Easy Beef Stir Fry

I love a yummy stir fry. I decided to make one for the family and they really enjoyed it. The meal came together quick and easy, my favorite kind of meal. All ingredients were purchased from my local grocery store. I highly recommend low sodium soy sauce, same great flavor, just lower sodium.

Ingredients for the marinade:

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons maple syrup

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce

2 Tablespoons of sesame oil

Beef in marinade

Mix together. Place meat in a plastic ziplock bag and marinate for an hour or more in the refrigerator. Prep the vegetables that need to be sliced, diced or minced while this is marinading.

I seasoned my beef with salt and pepper.

Ingredients for stir fry:

3 Tablespoons of sesame oil

1 1/2 pound package of beef (my package was cut for fajitas and stir fry)

1 package pre-sliced mushrooms

1 red pepper, sliced into sticks

3/4 package of sugar snap peas

1 can of water chestnuts, drained

1/2 onion, sliced

1 container of stir fry, I bought some with Napa cabbage

Sesame seeds for garnish, optional

Chow mein noodles for garnish, optional

Green onion for garnish, optional

Delicious over rice

These Chinese noodles cooked in 3 minutes.

Sauce for Stir Fry:

1/2 cup sesame oil

3 Tablespoons Hoisin Sauce

1 cup of water

1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce

4 Tablespoons honey

3 Tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar

4 Tablespoons brown sugar

4 Tablespoons maple syrup

3 Tablespoons minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

2-4 Tablespoons cornstarch

In a sauce pan, add all ingredients except cornstarch. Heat and remove a cup of sauce and add 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch to make a slurry. Mix slurry into sauce, if it’s not thick enough for your liking, make another slurry. Keep warm until you add this to the stir fry.

Remove beef from marinade. Brown in sesame oil and set aside. Add vegetables to you pan/wok and stir until tender. Add the beef back to your pan/wok and add the stir fry sauce. Serve over Chinese noodles or rice. Garnish with sesame seeds, green onion or chopped chow mein noodles. My family cannot eat seeds so I opted for green onions and chow mein noodles. Enjoy!

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Peaches and Cream Cupcakes

I love and adore peaches. My Dad does too. I think I have purchased 15 pounds this summer. My Dad asked me to make another dessert with peaches, so I decided on cupcakes. The cupcakes are full of chopped sweet peaches and topped with delicious cream cheese frosting. The cupcakes on their own without frosting would be great as peach muffins. This recipe is for you Daddy.

These cupcakes are delicious without frosting. Would make a great peach muffin.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 flour

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup whole milk

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon peach extract, or peach schnapps

1 egg

1/2 cup water

2-3 peaches chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pan with liners.

Whisk together all dry ingredients. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine milk, oil, extracts and egg. Add liquid ingredients to the dry, scraping down the sides as needed. Slowly add the water. Fold in chopped peaches. Fill cupcake liners 2/3 full. This recipe will make 14-16 cupcakes. The cupcakes are are so moist, fluffy and so full of peach flavor. These cupcakes vanished right before my eyes.

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1 stick of butter

1 8 ounce page cream cheese

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 pound of powdered sugar

Garnish with sliced peaches, optional

Cream butter and cream cheese together. Add extract and incorporate powdered sugar. Pipe frosting on cupcakes (I used a 1M tip). Enjoy!

Copycat Lemon Passion Cake

This is a recipe from Macaroni Grill. I had to make this cake after I tried it. My sweet server told me the ingredients, my job was to figure out the measurements and the recipe go duplicate it. There are a couple of steps to this recipe but it is guaranteed to please.

Ingredients for cake:

3 cups flour less 6 Tablespoons

6 Tablespoons Cornstarch

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

4 eggs, extra large room temperature

1 egg white, room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons (or 3 for bolder lemon taste) lemon extract

3/4 vegetable oil

1 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter or prepare a 13 x 9 pan and set aside.

Whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat eggs and egg white. Add the sugar and combine. Mix for 3 minutes. Add lemon extract and vegetable oil and combine. Alternate flour mixture with buttermilk ending with flour.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean. Cool completely and prepare simple syrup.

Simple Syrup:

1 1/2 cups water

1 1/2 cups sugar

Simmer in pan until sugar is dissolved. This can be made in advance. Poke holes in cake, I used a straw. Pour simple syrup evenly over cake.

Poke holes in cake and evenly pour simple syrup over cake. Allow simple syrup to soak in cake before brushing on the lemon curd.

Lemon Curd Ingredients

1 stick of butter

1 Tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice, about 4 lemons

1 cup of sugar

Strain zest from lemon curd.

Brush a thin layer of lemon curd on cake before frosting with Lemon Whip Cream Frosting.

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Over medium low heat, whisk ingredients together. Whisk frequently to prevent scorching. The lemon curd should have a smooth consistency, not thick. Strain lemon curd to remove zest. This lemon curd is smooth and so tasty. Cool lemon curd. Using a pastry brush, spread a thin layer of lemon curd over the cake that has soaked up the simple syrup. Save remaining lemon curd for frosting. Leftovers can be used on scones or biscuits.

