Tuesday, October 29, 2013

General Tso's Chicken

My sweet sweet husband has one really sweet habit that makes me crazy sometimes. Every single time he goes to any restaurant he has a particular thing that he always gets. For instance - if we go to any Chinese restaurant he will get General Tsos Chicken; if we go to any Thai restaurant he will get Chicken Pad Thai; if we go to Winners he gets the Birdie Sandwich... every every dang time. I want to break his OCD and every time hope he will try something new - "here doesn't this look good?" at which point he always takes it into consideration and when it is time to order goes back to his old standby. Every every dang time. So yes - I see it as a challenge to expand his horizons - but yes I also find it absolutely adorable how faithful he is to his choices. So... it was only fitting that I find a recipe to make my sweet sweet husband General Tso Chicken. I made one version vegetarian with fake chicken and one with real chicken breast.

  • 1C veggie broth
  • 2T low sodium soy sauce
  • 1T chopped fresh ginger
  • 2t rice vinegar
  • 2t sweetener
  • 1t curry paste
  • 2T Franks sweet and spicy hot sauce
  • 2T evoo
  • 1 package of boneless chicken breast (or 1 bag fake chicken strips)
  • 1 handful of green onions
  • half package of frozen broccoli
  1. Mix broth, soy sauce, ginger, vinegar, sweetener, and curry in a bowl until it is well blended and put aside for a while
  2. Saute the chicken in evoo in a pan until heated through - remove from pan and put in a plate for a while
  3. Pour broth mixture in to pan and simmer until it thickens a bit
  4. Place chicken, green onions, and broccoli back into pan and coat with sauce until cooked through
  5. Serve over rice (though if you skip the rice and franks sauce this works for stage 1 south beach diet)

How to Make Quick Pickles - Quickles

This past week I journeyed with my dashing groom, my snuggly prince, and my mother-in-law on a road trip through the South. We visited family in North Carolina, stayed at a cabin in the Mountains, hiked waterfalls, climbed through caves, braved mile high swinging bridges, visited a winery, visited fort sumter, savannah riverfront, and even stayed a night in Charleston with BT's cousins. While there I got to taste some quickles cousin Michelle made that she found a recipe from TheShiksa. I couldn't quite get them off of my mind and bugged her until she sent me a link to the recipe before I even arrived home. Well - after a whole day home I ran to Publix and bought what I needed - or what I could find that I needed. Here is my slightly tweaked version of the recipe.

  • 5 garlic cloves
  • 1 fist full of fresh dill
  • 1 bay leaf or a shake of dried
  • 1/2 tsp of whole peppercorn
  • 1/2 tsp of coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp of dill seeds (not dill weeds - i ended up finding it at walmart after a couple stores I checked didnt)
  • a couple shakes of red crushed pepper
  • a shake of celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp of fennel seed
  • 8 small cucumbers (without the wax coating)
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 tbsp course salt
  • 1 mason jar
  1. Put slices of garlic into a pan with water and let it boil for one minute to blanch the garlic (this keeps the garlic from turning blue in the soaking. After boiling for one minute drain the garlic.
  2. Add garlic, all spices (except salt), and cucumbers into the mason jar. The cukes will likely have to be squished to fit but after the soaking they will shrink so should be easier to get out.

  3. Boil the vinegar and water and salt in a saucepan until salt is gone and about one minute after
  4. Use a funnel if you have one - and pour the solution over the cucumbers until they are covered.
  5. Let the jar cool off before closing with the jar top and sticking it into the fridge.
  6. After about two days of soaking you can take them out to eat, but the longer you wait - the tastier they will turn out to be.
  7. Enjoy!


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