Monday, May 23, 2011

Sweet & Sour Chicken

So if you know me well, you know I make Rachael Ray recipes a lot. I get her magazine and love it! I took it with me to Wal-Mart to get a week's worth of meals.

Now, I must say I have never been a huge fan of sweet and sour chicken at restaurants. I have never enjoyed the sauce. Well, I thought I would give this recipe a try and it was mmm hmm good if I do say so myself. Here is the recipe:

Sweet-and-Sour Chicken
Serves 4


Salt & Pepper
1 cup white rice
1 can (20 oz) pineapple chunks, drained, 1/2 cup juice reserved
2 tbsp. white vinegar
2 tbsp. soy sauce
4 tsp. cornstarch
1 tbsp. ketchup
2 tsp. finely grated ginger (OR 1 tsp. dry ginger)
1 and 1/4 lbs. skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces (I added 1 green bell pepper too on accident but it tasted good with it, too)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring 1 and 3/4 cups of water and 1/2 tsp. salt to a boil; stir in the rice. Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the pineapple juice, vinegar, soy sauce, 2 tsp. of cornstarch, the ketchup, and ginger. In a bowl, toss the chicken with the remaining 2 tsp. of cornstarch, 1/2 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper.
3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes; transfer to a plate. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in the pineapple chunks and reserved chicken.
4. Whisk the pineapple juice mixture into the chicken mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the chicken is cooked through, about 2 minutes. Serve over the rice.

Here is a picture of everything but the rice, if you want to get your tastebuds ready!!/photo.php?fbid=10150186835775642&set=a.10150174722105642.300158.571520641&type=1&theater


Monday, May 2, 2011

Strawberry Pickin'!

So, it is strawberry season here in Eastern North Carolina and we have been to two different strawberry patches to pick our own strawberries! It is so fun to do, and much cheaper by the pound - as in between $1-$.125/lb! After we went the first time, and brought the 7 lbs. home, I got to do I freeze these guys? So, I thought if doing what I did with the blueberries we picked last year. I rinsed them, dried them, cut the stems off, and plopped them in a freezer bag. Well, when defrosting them, they turned to mush. So, I realized that would not work....although I could use the mush for some strawberry freezer jam.

I found a freezer jam recipe that does not need pectin. I haven't tried it yet but here it is if you're interested:

Strawberry Jam

Prep Time:
20 Min
Cook Time:
20 Min
Ready In:
40 Min

Servings (Help)


Original Recipe Yield 5 cups


  • 2 pounds fresh strawberries, hulled
  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  1. In a wide bowl, crush strawberries in batches until you have 4 cups of mashed berry. In a heavy bottomed saucepan, mix together the strawberries, sugar, and lemon juice. Stir over low heat until the sugar is dissolved. Increase heat to high, and bring the mixture to a full rolling boil. Boil, stirring often, until the mixture reaches 220 degrees F (105 degrees C). Transfer to hot sterile jars, leaving 1/4 to 1/2 inch headspace, and seal. Process in a water bath. If the jam is going to be eaten right away, don't bother with processing, and just refrigerate.


  • To test for jelling
  • Place three plates in a freezer... after about 10 minutes of boiling place a tsp of the liquid of the jam onto the cold plate. Return to freezer for a minute. Run your finger through the jam on the plate... if it doesn't try to run back together (if you can make a line through it with your finger) it's ready to be canned!
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ANYWAYS, if you don't want mush or jam and you just want to eat them, here are the instructions I followed from ehow online. We'll see how they turn out....


things you'll need:

  • Strawberries
  • Freezer bags or containers
  • Knife or huller
    • 1
      Fresh you pick strawberries

      During strawberry season go to the nearest you pick farm and pick your own strawberries. The best time is in the morning while the strawberries are still cool. Choose the strawberries that are fully ripened with no green or white tips. Be careful not to crush the strawberries and keep them out of the sun.

    • 2
      Fresh strawberries

      When you get your strawberries home you will want to freeze them as soon as possible. Wash you strawberries in cool water and pat dry with a paper towel. Do not soak strawberries. Hull the strawberries with a small knife or huller.

    • 3
      Whole strawberry to enjoy anytime

      Place strawberries on a cookie sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer until hard. When strawberries are frozen place them into clean freezer bags or containers. Now you can enjoy fresh whole strawberries anytime.