Lemon Whip Cream Frosting:

Ingredients:

1 pint of heavy whipping cream

1 8 ounce package cream cheese

1/2 – 1 cup powdered sugar

3 or more heaping Tablespoons lemon curd*

Plain whip cream for garnish, optional

Caramel drizzle on plate, optional

Chill mixing bowl and attachment(s) in refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes. Beat cream cheese until smooth. Your cream cheese needs to be cold, not room temperature. Add heavy cream and mix on low, increasing speed of the mixer. Add in 1/2 cup sugar and lemon curd. Taste it to see if you want it sweeter and more lemony*. The cake at the restaurant had a subtle lemon flavor, not overpowering. You make taste however you desire. Frost over cooled cake. Refrigerate cake.

Cinnamon Chocolate Cake

I have enjoyed many meals with our family friend Georgia. She is an excellent cook and she is an excellent baker too. I have had this cake many times at her home and love it. I have had several requests for her recipe. It is similar to a Texas Sheet Cake but not the same. I thought about calling Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake because it reminds me of Mexican Hot Chocolate. The cake is very moist and I love the fudgy frosting. As promised, here is the amazing recipe.

Cooking the chocolate sauce on the stove for the cake batter.

Ingredients:

2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup butter

1/4 cup chocolate baking powder

2 eggs, room temperature

1/2 cup buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 9 x 13 pan. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, cinnamon and salt. In a saucepan, combine water, oil, butter and chocolate baking powder. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well. Add eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and baking soda and mix well. Pour into prepared baking pan and bake 35-40 minutes until cake tester comes out clean.

Check out this fudgy frosting! 😋

Frosting:

1/2 cup butter (1 stick)

1/3 heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup chocolate baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3 cups powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

While cake is baking in the oven, make frosting. In a saucepan, combine butter, cream, chocolate baking powder and cinnamon. Cook over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and add sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth. Spread over hot cake. Cool completely. The frosting will harden on top of the cake as it cools. Enjoy!

Sautéed Green Beans With Mushrooms

Green beans are my favorite vegetable. They always have been. This side dish is easy, comes together quickly and is a great side dish to any meal. The flavor is incredible and low carb friendly.

Ingredients:

2 pounds fresh green beans, ends trimmed

1 pound of sliced mushrooms

2 shallots, grated*

4 pieces of bacon

6 Tablespoons butter, divided

8 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Fry bacon in a sauté pan. Remove bacon and set aside. Melt 4 Tablespoons butter in bacon grease. Add mushrooms and shallots. Sauté until tender. In a dutch oven, place green beans and boil until done. If you prefer your green beans al dente with a slight crunch, boil 4 minutes and drain and return to Dutch oven. If you prefer your beans more tender, boil a few minutes more. Add mushrooms, bacon and shallots and all of the butter and bacon grease in the pan. Add in Worcestershire Sauce, Soy Sauce, last 2 tablespoons of butter and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer on low for fifteen minutes. Discard bacon if desired and serve immediately. Enjoy!

*I used a microplane to grate the shallots but a box grater will work just fine.

Blueberry Cheesecake Tart

I love tarts. For those of you who are intimidated by making cheesecakes, this is a great simple alternative. The crust only bakes about 10 minutes, otherwise it’s an easy no bake dessert.

Crust Ingredients:

1 package of shortbread cookies, plus one sleeve of another cookie package, crushed. I used Keebler Sandies

4 Tablespoons butter, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor or put cookies in a large ziplock bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Mix butter with cookie crumbs and press into a tart pan with a removable bottom. My tart pan was 10 1/2 inches. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool completely before adding cream cheese filling.

Ingredients for cream cheese filling:

1 8 ounce plus 4 ounces of another package of cream cheese

3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract

Refrigerate mixing bowl and attachment(s) in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Beat cream cheese, sugar, and extracts together until smooth. Add whipping cream and beat until soft peaks form. Spread evenly into tart shell.

Blueberry topping:

2-4 cups of blueberries, mine were frozen but thawed it was about 2 cups*

1/2 cup blueberry preserves

3 Tablespoons honey

Melt preserves and honey in a sauce pan. Let cool completely. Arrange blueberries on top of tart. Stir preserve/honey mixture and lightly brush or spoon over blueberries. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve. Enjoy!

*make sure if you are using frozen blueberries that they are thawed and drained well

Copycat Sassy Scotty Ranch Chicken Salad

I have stated before, I am crazy about the restaurant, Chicken Salad Chick. Best chicken salads ever. This is a copycat recipe for their ranch flavored chicken salad plus a bonus recipe.

Ingredients:

1 rotisserie chicken, deboned and shredded

1/2 cup Cheese, grated or more to taste

5 strips of bacon, cooked, drained and crumbled

1/2 cup celery, sliced

3 Tablespoons of green onions, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 Tablespoons of sour cream

3 Tablespoons of Ranch salad dressing

When you are not home and without your Kitchen Aid, I use kitchen shears to shred chicken.

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except for the dressing ingredients. In a separate bowl, add ingredients for dressing and mix well. Add to chicken salad and combine. This is great on a sandwich, eaten as is or made into a big salad, recipe below.

A scoop of chicken salad is great on a bed of your favorite lettuce.

Bonus Recipe!

Chicken Salad Salad

Lettuce, I used Romaine

Celery

Green onions

Bacon

Cheese

Tomato

Croutons

Chicken salad from the recipe above, prepared

Additional ranch dressing

Mix together in a large salad bowl and enjoy!