Saturday, February 26, 2011

Japanese Cabbage Noodle Salad

Thanks Honeylioness

1 medium green cabbage, shredded (of sliced finely)
1 green onion, sliced
2 pkgs. chicken flavor Ramen noodles, break up but DO NOT COOK
4 tsp. sesame seeds
4 tbsp. sliced almonds (optional)
i cup red grapes, cut in half

Dressing - Combine:

1 tbsp. sesame oil
1/2 c. salad oil
4 tsp. sugar
6 tbsp. white vinegar or rice wine vinegar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Assemble all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over it all and toss well. Refrigerate overnight.

As an option you can add cut pieces of white chicken meat for a luncheon entree.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Possible Black Hills Itinerary

Brought to us by SES:



Buffalo steaks

Super 8 ($116)
2124 Lacrosse St
Rapid City


Continental Breakfast

Journey Museum ($7)
Prairie Edge and Trading Post

Lunch: Firehouse ($8-15) Brewery&Grill

Bear Country ($55/vehicle)
Storybook Island
Mt Rushmore

Dinner: PICNIC

Super 8 ($116)
Main St
Hill City


Continental Breakfast

1880’s Steam Train ($22 ea)

Panning for Gold(??)

Lunch: Alpine Restaurant ($10-20)

Crazy Horse Monument ($27/vehicle)
Drive through hills

Dinner: PICNIC

Rocket Motel ($85)
Rushmore Rd


Breakfast: Town Cafe

Drive through Wyoming to Fort Robinson

Lunch: Staub’s Drive In ($7-15)

Ghost Town???

The Drifter Cook Shack
263 Sandcreek Rd

Dinner: Picnic/Wreckers ($10-25)

Super 8 ($70)
840 W Hwy 20


Continental Breakfast

Return to Rapid through Wildlife Loop
Crystal cave
Jewel cave monmt
Mammoth Site

Lunch: Blue Belle Lodge/Picnic


Dinner: Golden Corral($8-12)

Super 8 ($116)
2124 Lacrosse St
Rapid City


Friday, February 11, 2011

Mount Rushmore Update

Some have brought up the idea of staying in the Super 8s:

HillCity Super 8 would run (as of 2/11/11) between $670-$752 depending on discounts for 2 queen beds. I did not run the search without any discounts.
Amenities: Indoor Pool, Hair dryers, Free Continental Breakfast, Pets Allowed, Free Parking, Free High Speed Internet

Keystone Super 8 would run (as of 2/11/11)$670-$836 depending on discounts. AAA discount brings it to $753.
Amenitites: Indoor pool and hot tub, hair dryers, SuperStart Breakfast, Free High Speed Internet

America's Best Value in on Average $113/night no including taxes.
Amenitites: Has continental breakfast and outdoor pool, hairdryer Wi Fi

(no discount): Tent site: $260 Tent with water and electricity $332 1 room Kabin $532

Attractions: Costs are as of Dec 2010
Mount Rushmore: $10/Vehicle
Bear County: Max $55/Vehicle: $16 adults, $10 Children 5-12, $13 Seniors
1880 Steam Train round trip: Adult $24, Child 3-12 $12
Crazy Horse: $27/ Vehicle
Big Thunder Goldmine: $8.99 adults, Children (6-12) $5.99 Gold Panning (with tour) $6.25 Gem panning: $5.99/bag has coupons.
Mamouth Site: Seniors $7.50, Adults $8.00 Children (5-12) $6.00
Badlands (for those driving from the East): $15.00 vehicle good for 7 days. Seniors $10.00 life X, free for disabled.

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken
6 servings


½ c water
½ c light orange juice
½ c granulated Splenda
2T brown sugar
3T rice wine vinegar
3T light soy sauce
1/4 t ground ginger
1/8 t red pepper flake
2 T cornstarch


1 ¼ pound boneless skinless chicken breast, chopped
1 large egg, beaten
¼ c all-purpose flour
2 T canola oil
1 small red pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped

1. To make the sauce, in a small saucepan, whisk the first nine ingredients (water through red pepper). Place the pan over medium-high heat and bring to a low simmer.

