Tag Archives: bell pepper

Cooking Isn’t a Chore

In our house cooking is NOT a chore.
Jon has tried the ‘ol “Well, I cooked so you should clean” trick on me many times. Nice try.
Cooking in our house is fun for both of us. Sometimes we have to call dibbs on who gets to cook. Last night when I got home from work I immediately called dibbsies.
Jon was sort of sick, so he was being more opinionated about what dinner should be than usual.
He is much more laid back than I am. I am terribly high strung and controlling, and he is neither of those things.

I pulled a couple of cookbooks off of our bookshelf that is for cookbooks, and only cookbooks. I plopped down on the couch next to Jon and started spouting off things that sounded good to me.
“I could make carbonara. Does that sound good?”
“Okay *flipflipflip*. I kind of want corned beef hash, does corned beef hash sound good?”
(stared at him in a “well what the hell do you want” kind of way)
“I want Chinese food.”

Fine. Chinese food it is. No cookbook required.
I’m really good at making up stir fry.
Beef and tons-o-veggies stir fry.

Here’s what you’ll need:

1/2 lb stir fry meat
1 carton mushrooms (sliced)
2 small carrots (peeled and julienned)
1 red bell pepper (also julienned)
1 cup snap peas
1/2 small onion (chopped)
1 tsp fresh ginger (minced)
3 cloves garlic (minced)
1 Tbs rice vinegar
4 Tbs cooking sherry
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbs mirin
1 tsp sesame oil
1/3 cup Shezwan stir fry sauce (found in oriental foods isle)
2 Tbs vegetable oil

Combine rice vinegar, 1/2 the sherry, soysauce, mirin and sesame oil in a medium sized bowl. Add stir fry steak and evenly coat.

Mmm…does this not look super appetizing? Slug looking pieces of steak in a metal bowl? Makes me want stir fry just looking at this picture.
Cover with saran wrap and allow to marinate in the fridge for about an hour.
Meanwhile, correctly cut up all your veggies.

Once meat is done marinating, heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add vegetable oil. Once pan is very hot, place steak in one even layer in skillet.

The bottom of the pan will start to brown, add remaining sherry to hot pan. Cook steak for about 2 minutes, then remove to a bowl and set aside. Add more vegetable oil to pan. Keeping pan very hot, add carrots, onion, red pepper, mushrooms and snap peas. Stir for about 3 minutes, then add your ginger and garlic.

Pour Shezwan sauce over veggies, then add meat back to pan. Cook for an additional minute or so.

You can serve with a couple of ways. Jon and I couldn’t agree on what sounded better; noodles or rice….so we made both. Jon cooked oriental noodles off, and then added about 2 Tbs of vegetable oil to a hot pan. Then he dumped his noodles in there, let them brown on one side, flipped them like a pancake and browned them on the other side. Seasoned them with sesame oil and scooped some stir fry on top of it. For myself, I made brown rice and had 2 servings.

Brown rice = healthier option = I can eat twice as much as Jon.


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Chicken Catch-My-Tory

Jon was starving tonight.

Crazy starving.

First thing’s first! Take those chicken thighs from Costco out of the freezer to defrost!
While waiting, poor yourself a fancy looking bubbly water in a wine glass. Add a lemon and feel totally sophisticated.

Ah, yes. Enjoy that bubbly water. Mmmm delicious bubbly water….


8 chicken thighs
2 Tbs butter
4 Tbs olive oil
salt and pepper
1 cup flour
2 bell peppers (cut into strips)
5 cloves of garlic (chopped)
1 large onion (cut into strips)
1 carton of chopped mushrooms
1 cup of dry white wine
1 (28oz) can whole tomatoes
1 Tbs tumeric
1 Tbs dried thyme
handful of parsley

Pre heat your oven to 375 degrees.

Lay out your chicken on a large surface and season with salt and pepa. Season REAL good. Get it? Salt and pepa…
Okay, I’m old.

Get out your dutch oven and place on the stove over medium high heat. Add olive oil and butter until butter is melted.

Lightly dredge the chicken in flour and place skin side down in the hot pot. Only do 4 chicken thighs at a time so you don’t over crowd the pot. Do it in 2 batches.

Brown the chicken on both sides and set it on a plate once browned.
Discard half of the oil in the pan. Add onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook for one minute, and then add the chopped mushrooms.

Cook for another minute. Season with tumeric and thyme. Add your cup of white wine. Take a swig straight out of the bottle and put the rest back in the fridge. Yes, that last step is necessary.
Now add your can of tomatoes. I used whole ones that I squished up with my hands before I added it to the pot, but that’s just because I love Trader Joe’s whole canned romas. Feel free to buy pre-chopped tomatoes.

Give it a little stir and bring to a boil. Place the chicken back in the pot, so that they aren’t fully submerged in the liquid, with the skin side up.

Put the lid on it, and place in the oven for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the lid and cook for 15 more minutes.

Once it’s done baking, remove from oven.

Remove the chicken, and set aside.

Remove the veggies, and set aside.

See this broth that’s left behind? Put this over medium high heat for about 5 minutes until it has reduced a bit. It’s going to make an awesome sauce.

Cook up any kind of noodles you like. I chose egg noodles because they are incredibly cheap and we alway seem to have a never ending supply in our pantry. Put some chicken and veggies on top of your chosen pasta. Top with sauce, some chopped parsley and a little bit of parmesean.

Oh. My. God.
So good.
Don’t worry. I didn’t eat all of this. I got a little carried away when I was plating it up. Jon called it “Olive Garden portions”.

Thank you Pioneer Woman for creating such a wonderfully easy and equally tasty recipe. Don’t know who the Pioneer Woman is? I suggest you check it out ASAP.
The Pioneer Woman

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