Honey Chicken Stir-Fry

Apparently, I am on a chicken kick.

Actually, what really happens in our house is that I buy chicken at the store with intentions to make wonderful things with it.  I never do.  I always find something else that I want more than chicken.  That always leads to me being forced to make a million things with chicken in a row because I have to use the chicken before it goes bad.

I know I could freeze it.  I don’t freeze anything.  I feel like I don’t know how to properly freeze food and I’m afraid it will just end up freezer burnt.  I know they make freezer wrap and freezer bags, but I always feel like it’s not sealed enough.  Anyone have any tips on freezing food?  I’m still learning…remember, I’m growing up.

Last night, I used my last pack of chicken to make a meal that is often requested by the police officer.  Chicken stir-fry.

I used frozen stir-fry vegetables, which I really don’t prefer.  We all know that fresh is SO much better, but I was running late last night and had to work with what I had.

This is a good way that I can get the police officer to eat his vegetables.  Although, after he was done eating, I noticed a little pile of broccoli on his plate that was pushed to the side.  Hey, at least it was only the broccoli.

Honey Chicken Stri-Fry

1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 garlic clove, minced

3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons honey

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

1/8 teaspoon of each salt and black pepper

1 package frozen stir-fry vegetables (or fresh, which I prefer)

2 teaspoons corn starch

1 tablespoon cold water

~ 3 cups hot cooked brown rice

In a large skillet, stir-fry chicken and garlic in 2 teaspoons oil for 1 minute.  Add the honey, soy sauce, salt and pepper.  Cook and stir chicken until it is lightly browned and no longer pink.  Remove from pan and keep warm.

In the same pan, stir-fry the vegetables in remaining oil for 4-5 minutes or until tender.  Return the chicken to the pan; stir to coat.  Combine corn starch and cold water until smooth; gradually stir into chicken mixture.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1 minute or until thickened.  Serve over rice.

This dinner is so fast and easy.  It’s perfect for those busy nights when you come home late.  And a plus?  It’s delicious!!

Just a side note.  Last night, we had some really bad storms in our area that included a couple of tornados that touched down.  We had golf ball sized hail, a local high school had part of the roof torn off, and several houses were severely damaged to the point that they are considered total losses.  We don’t get weather like that around here.  It was pretty scary.

The storm left as quickly as it came upon us and left a sense that nothing had actually happened at all.  I was teaching a Jazzercise class while everything was happening and the whole time I was panicking, thinking about where the students and I could go if it got bad enough.  We all made it and survived the class without the power going out, the windows blowing in, etc.  Phew!  I don’t do well with storms.

However, on my way home, everything had cleared up and there was the most amazing sunset.

This picture doesn’t do it justice, but the sky was such a gorgeous shade of hot pink.  It’s just crazy to think how severe the weather was just an hour before this.

Well, I hope you all have a wonderful Thursday!   The weekend is almost here!  YAY!!

Saucy Mocha Pudding Cake

Have you ever heard of pudding cake?  There was a time when I had not and I can’t even imagine how I was even living back then now that I know what it is.

The first time I had pudding cake was at my mom’s house.  In the pan it looked like a normal cake.  What I didn’t know was that there was the most decadent surprise waiting for me under the layers of fluffy cake.  She made a spiced version that tasted like gingerbread.  I took a different approach with mine.  It includes coffee.  And chocolate.

Pudding cakes start like this…

Then you add this…

It looks like this…

And ends up like this…

From this point of view, the cake looks like it’s a marble cake, but it’s not!!! Some type of magic happens in the oven.  I haven’t quite figured it out yet.  Maybe a little baking elf?  I wonder if that baking elf is related to the cleaning elf that was supposed to clean the strawberry preserves that dripped into my oven while I was making these.  She hasn’t shown up yet.  I’m still waiting for her.

Anyway, our baking elf somehow makes the mocha sauce sink to the bottom of the dish while the cake just floats on top.  It’s genius!

Chocolate on the bottom could only be made better by adding chocolate on the top!

Also, some fruit.  Just for good measure.  AH. MAZE. ING.

Saucy Mocha Pudding Cake

from Taste of Home

Mocha Sauce:

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 baking cocoa

1-1/2 cups strong brewed coffee

Cake:

1/3 cup butter, softened

2/3 cup sugar

1 egg

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350°.

In a saucepan, combine the sugars and cocoa.  Stir in coffee; keep warm over low heat.

For cake, in a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla.  Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition.  Spread into a greased 8-inch square baking dish.  Pour mocha sauce slowly over batter.  Do not stir!

Bake, uncovered, for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean.  When finished, the cake will float in the hot mocha sauce.  Let cool for about 30 minutes before cutting to allow the bottom to set.

Pudding cake.  Best. Thing. Ever.