Saturday, January 21, 2012

French Toast with Buttermilk Syrup

Can you say YUM, YUM?  This syrup is a caramel type syrup and is delicious.  It is so easy to make and tastes wonderful.  I love it with fresh strawberries, but in the off season I keep some frozen on hand.  My teenage son was hesitant to try this, but once he did he discovered it's the best syrup ever.  Give it a try! 
Don't let the buttermilk part turn you away - see my tip at the bottom of the post!  You can even make it with sour milk in an pinch, but try getting some buttermilk powder - it's worth it.
Use a good size pan, because this stuff really grows.

It needs to boil for just a few minutes.

After adding vanilla and baking soda, you can see that it has tripled in size - therefore the need for a large pan.

When it first comes off the stove it will be really frothy - no problem just serve and enjoy.  After it sits it will look like this.  It may not look like much, but it tastes divine.

 French Toast with Buttermilk Syrup

Prepare French Toast as desired top with fresh fruit such as strawberries or blueberries and pour buttermilk syrup over top.  It is divine!

Buttermilk Syrup:
½ cup buttermilk
1 cup sugar
1 cube real butter
1 tsp light corn syrup
Bring to boil in a saucepan.  Remove from head and add:
½ tsp vanilla
½ tsp baking soda
Stir with a wire whip and be careful as it really foams up!-about triple the size.

(I use powdered buttermilk that I keep on hand and mix up a 1/2 cup at a time.  There are quite a few places you can get this from - I ordered mine from the prepared pantry -  Of course you can use regular buttermilk from the store.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Mandarin Chicken

  This is one of our favorite recipes.  I adapted it from Panda Express' Mandarin Chicken Recipe found Top Secret Recipes many years ago (I like my version better).

 Part of the reason we love it is it's so easy to make.  Just throw everything in the Crock Pot let it cook, add some rice and you're ready to go.  Even my teenage boys can make this.

This is the kind of garlic and ginger I use.  I buy it at the grocery store or Walmart and it lasts in the fridge for many months.  We make this recipe at least once a month.  The recipe calls for Chicken Thighs and these taste much better than chicken breasts.  They handle the long term cooking better and stay moist.  I buy them at Costco in the large bags and keep them on hand.

I cooked this recipe while I was at work which is why it is a little dark.  I like it better when it's cooked on high for 3-4 hours.  This is a no-fail recipe - try it - it is definitely a family pleaser recipe.

1 1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbl. Lemon juice
2 tsp. Vegetable oil
2 tsp. Minced fresh garlic
1 tsp. Minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup water
4 Tbl. Cornstarch
6 skinless chicken thigh fillets

  • Put chicken thighs in crockpot, pour other ingredients on top, except water and constarch.  Mix water and cornstarch in bowl and add to mixture, stirring to combine.
  • Cook on high 3-4 hours or low about 6 hours.
  • Cook rice and serve over rice.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sticky Fingers

Seriously if you haven't tried making these yet - YOU MUST!  This is one of the easiest, best recipes out there.  And if you don't live close to a Wingers Restaurant these are a perfect replacement.  We love to eat them with Ranch Dressing.  You can also add a little of the sauce to some Ranch Dressing and dip some popcorn in it for some just like Wingers at home.


Sticky Fingers “Mock Wingers”
Bake Breaded Chicken Fingers about 6-8 pieces as instructed on package.  We usually double the sauce to cover more.
For the sauce (this covers about 6-8 sticky fingers):
3 Tbsp. Franks Hot Sauce (It has to be Franks Hot Sauce-any flavor works!!)
3/4 c. brown sugar
3 Tbsp. water

Heat up sauce, brown sugar and water in a saucepan until all the sugar dissolves.  Let it come to a boil until it thickens a little – about 3-5 minutes.  Pour over cooked breaded chicken (any kind will work, strips, filets, etc).  You can also dip each piece into the sauce individually. 

Seriously, this tastes exactly like the real thing!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Chicago Style Shredded Beef Sandwiches

I decided to try a new recipe and it was EXCELLENT. I found it on a site linked on Pinterest. Freezer Friendz has some great recipes to use as freezer meals. This one is perfect to make for tonight's supper with leftovers for lunch tomorrow. You slow cook the meat all day (works great while you are at work.)

The original recipe called for optional green peppers, but I like sauteed onions better and I had them on hand. You could definitely use both.

Here they are just before putting them in the oven to melt the cheese. These were delicious and very filling. Serve with fruit or salad for a quick (after the meat is done), easy meal.

**Adapted from Freezer Friendz
Chicago Style Shredded Beef Sandwiches
Prep time: less than 30 minutes
Servings: 8
3 cloves garlic, minced or 3 tsp
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1 (4 lb.) beef roast
1 tbsp. instant beef bouillon granules
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
1/4 c. water
green pepper slices (cooked)(optional)
sauteed onions (optional)
(6" each) crusty Italian or French hoagie buns, split
8 slices provolone cheese
**Tip-The secret to tender meat is to brown it first on all sides in a little oil in saucepan before putting it in the slow cooker.
Combine garlic, salt and pepper, bouillon granules, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper and water in slow cooker. Place braised roast in slow cooker and flip to coat both sides with sauce. Cook on low 8-10 hours until meat is easily shredded with fork. When meat is ready, cut buns open and spread with butter - toast in oven. Put meat on roll. Add cooked green peppers and/or onions if desired. Place cheese on top. Place in oven on 350 until cheese is melted. Serve and Enjoy!!

Freezer Meal Instructions:
Place half of the meat and juice in each of 2 Ziploc freezer bags. Place 4-6 buns in each of 2 gallon Ziploc freezer bags. Place 4-6 slices of cheese in each of 2 pint size Ziploc freezer bags. If desired, place a meat, bun and cheese bag in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag to keep the meal organized.
To Serve:
Thaw meat, buns and cheese. Heat meat just until warm in microwave. Spread melted butter on rolls. Toast them in oven. Put meat on roll. Add cooked green peppers if desired. Place cheese on top. Place in oven on 350 until cheese is melted.
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