Wednesday, May 30, 2007

General Tso's Chicken

This recipe is easy and fast to prepare! All you need is a package of either sun-bird brand general tso's chicken seasoning mix, or any spicy chicken mix you can find by the gravy mixes in your local super market. If yet you still can't find those and you're pretty good in the kitchen, all that is in this pouch is corn starch, garlic and onion powder, white wine powder (distilled white wine), spices (you need it spicy!) salt and lemon juice.

1/4 cup flour
1 lb. chicken, cut into chunks
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tbs Soy sauce
3/4 cup water
2 Tbs olive oil

In either a zip-lock bag or a bowl toss the chicken with the flour. Heat up the oil in a skillet over medium high heat.
On the side in a separate bowl mix together the brown sugar, soy sauce, water, and seasoning mix.
Add the flour coated chicken and cook until evenly browned.
Stir the seasoning mixture and add to skillet. Bring it to a boil, then turn down the heat and let it simmer until it thickens a little.

I usually make jasmine rice and broccoli with this chicken. Making all three of those only takes about 25-30 minutes once the chicken is in the pan.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Candy Making Temperatures

Stage of Candy = Temperature

Dark Caramel = 350-360
Medium Caramel = 338-350
Light Caramel = 320-338
Hard Crack = 300-310
Soft Crack = 270-290
Hard Ball = 250-266
Firm Ball = 244-248
Soft Ball = 234-240
Thread = 223-234

Magic Cookie Bars

Need something quick for a picnic? But it has to easy to transport or eat, and still be yummy! Then try these out! Everything goes into one pan, so it's an easy clean up as well.

1/2 cup butter
1 1/2 graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated!)
1 (16 oz) bag semi sweet chocolate chips
1 (3 1/2 oz) bag flaked coconut (about 1 1/3 cups)
1 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350° (325° for a glass pan)
In the baking pan (I usually use a standard cake pan) melt the butter in the oven. Then sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly over the melted butter. Gently pour condensed milk over the graham cracker crumbs. Top this evenly with the remaining ingredients, and press firmly down. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until it's lightly browned on top. Let cool completely before cutting. And these should be stored at room temperature.

To transport you could just easily cut into small squares, put the lid on the cake pan and take them with you!

Measuring Equivalents

My friends and I always needed these for recipes, and could never find proper ones. So we worked them all out and I suggest you copy and print them onto an index card. You just never know when you might need them!

1 tablespoon = 3 teaspoons
1/8 cup = 2 tablespoons
1/4 cup = 4 tablespoons
1/3 cup = 5 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon
1/2 cup = 8 tablespoons
2/3 cup = 10 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons
3/4 cup = 12 tablespoons
1 cup = 48 teaspoons
1 cup = 16 tablespoons
8 fluid ounces = 1 cup
1 pint = 2 cups
1 quart = 2 pints
4 cups = 1 quart
1 gallon = 4 quarts
16 ounces = 1 pound

Here are a few I have come across in baking:

24oz of eggs = about 12 eggs

I'll add to these when I find more!

Now some of these are common sense, but sometimes in the middle of baking or cooking fury they slip our minds!