Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Sweet & Sour Chicken

Sweet & Sour chicken, Shrimp Fried Rice, Egg Drop Soup, Won ton Soup, Beef & Broccoli, Egg Rolls, General Tao's Chicken, Vegetable LoMein & my mom's Chicken & Snow peas are just a few Chinese dishes that we enjoy. Ordering take out is a special treat and can be very expensive. With the collection of cookbooks that I have and an array of recipes on line, we can have Chinese at home for a fraction of the cost of take out.  Plus, we get to decided what goes into our dish!!!! This dish is easy prep and we loved the way the sweet & sour played on each other. With Steamed brown or white rice and vegetables of choice, you have a pretty healthy meal. With the abundance of fresh produce this time of the year, you can have a wide variety of vegetable choices.  I usually have all ingredients on hand so this is an easy dinner item. This recipe fed our family of four with leftovers for lunch the next day. I plan on tripling the sauce the next time because my family loves extra sauce over their rice and vegetables. The dish calls for chicken breast, but I think that a mix of chicken breast and boneless chicken thighs would be a match. Well, I do because I love those thighs.... I prepared the chicken before work and topped with the sauce ingredients, placed in the fridge and brought it back out for about 15 minutes while oven was warming up. Dinner was ready in under 1 hour. You can even bake the rice right along side the chicken! Just Wonderful!!!! 

Psalm 119:103 How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth. God's words are sweet to us.  It's meant to give us nourishment, just as the food we eat daily. If we are daily reading God's word we can experience His Sweetness every day. Good food is meant to be shared with family, friends and strangers along the way, so is God's word. When we are not eating the right foods, our bodies suffer, we become sour, and it's the same when we are not feeding our souls and we become sour to those around us. Take in God's spiritual food, it is sweet and share it with others by what you say & what you do! Sourness does not belong in our spiriutal diet!

Sweet & Sour Chicken-


4-5 Boneless chicken breast, cut into bite size pieces
2-3 eggs slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups cornstarch
sprinkle of salt & pepper over the cornstarch
oil for frying

Place beaten eggs in one bowl and the cornstarch in another. Drop chicken pieces in the egg and then roll in the cornstarch to cover and then on a cookie sheet. I like to do this all first before lightly frying.

Heat oil in dutch oven or stir fry pan. Lightly drop chicken pieces in oil and brown, they just have to get their coating slightly crisp, they do not have to be cooked. The chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Remove with slotted spoon and place in a 13 x 9 baking dish. ( I used my stir fry pan and used sesame oil to brown the chicken. They came out perfect).

Sauce Ingredients-

4 tablespoons ketchup
3/4  cup sugar
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon garlic salt
Mix sauce ingredients and pour over the chicken. You can at this point cover and refrigerate and bake later. If baking right away. Pre-heat oven to 350 and bake the chicken for 45 minutes. Stirring every 15 minutes. The will become thick as it cooks.

Steam rice & vegetables of choice to serve with the chicken. To bake rice. I place just over 2 cups of rice in a buttered dish and add 4 cups hot chicken broth, cover and bake for 20 minutes. Gently mix and add 2 tablespoons butter. I freeze any leftover rice for future soups!

Eat Well, Sonya

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy fourth of July!! I love this holiday, fireworks, food, family, the colors especially, red, white & blue. Some of my favorite colors. The flag. My mother-in-law always had holiday plates, cups, napkins, her flags everywhere and great holiday food.  I was requested by some fellow co-workers for a menu of goodies I could make. With the fourth just a few days away and a new summer magazine that I received as a birthday gift, filled with tons of summer recipes including these cookies, well it was meant to be. Thanks Leslie for a great magazine! These cookies are amazing. Our oldest son could not get enough of them and has requested that they are a house staple for every day of the week for life! A cookie for everyday for life, this recipe is a keeper. I just love it when the boys take a bite of anything I make and go crazy with oohs and aahs and these are so good......They were a huge hit at the office as well and I am sure by the end of the night there were only crumbs left. They are easy to mix and roll out beautifully. One batch makes about 10 dozen. I doubled the batch and got a bazillion cookies. More than enough for home and to take to work. They have a touch of lemon extract which compliments nice with the cream cheese & frosting.  I made the cookies on one day, frosted and decorated the next. With red, white and blue frosting and sprinkles to match they will make a nice touch to celebrate the day! I think I will have to make another batch very soon, there were just a few cookies left when I came home from work...

July 4, 1776 a day to remember our independence as a nation. We too can have independence from sin. Galatians 5:1 It is freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand Firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. Christ died to set us free! Free from sin. What is holding you in bondage today?What day is or will be your independence day?

Sugar Star & Flag Cookies
Adapted from Taste of Home best of Summer Recipes


1 cup of butter-softened
1/2 cup cream cheese-softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract
5 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt


In a large bowl, cream the butter, cream cheese & sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs and extracts. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours or until easy to handle.

On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to a 1/4" thickness. Cut with floured 2 or 3" cookies cutters of your choice. Place 1" apart on un-greased baking sheets. Sprinkle with colored sugar or leave some blank to frost. Bake at 350 for 9-11 minutes or until lightly browned and set.

Cool and then frost with your favorite frosting.

Butter Cream Frosting
Adapted from Taste Of Home

1/2 cup softened butter
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 Tablespoons of milk

Beat butter until light & fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract. Add the milk to thin as needed to make it spreadable. Tint with desired paste food coloring.

Frost, decorate and let the frosting dry a bit before stacking on a tray or in a cookie jar.