Homemade Seitan

I love seitan and make it whenever I can.  Way back in the “olden days”, I used to make seitan from scratch using regular all-purpose flour, rinsing it until the glutenous flour was left.  But thank goodness for vital wheat gluten flour, this makes it much easier and allows seitan to be made much quicker.

Seitan is very , you can make a lot of different things from it.  Today I just made the seitan, but in the future, I’m going to try my hand at some different foods that can be made from seitan, like sausage.

Ingredients
Vital Wheat Gluten Flour

Directions

N’s Beautiful Birthday Cakes

My dear friend N, made these lovely birthday cakes for her niece and nephew, and I just had to share them with all of you.  This is the first time she has decorated cakes and she even did some of the artwork on the Ruby and Max characters.  After hours of watching YouTube and doing other research, she was able to share the finished product with me.  She worked very hard on these cakes, so give her some love!

Thanks N for allowing me to share your art with everyone!

First there’s the “Monkey Cake” and then there’s the “Max and Ruby Cake”

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Stir Fried “Beef” with Vegetables

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I love chinese food, so I am always making different stir fries.  This one I made with “beef” flavored texturized protein and lots of tasty vegetables.  I served it with steamed white rice.

Stir Fried “Beef” with Vegetables

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I used lots of peppers, onions, and mushrooms, along with some water chestnuts.  I made the sauce with black bean sauce, red chili sauce and some stir fry sauce out of a bottle.

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Adora’s Box Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken

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Even though my husband is a meat-eater, I don’t hold it against him.  I try to prepare meals for him that are healthy and low in cholesterol.  Since he loves fried chicken, I was very happy when I found this healthy and easy way to prepare fried chicken on Adora’s Box.

I’ve made these twice already and they are so easy to make.  I added some more spices to the flour mixture, such as paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic and onion powder and kosher salt.  Also, to the buttermilk marinade I added some liquid marinade.  These extras gave the chicken some big flavors and my husband really liked it.

Buttermilk Oven Fried Chicken
Full recipe can be found on Adora’s Box

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Buddha’s Delight

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Oh how I miss my Chinese food from Bill & Harry’s in Maplewood, NJ.  Now that I am living in Southern Texas, good luck with me finding any good chinese.  So I set out to make some myself.

Buddha’s Delight is a chinese vegetarian dish with lots of vegetables and tofu.  To save on time and chopping, I used a stir fry vegetable mix I bought at Costco.  I added extra button mushrooms, green peppers and green onions. I don’t like water chestnuts but they were included in the mix (I tried picking them out though). I also didn’t add any salt since I used regular soy sauce.

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Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumbprint Cookies

Cookie of the week – Peanut Butter and Jelly Thumprint Cookies.

I figured since my soldier loves peanut butter and jelly sandwiches so much, I could get him liking these PB & J cookies.

Except for a few changes I pretty much stuck to Sunny Anderson’s recipe for these cookies.  I used chunky peanut butter instead of creamy and substituted raspberry for strawberry preserves, because that’s all we had in the pantry.  I left out the raw sugar which she used to roll the dough in before baking.  I felt that it would make the cookies too sweet.  I also used less salt since I only have kosher salt.

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Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

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These are a favorite in my house, and since HEB has stopped carrying our favorite brand, I decided to attempt making these cookies myself.  They tasted great, but next time I need to do a better job at making them prettier.  It also gave me an opportunity to use my new mixer!  (Well new to me, since it was a “hand me down” from my sister!)

My recipe was adapted from Ina Garten’s Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies.  My changes were pretty easy, I left out the pecans!

Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
adapted from Ina Garten

Ingredients
1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1 cup granulated sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal
1 1/2 cups raisins


Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. With the mixer on low, add the eggs, one at a time, and the vanilla.

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Sift the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together into a medium bowl. With the mixer on low, slowly add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Add the oats and raisins and mix just until combined.


Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 2-inch mounds of dough onto sheet pans lined with parchment paper. Flatten slightly with a damp hand. (I didn’t have an ice cream scoop so I used a tablespoon and my baking mat instead of parchment paper).

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Transfer the cookies to a baking rack and cool completely.

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Within 30 minutes, you can have yummy cookies!

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Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/raisin-pecan-oatmeal-cookies-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback

Guess who’s blogging again?

Hello everyone!  I know it has been a long time since I have blogged ANYTHING!  But what a year it has been.  We have survived two moves and a deployment!  Happy to say that my soldier is back safely (Thank God!), and we recently celebrated our second anniversary!  Two years have already flown by and we are starting on our third.

We are now back in Texas and settling into our new/old existence.  So once again, I’m going to try and keep everyone updated on what’s cooking, baking and happening south of the border.

Here’s a picture from the welcome home ceremony of our soldiers returning from Afghanistan!

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Where I’ve Been

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The last time I posted on my blog was last May. Where have I been you ask? What have I been up too? Well so much has been going on and lots has happened.

My husband, who I will refer to from now on as “The Man in the Green Hat”, has flown the coop to his deployment in Afghanistan and I am now back home with the family. I am now officially an army wife, sleeping with the telephone on! It continues to be a journey and sacrifice for us both.

People have tried to be supportive and helpful, but some have been just a little annoying. Stupid things people have said to me, “oh you are so lucky!” which jackpot did I win? Or “don’t worry the time will fly”, of course it will because every day I wake up I will feel as though a week has gone by instead of 24 hours. My advice, if you don’t know what to say in a difficult situation, say nothing at all.

So folks I’m back! I plan on cooking up some good stuff pretty soon and there will be posts on our deployment experience and my adventures working Midtown Manhattan.

I found a park on 51st yesterday, between 3rd and 2nd, check out the great waterfall. Yes this is in the middle of the city!

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