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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Soy Sauce Chicken {Electric Skillet, Stove-top or Crock-pot}

Almost 2 years ago my friend, Cynthia, offered to bring me a meal when I was 40+ weeks pregnant with baby 3.  I hadn't ever thought to bring someone a meal when they were late in their pregnancy. I had only thought to do that after the baby was born. But she was on to something.  I was HUGE, my back hurt and making dinner was very low on my priority list.  So she brought my family a big pot of this soy sauce chicken.  We were all smitten!  It was seriously delicious! It was the most tender, flavorful chicken I had ever had.  And it was seriously appreciated late in my pregnancy.  She deserves some kind of awesome friend award!

The next day I emailed her thanking her for the amazing meal and requested the recipe.  She kindly shared it and has agreed to let me share it with you! She's a real friend! :)  

Needless to say, we've been enjoying this chicken dish ever since. 2 years and counting this has hit the dinner table at least monthly.  I love a lot of things about this meal.  Here are a few reasons: 
1) It's super tasty!  That is my main reason for loving any food. But really, this chicken is loaded with flavor. 
2) It's tender and moist.  I seriously, with a passion, HATE dry grainy chicken. This is not that way at all.  It's fall apart tender and I go nuts for that kind of chicken.  
3) It's super quick to make in an deep dish electric skillet or deep dish stove top  (like 30 minutes and dinner (and this side of sesame noodles and some steamed veggies) can be made and ready to serve. I love quick, easy, yummy meals! 
4) You can also make it in the crock pot (4-6 hours on low and wah-lah).  The sauce is so quick to mix up (we're talking 5 minutes or less) and then you add some chicken and let it simmer away. It's almost too easy!  I have made it all these ways and it works great.   

There really are so many reasons to love this meal.  I mentioned 2 weeks ago when I posted the Sesame Noodles that we'd had some requests for quick meals that can be made ahead or in a jiffy.  This is another one of those.  Check out our labels for "Quick" and "20-Mintue Meal" and "30-Minute Meal" These labels will continue to grow as we share more, so keep tabs on them.  


Soy Sauce Chicken


½ cup soy sauce
1-1 ⅓ cup water
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 cloves of garlic, minced or 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, grated or 1 teaspoon ginger powder
2-4 lbs skinless chicken (we prefer chicken thighs, although drumsticks and breasts work well too)


Mix soy sauce, water, brown sugar, garlic and ginger together in the bottom of an electric deep-dish skillet, deep-dish stove-top skillet or 4 quart crock pot. This makes up the sauce for the chicken.   Heat the sauce and let sugar dissolve and then add the chicken.  Cover it and let it simmer for 30-35 minutes on the stove or in the electric skillet (about 300 degrees for the skillet) or let is cook in the crock pot on low for 4-6 hours.  Flip the chicken over about half way through so both sides get nice and soaked in the soy sauce mixture.  If the mixture starts to look at all dry, add more water.  Check temperature to make sure the chicken is done before serving, should be at least 165 degrees F.  Serve warm.  

We enjoy eating this with the sesame noodle recipe on our blog (or shred this chicken and add it to the noodles) or some steamed rice and veggies.  

Recipe Source:

lightly adapted from my good friend, Cynthia T.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

{Light & Moist} Sour Cream Cornbread

It's fall! I think fall is my most favorite time of year. I love the cool, fresh air, the leaves as they change on the trees, and I love soup, bread, and baked good full of cinnamon and nutmeg. I'm excited to share some more of my favorites with you this season.  If you follow my friend, Christine, you'll see I shared this recipe on her site a few weeks ago, she just had a baby and I shared a few posts to help her out. 

At our house we love to make chili, especially in the fall.  And cornbread is a staple side for us when it comes to chili. I've tried at least a dozen cornbread recipes over the last few years. I've been searching for the perfect one.  For me, the perfect cornbread is thick, light, and moist - and would be fine just served by itself, but makes a great side dish as well.  I'm not interested in something that is dry and crumbly and has to be soaked in soup or milk to be able eat it.  I actually really love this one from Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but it almost feels like dessert it's so sweet (not saying that's a bad thing, but sometimes I just need something a little lighter in calories). So now I have 2 cornbread recipes I know I can trust. A sweet and most and a much lighter and moist version. Now I feel content. :)

Now that I've made this particular recipe several times with success, I know it's the one.  I love the sour cream (or plain green yogurt - I've used both) in this recipe, it really adds something to the bread that is lacking in others I've tried, I think it is what gives it is light spongy and moist texture.  This recipe is the perfect cornbread in my opinion. It's all those things I want in cornbread. It's easy to make, I generally have everything on hand to make it, it's nice and light and it's moist.  And if you have some butter and honey to top it with - it's even better!  

I hope you will enjoy it this with a big bowl full of chili

Sour Cream Cornbread


¼ cup butter, softened
3 tablespoons sugar
2 eggs
½ cup sour cream (or plain greek yogurt)
½ cup milk
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅔ cup cornmeal
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Grease a glass 8x8 square dish and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the softened butter and sugar. Using a hand-mixer beat on medium speed until creamy, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add eggs and beat well.  Mix in the sour cream/yogurt and milk.  Then add the salt, soda, and baking powder, mix until incorporated.  Add flour and cornmeal and mix on low speed just until mixed. Take care not to over mix or the bread will be dry and crumbly.  

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and spread evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake for 16-22 minutes, until golden brown and you can insert a toothpick in the center and pull out a few moist crumbs, not wet batter.  

