Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Hawaiian Pork

Goodness! time flies when you're having fun.... and summer is a fun time. I have been eating alot of BBQ, pulled pork and ribs, and all that this summer. The other day I looked in my freezer and all I had was pork!!! Goodness when will chicken go on sale? So I decided to do something different. I had country style pork ribs in my freezer and rather than drown then in BBQ sauce I decided to make a stir fry. I just threw this and that together and this is what I came up with... it was really good for a change and a good way to use up some of my sugar snap peas from my garden and onions. I got the sauce recipe out of my stir fry cookbook, but I substituted lemon juice for the pineapple juice because I simply couldn't bear to open a can of pineapple for 1/4 cup of juice... unless you are going to put the pineapple in the stir fry... which is good too, but I just wanted vegetables. The lemon juice brighten the sauce and cut some of the sweetness I think. Enjoy!

Hawaiian Pork
2 small pkges. country style pork ribs (I had about 10 pieces)
1/4 cup hoisin sauce (found in the oriental food section of most grocery stores)
1 heaping teaspoon minced garlic
Salt and Pepper, just a few dashes of each

Toss together the pork, hoisin sauce, garlic, salt and pepper in your crock pot  Cover and turn on high and let cook for 2-3 hours (I let mine cook while I was a church) This will be fork tender (mine fell apart). Remove from heat and let cool slightly, then chop or slice into bite size pieces.

( Now is a good time to start cooking your rice according to package directions.)
Now chop your veggies:
1/2 red bell pepper, diced into bite size pieces
1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced into bite size pieces
1 medium sweet onion, diced into bite size pieces (I use Walla Walla thanks to my Mother -in-law :)
2 cups or so sugar snap peas, ends removed
1 small can sliced water chestnuts, drained
Olive oil for stir-frying
 Hot cooked rice for serving

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons olive oil, when oil is hot, toss in the peppers and onion; cook  over medium high heat for 2 or 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crunchy tender. Then toss in the peas and water chestnuts and cook again over medium high heat for another 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until peas are just slightly tender and water chestnuts are hot.
Now toss in your cooked pork and the  sweet and sour sauce (see recipe below) and simmer until meat is warm and sauce has thickened.
Serve over hot cooked rice and Enjoy!! YUM!

**Next time I make this I will try with pineapple juice and pineapple chunks just to see if that's as good as it sounds. Feel free to substitute any vegetable that you like, it's always fun to experiment with stir fry recipes.

Sweet and Sour Sauce
In a small bowl stir together
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar,
1/2 cup catsup
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup lemon juice (or pineapple juice)
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
Set aside and add when you add the meat to the stir fry.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Soft Baked Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies

No, I didn't fall off the edge of the earth.... Summer is just a busy time of the year don't you think? I got to go to Girl's Camp this year, and then I got to throw a bridal shower for my niece with my lovely daughter. I did get time to bake some cookies though. I found this recipe here and had to give it a try. The only thing I did different was add a cup of Peanut Butter chips to the dough along with the toffee chips!... love those. Oh, and I used creamy peanut butter as that is what I like best, but feel free to use chunky if that's what you have. These were heaven in a cookie if you ask me. I LOVE peanut butter. Use the Heath Toffee chips so they have a little chocolate with them. I took my leftover cookies to Girl's camp and they didn't last long. Be sure to eat warm from the oven with a big glass of milk. Yummo!!!

Soft Baked Peanut Butter Toffee Cookies

INGREDIENTS:
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose  flour
  • 3/4 cup toffee bits 
  • 1 cup peanut butter chips

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper and set aside.
Cream butters and sugars together until light and fluffy. Stir in egg and vanilla. Scrape sides and mix again. Whisk the flour and baking soda together in  a separate bowl, then mix into the butter mixture until just combined. Stir in toffee bits and peanut butter chips by hand. Scoop 8 dough balls onto baking sheet leaving lots of room around each cookie to expand. Press down cookie dough balls using a fork. Bake 7-8 minutes. Cool on baking sheet 3 minutes and then remove to cooling rack. Serve immediately or store in airtight containers for up to 3 days.
Makes about 2 dozen cookies
*I used a 1 1/2 tablespoon size cookie scoop.