2. In a small bowl mix 2 tablespoons water and the cornstarch to create a slurry and whisk into sauce. Bring the sauce to a low boil and cook for one minute, or until the sauce thickens and clears. Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer.

3. Roll the chicken pieces in the egg and toss with flour to coat.

4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large non stick skillet over medium-high heat . Add half of the chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes, or until well browned on all sides and chicken is cooked through. Transfer the chicken to a bowl and cover. Heat the remaining oil and cook the remaining chicken pieces and add to the bowl and set aside.

5. Add the red pepper and onions to the pan and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, or until slightly softened. Add the chicken to the pan and then the orange sauce. Stir and serve.

1 cup
Calories 290, Carbohydrate 18g (Sugars 8g), Total fat 9g (Sat fat 1 g), Protein 32g, Fiber 0g, Food exchanges 4 Lean Meat, 1 Starch, ½ Carbohydrate, Carbohydrate Choices: 1½, WW Points 6

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fried Chicken

Thanks Honeylioness!

Contrary to what some will tell you Fried Chicken is actually one of the easier things to make for new cooks and those who don't cook often. There are however a lot of ways to mess it up. So, here are my tips for crispy, non-greasy fried chicken:

* The chicken should be at room temperature BEFORE you fry it. Otherwise you are likely to get a drumstick that is still almost raw inside.

* Use clean oil. By that I mean, don't re-use oil from another use, such as making french fries. I recommend basic vegetable oil for the most consistent results.

* The coating needs to be dry before you fry it. This ensures a crispier skin and less "popping" of the oil due to contact with moisture.

* Regardless of the type of frying pan you use (electric, cast iron, stainless) be sure to not over crowd it when frying the pieces of chicken. There should be an even margin of space around each piece so they cook evenly. Crowding the pan will get you "gummy" chicken where the pieces almost insulate each other if they are pressed together.

Now that you are ready .... here are my recommendations for what you will need:

* A heavy bottomed frying pan with lid. I personally do not like non-stick or teflon coated as you don't get the really crispy skin with them.

* Enough vegetable oil to fill the pan halfway.

* Paper towels.

* A cookie sheet or baking tray.

* Cooling racks - like you would put cookies on after they come out of the oven.

* Chicken.

* The coating/seasoning of your choice.

The choice of coating or breading for your fried chicken is as varied as each cook. In it's simplest form it is just flour. At the other end are the batters that encase each piece. Let's start with just flour for now.

* Put several layers of paper towels on the baking sheet. Sit the cooling rack on top of the paper towels. This will allow you to not only dry the chicken before frying but to have a place for it to cool and drain off any excess oil afterward.

* Into a plastic bag (such as a produce bag from the store) put two cups of flour

* Add salt and pepper to taste and/or any other seasoning you like. (I prefer to substitute Lawry's Season Salt)

* In a shallow bowl put about a cup of milk - or milk and a beaten egg. You need a "wet" so the flour mix will stick to the chicken.

* Dip each chicken piece into the milk mixture then drop into the flour bag.

* close the top of the bag (just twist it) and "shake" to coat the chicken piece. You can do two at a time with small pieces like legs and wings - but stick to one at a time for breasts and thigh pieces.

* Put the coated pieces onto the cooling racks for 5-10 minutes to dry. This also sets the coating so it will not clump off in the pan.

* Fill your frying pan halfway with oil and heat on med-high until one drop of water flicked into the oil "pops" ... but don't let the oil smoke.

* Using tongs place chicken into the hot oil making sure the pieces are not crowded.

* Cover the pan and chicken fry for 5-7 minutes per side. The lid keeps grease spatters down and also helps trap the moist heat so the meat is cooked all the way through.

* Using tongs (I prefer them as they do not pierce the skin like a fork and let the juices run out) check the bottom of the chicken pieces. When they are a deep golden brown turn the pieces over and cook the second side.

