheese sauce.  Definitely a great way to start of this, my 36th, of  birthdays!

Remember, a kitchen life is about treating yourself to something special, decadent.  This was not expensive at all to make and nearly all of it was in my pantry.  So give it a try today and let me know what you think!  I would love to see your pics on www.facebook.com/foodlifeandspice or on twitter @thekitchenwife!

As always...

Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,

The Kitchen Wife :)














2

A Sunday-Style Supper on a 30 Minute Timer...


I know that I am a stay at home wife now, but in fact, this is a relatively new season in my life.  Up until 2012, I taught pre-k 4 and, like many of you, worked 40-60 hours a week.  The challenge in that is coming up with meals that are quick and easy to get on the table, but have a little substance to them as well.  Today I want to share a meal that has Sunday supper appeal in a 30 minute meal setting.  Perfect for that mid-week hump!  As usual, you probably already have these things in your fridge and pantry.  All it take is a little organization and you’re there.  J
 
 

 

Simple Salisbury Steak with Perfect Mashed potatoes and Minute Country Style Green Beans:

*Serves: 4     *Difficulty:  Easy     *Prep Time:  10 -15 minutes     *Cook Time:  20 minutes

Here is what you will need for the Salisbury Steak.
 
 
 

·         1 lb. of ground beef (You can use ground chicken or turkey if you like.  Just know that your patties may be a little brittle due to lack of fat.)

·         1 small onion, grated

·         1 egg

·         2 tbsp. all-purpose flour

·         2 cups of beef broth

·         2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

·         Salt and pepper

Tools you will need:

·         Frying pan with lid

·         Mixing bowl

·         Measuring Cups

·         Measuring spoons

·         Spatula

·         Wisk

 

Here is what you need for the potatoes:
 
 

·         6 potatoes peeled and cubed

·         ½ a stick of butter

·         ¼ c. Milk of Half and Half

·         1 tsp. Seasoning Salt

·         Salt and Pepper

Tools you will need:

·         Peeler

·         Knife

·         Sauce pan with lid

·         Measuring spoons

·         Ricer, Masher, or hand mixer

·         Rubber spatula or spoon

·         Mixing bowl

Here is what you will need for the green beans:
 
 
 

·         1 bag of frozen green beans

·         1 tbsp. grated onion

·         2 chicken bouillon cubes

·         1 slice of bacon diced

·         Pepper

Tools you will need:

·         Sauce pan

·         Measuring spoon

·         Knife

 

I love great family recipes!  I do.  There is just something about making dish that your mom made, and your grandmother made, and your great-grandmother.  Now, I’m not sure if this Salisbury Steak recipe has quite that much history behind it, but it IS a part of a wedding gift I received nearly 14 years ago from my cousin Niki ( HI NIKI!! :) ).  I know that when we think of Salisbury Steak, a picture along these lines pops into our head,
 
 but trust me when I say that this is anything, but frozen and plain.  Best part, it is oh so simple.
 
 
First things first, you will need to grate your onion.  I do this because my husband loves the great flavor that onion gives, but doesn't necessarily want to chew on it.  Make sure to reserve a tbsp. aside for your beans later.
 
 
Now combine your onion, egg, and salt and pepper. 
 
 
Mix well.  I like to score this off in four sections to help ensure I get even patties. 
 
 
 
To your hot pan, add 2 to 3 tbsp. of oil and brown your patties on both sides.  After they are browned, remove them from the pan and put on plate.  You may need to add another tbsp. of oil, and then your flour.  Wisk together until smooth and let cook a couple of minutes so that your gravy will not have a flour taste. 
 
 
Now is where you will add your stock.  Keep Whisking!!!  It should thicken up after a couple minutes.  Now add your Worcestershire sauce and pepper.  Taste to see if you need salt.  If so, add a little pinch at a time.  J
 
 
 Return your steaks to the gravy, turn down to a simmer, cover, and let them cook through.  They should be ready at the same time your potatoes and beans are! 
 