Serve warm with butter and honey or jam. Serves 9.

Recipe Source:

lightly adapted from Land O’ Lakes cornbread muffins recipe, originally shared on I Dig Pinterest

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Sesame Noodles

A few weeks ago I asked on facebook what kind of recipes our followers would like to see. We had some requests for easy dinners that can be made ahead of time.  Dinners that are nice to have when you have kids to run from practice to lessons, to whatever and you get home and want to eat quickly.  Leesh and I have sweet tooth's, there is no denying that, so we have shared more dessert recipes than anything else.  So we're going to try to share some of our favorite meals, especially those quick ones that we are loving right now.  But don't fret, the desserts will still come.  We will just try to have some more moderation. 

These soy sauce noodles are a quick meal or side, you can make it as fast as you can cook a package of noodles.  And I'm serious.  If you are like me, you probably have the ingredients on hand too. I'll share a main dish I love to go with this next, something with some meat for my protein loving people (it can be in the crock pot or a quick 20 minute simmer).  Do you guys eat meat with every dinner? We generally do.  I need some protein to keep me going. 

In fact, you can really turn this into it's own meal by serving it with some shredded chicken (I'm thinking a rotisserie chicken for those hectic evenings) on top, or other other meat (sliced beef). You can also use whatever kind of long noodles you have, Asian noodles, linguine, angel hair or spaghetti. I've used plain old spaghetti here. 

The sauce is what makes this, as you might have guessed.  A little soy sauce, sesame oil, garlic, vinegar, chili or chili oil, and some green onions and sesame seed (optional) for garnish.  These noodles are loaded with flavor and are so satisfying.  Me, my husband and my kiddos gobble these up.  

Server em' plain or with any Asian side you desire! Enjoy! 

Sesame Noodles

Serves 4

8 oz of thin noodles (spaghetti, angel hair, Asian noodles, etc)
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon granulated garlic
1 tablespoon rice vinegar or apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes or ½ teaspoon hot chili oil
1-2 green onions, sliced for garnish
Sesame seeds (optional), for garnish


Bring a large pot of water to boil for the noodles.  While the water is getting hot, in a large bowl, mix the soy sauce, sugar, garlic powder, vinegar, sesame oil, and red pepper/chili oil. Set aside.  

When water is boiling add noodles and cook as directed by the package.  While they are cooking slice the green onions.  

Once noodles are done, drain them, and dump them in the bowl of sauce and toss to coat them.  Top with green onions and sesame seeds and serve. These are best warm.  Enjoy!

Recipe Source:

Adapted from the Pioneer Woman, Simple Sesame Noodles, cut the oil way back, use red pepper instead of chili oil, and use granulated garlic in place of fresh garlic (I tried that once and it was too strong for me).  

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

{Knockoff} Mrs. Fields Chocolate Chip Cookies

Okay, if you don't know Leesh and I very well yet, let me just make one thing clear. WE LOVE COOKIES!  Leesh's go to chocolate chip recipe is this one.  I, on the other hand haven't really committed to having one until these were brought back into my life. These cookies date back to our childhood.  Coming home from school to fresh cookies was always my favorite!   

These cookies!  Seriously! Our mom made them when we were growing up and I can't believe I've lived away from home for so long and not ever made them in my own kitchen until recently.  Leesh sent me the recipe a few months ago, saying, "remember these?!?!".  I did and immediately added the ingredients to my shopping list.  

I know you can only have so many chocolate chip cookie recipes. But this one is a keeper for sure. And it's different than all the others I've made. We love oatmeal chocolate chip and regular chocolate chip. And these are kind of a mix between the two with a few extra special things added, like blended oats, a grated chocolate bar in addition to the chocolate chips and some yummy sea salt sprinkled on top.  I think another batch  is in order right now!

I love these cookies so much because they still have that yummy hearty taste of oatmeal, but are much lighter since the oats are blended into a flour.  And the grated chocolate and sea salt just do something magical.  I like to make them a little bigger than usual.  2 inch balls.  This recipe makes a lot, I usually half it and it's still PLENTY!  But we love to freeze them and pop one or two out each day and enjoy them for a while.  I love them frozen, and they are also delicious nuked in the microwave for 20 or seconds, just enough to soften the chocolate and pretend it's fresh from the oven.

If you like cookies morning, noon or night, we hope you'll give these a try next!

-Leesh and Lu

Mrs. Field’s Chocolate Chip Cookies


2 cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups all-purpose flour (I like half wheat and half all-purpose)
5 cups oatmeal, blended (measure before, then blend in blender until powder)
24 ounces chocolate chips
3 cups chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts, optional)
1  (8 ounce) chocolate bar, grated
Sea salt for sprinkling


Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment, silicone bake bats or just on the cookie sheet (un-greased is fine).   

Cream butter and sugar on high in a mixer for 3 minutes, until light creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix one more minute. Measure 5 cups oats into a blender jar and blend until a fine flour.  Mix all soda, baking powder, salt, flour, blended oats together in a large mixing bowl. Add the dry mixture to the butter/sugar mixture. Mix together and add chocolate chips, grated chocolate bar and nuts, mix til combined.

Make golf ball sized cookies place 2 inches apart. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 6 minutes.   Let cool on a cookie sheet for 2 minutes and the on a wire rack until completely cool.  Store in an air-tight container. Freeze for longer lasting cookies. Makes 112 cookies.

Recipe Source:
slightly adapted from a recipe from our grandma and mom. Originally posted on