* Replace cover and cook another 5-7 minutes. You are waiting to hear the oil abate a bit. When you first place the chicken into the oil the sound of frying will be quite loud. As the meat cooks and there is little extra moisture being released the snapping/frying sound will lessen.

* Place the cooked pieces back onto the cooling racks to drain. Also the residual heat from the frying will continue to cook the meat slightly on the inside.

* Let the oil come back up in heat for a moment then fry the next batch.

And here is my favorite variation that always makes juicy flavorful fried chicken:

* In a large ziplock bag place two cups of buttermilk. You can either use it fresh or reconstituted from a powder which you will find in the baking aisle.

* Add two teaspoons of Lawry's

* Add chicken

* Seal the ziplock bag being sure to press out as much air as possible.

* Set the bag into a bowl or pan (just in case it leaks) and put it in the refrigerator overnight

* The next day follow the steps above - omitting the milk/egg dip as the buttermilk marinade serves the same purpose.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Crispy Chicken Bites (aka Nuggets)

Thanks SES!


Chicken breasts (boneless/skinless), cut into bite-sized pieces
Crisped rice cereal (about 6 - 8 cups)
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste

Crush the cereal in a ziploc bag.
Pour crushed cereal into a large bowl, and add spices of your choice.
In seperate bowl or pie tin, combine eggs with water and beat well.
Dip chicken pieces in egg mixture, then dredge in cereal mixture.
Arrange on greased cookie sheet, or on a sheet of kitchen parchment for easy clean up. Bake 350° for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.
Serve these with different sauces to dip them in.

To freeze: Allow to cool, and freeze on flat surface. After frozen, place in freezer bags and store. To serve, simply reheat and eat! A great "emergency" or "I forgot to thaw" meal.

Enchilada Sauce

Thanks SES!

Enchilada Sauce
Original Recipe Yield 6 to 8 servings

• 2 (6.5 ounce) cans tomato sauce
• 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
• 1/3 cup chili powder
• 1 tablespoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon paprika
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1 clove garlic, minced
• 1 tablespoon butter
• 1 onion, minced
• 1 green bell pepper, chopped

1. In a medium saucepan combine tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, chili powder, oregano, paprika, cumin, pepper, salt and garlic. Cover and cook over medium heat.
2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Saute onion for about 4 minutes; stir into sauce. Cook sauce for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in bell pepper and cook 10 more minutes.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


Thanks SES:

1 lb browned hamburger
1 medium onion, diced
1 can enchilada sauce(about 20-28 oz)
1 can cream of mushroom soup (10 oz)
1 can diced jalapenos (4 oz)
Cook it all together and let simmer for about 30-45 minutes. It is better if you don't use previously browned hamburger so the flavors cook into the meat. Using a stick or emersion blender will help make it smoother.

8 tortillas
1 lb shredded chedder
In a 9x13 pan spread some of the sauce on the bottom of the pan. Roll about 2 oz of shredded cheese in a tortilla, (I use the large burrito size, but you may want to use the taco size and make twice as many--easier for small kids to eat) and line them up in your pan. Pour the rest of the sauce over the top and sprinkle with some shredded cheese. Bake in the oven 350* for 15-25 minutes. Long enough to melt the cheese and heat every thing through. This can be frozen after cooking or freeze the sauce separately.

In your case I would recommend freezing the sauce in a gallon freezer bag, spread flat to take up less space in the freezer. Same thing for pasta sauce and chili.

Apple BBQ Chicken

From spruby:

They say this is original is 4 servings (half a chicken breast per serving) - we can get 6 servings :

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
salt to taste [no salt added]
pepper to taste [we added some!]
2 cups applesauce - unsweetened [we used about 3.5]
1/4 cup barbecue sauce [we used about 3/4 cup]
1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
2 tsp. honey
1/2 tsp. lemon juice

Put chicken in crockpot. Pour applesauce on top. Combine other ingredients, mix well, cover chicken.
Cook 2-3 hours [we did 3]

You'll notice we use more "wet" ingredients than called for - this made the chicken very tender both straight from the crockpot and when reheated (in the microwave) after being frozen and then thawed in the frig.