Potato time... 
 
Now please don’t think I am talking down to anyone by showing the step-by-steps of mashed potatoes.  I realize that they are an American side dish staple, but I am reminded of a very young bride who all of the sudden had to cook for her husband and realized she didn’t even know how to prepare the most basics.  (Yes, I am talking about me.)  Part of what I want to do here is teach so here is goes.  Besides, I think I have discovered a couple things that will change your mashed potato world!
 
 
I am the oldest of four children, my Great-Grandmother lived with us, and we ALWAYS had people over.  I think the reason so many of us turn to instant potatoes is because peeling them seems so daunting.  However, cooking for a family of four is not the same.  There is no need to peel and entire 10 lb. bag, or even 5 lb. bag of potatoes.  5 or 6 regular potatoes will work great and I use a plastic bag to make for easy clean-up. 
 
 
 
Once peeled cube them into even pieces for consistent cooking time.  I also add a tbsp. of salt here.  Just like with pasta this is the only time you will have to season your actual potato.  USE IT!
 
 
Cover them with water and bring to a boil.  Cook for 20 minutes and then wait for the magic to happen!!!
 
 
 
When it comes to mashing your potatoes there is nothing like the good ol’ fashioned hand masher.  If you like things a little less lumpy, a hand-mixer is always a nice option, but have your ever met Mister potato ricer?  Oh you haven’t?  Well, let me get you two acquainted.  This does take a couple more minutes, but the results are just…just…heavenly.  You scoop your potatoes into the little pot and press them through the tiny colander...
 
 
See how the potatoes look like rice now?  Hence the name.  The great thing about this is I would have to do nothing, but stir at this point for beautiful, luscious, whipped potatoes.  But where is the fun in that!?!
 
 
 
For my basic mashed potatoes (because I have many varieties I like to make) I use a half a sick of butter, 1/4 cup of half and half, pepper, and my secret ingredient....a Tsp. of Seasoning Salt!  TRUST ME!!!  IT WILL CHANGE YOUR MASHED POTATO WORLD!
 
 
Now on to the green beans...

I am not a real fan of canned vegetables.  I usually like to use frozen.  They are picked at the peak of freshness and flash frozen.  Not to mention that the salt content is a WHOLE lot better.  These beans were actually given to me this summer.  Like 10 pounds of them!  I trimmed, strung, blanched, and froze every last pound of them and it has been a delight this winter.  However, your favorite frozen (or canned) bean will work for this as well. 
 
 
Place your beans in your pot and add your diced piece of bacon.  This helps give it that smoky, all-day long flavor in a fraction of the time.
 
 
Here, again, we have a great opportunity to add flavor.  If you have chicken broth, use it, but I always have bouillon on hand so two cubes does the trick.
 
 
Now add your grated onion you held back from earlier and pepper.  With the bacon and the bouillon there will be no need to add any salt. 
 
 
Add your water.   

Now, for this Sunday Supper on a 30 Minute Timer to get rolling.  Turn on your beans and potatoes.  When the beans come to a boil turn down the heat to medium and let them simmer.  Keep your potatoes at a full boil.  Having lids on your pans will help quicken this process.  :)
 
Once the beans and potatoes are bubbling away, turn your skillet on high, brown your meat, make gravy, and let them cook through.  Everything should wrap up about the same time and dinner is served!  The entire process should take between 30-45 minutes depending on how comfortable you are in the kitchen.  The really neat thing is you can prep everything the night before.  That way the only thing you have to do when you get home from work it cook!  :) 
 
 
This is your end result! 
 
I hope you enjoy this meal with your family!  Please let me know if you try it and I would love to see your pictures on my Facebook page www.facebook.com/foodlifeandspice or look me up on twitter @thekitchenwife !
 
Happy Reading, Happy Eating, and Happy Living,
 
The Kitchen Wife
 
 

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