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Fried Rice

Life as a Lofthouse (Food Blog):Fried Rice was a perfect recipe for fried rice.  This recipe will allow you to add what vegetables or meat you would like.  It worked perfect for some leftover rice we had in the fridge and made a whole new dinner alongside a chicken dish.

The kids approved and next time I make it when Mr.Picky is home I am sure he will as well.  The flavor with the sesame oil is spot on and although it seems like a lot of soy sauce the dish is not salty at all.  Enjoy this new side dish to all your favorites.  If you haven’t tried sweet and sour chicken yet, this is the perfect thing to pair with it.

Fried Rice

Fried Rice:

  • 3 cups cooked white rice (day old or leftover rice works best!)
  • 3 Tablespoons sesame oil (or vegetable oil)
  • 1/2-1 cup frozen peas (thawed)
  • 1/2-1 cup carrots, chopped and steamed lightly or frozen (thawed)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 3-4 Tablespoons soy sauce

Fried RiceOver medium heat, heat oil and add in carrots, peas, onions, and garlic.  Cook until just tender.

Reduce heat to low and push vegetables to the side.  Pour eggs in the opposite side and fry until scrambled.

Add in the rice and soy sauce and mix all together.
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Spanish Rice

I don’t remember even eating Spanish Rice as a child.  Mr.Picky loves spanish and mexican rice out of a box but I refuse to make the sodium filled rice.  I have come up with a recipe similar to the Mexican rice but had no recipe for the Spanish rice until now.

After doing some research and came up with this recipe after combining what sounded good to me.  It turned out great.  In fact is was the base layer to a skillet/casserole recipe I was making.  Be sure to check back for that recipe.

This Spanish rice is not spicy due to the little ones.  Extra heat could be added with come cayenne pepper to the mix or maybe add a diced jalapeño.  It was flavorful without too much salt and the perfect heat for the kids.

Spanish RiceSpanish Rice:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 (15 oz) can petite diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 green pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup uncooked long grain white rice
  • 1/4 tsp granulated garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp or 1 cube chicken bullion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

In a skillet heat olive oil over medium/ high heat.

Saute onion, pepper, and rice.  Stirring constantly so the rice does not burn, cook until most of the rice has toasted and the vegetables soften.

Spanish Rice

Add the rice mixture to a medium pot along with the remaining ingredients.

Bring the mixture up to a boil, cover and reduce heat to the lowest it will go.

Cook covered for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender.  Fluff with a fork when done.


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Curried Pork

Some of my favorite cookbooks are Cooking Light Annual Recipes, this recipe struck my eye out of the 2004 edition.  As a child my mother cooked a lot with curry and to be honest it burned me out on it.  Mr.Picky likes it so I thought I should give it a try and cook a curry dish.

This dish was great and easy.  Allow yourself at least an hour to cook though.  The only thing I would do differently is add some more spice for a fuller flavor.  I have adjusted the recipe to what I would do next time.  We served our curried pork over white rice with seasoned roasted cauliflower.

Curried PorkCurried Pork:

  • 1 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 lb. boneless pork loin, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large nonstick skillet lightly sprayed with cooking spray or olive oil saute onions and peppers over medium heat for about 3 minutes.

Add in mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes.

Curried Pork

Place vegetables in a 11 x 7″ baking dish that has been lightly greased.

Combine flour, curry powder,salt, and pepper in a bowl.  Add pork and toss to coat.

Curried Pork

In the same pan you used for vegetables, spray again with oil.  Over medium high heat add pork mixture and cook about 5 minutes until pork has browned on each side.

Pour pork mixture over vegetables in baking dish.  Now pour the can of tomatoes over the whole dish.

Curried Pork

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until tender.

Serve over rice.

Curried Pork

 

Buttermilk Breakfast Sausage

I was passed some food magazines that Grandma was finished with and scanned the recipes.  I came across a recipe sent in for Buttermilk Breakfast Sausage.  Mr.Picky often complains that there isn’t enough flavor to sausage when I purchase it.  I hate to buy it because it is filled with junk.

We have made sausage in the past and usually let it flavors develop overnight, although this recipe did not require this.  It still turned out great.  This is probably one of the best sausages I have eaten and will be making it from now on.  The sausage is tender and almost melts in your mouth.

The recipe calls for over 2 pounds of sausage and we don’t usually need that much.  I took out half the sausage mix before I cooked it and froze it after packaging tightly.  Now we have a whole nother batch ready to go.  I got about a dozen 4 inch patties out of half the mixture.

Buttermilk Breakfast SausageButtermilk Breakfast Sausage:

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp dried marjoram or oregano
  • 3/4 tsp dried savory or thyme
  • 3/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 lb. ground pork

Milk milk and seasonings in a large bowl.

Add in pork and mix until combined.

Form into patties and cook on medium heat about 5 minutes on each side.

Freeze any remaining sausage for a later date. //

Pita Bread Recipe

I made pita bread once long ago and had no idea what recipe I used.  I checked out one of my favorite sites and found Peppy’s Pita Bread Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  With a few alterations my pita bread was complete.  It is so simple if you have the time for the dough to raise.

We had a few girls over to play for the day and had fun rolling and stretching the dough.  It was even more fun to watch it bake and puff up in the oven through the glass oven door.  Of course everyone had to sample our creation which was almost as much fun to taste a completed project.

My plan for pita bread was to make it the day before my birthday party and serve it at the party.  We ended up eating a bit fresh.  With the rest of the bread I placed it in a sealable bag.  It sliced nicely into wedges just before the party to dip into some hummus.

Pita Bread:Pita Bread

  • 1 1/8 cup warm water
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp dry yeast

Combine yeast, sugar, and water to proof until foamy.

Add in the oil to the yeast mixture.

In a bowl combine flour and salt.  Make a well in the center and add yeast mixture.

Knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to rise in a warm place for about 3 hours or until double in size.

Once dough had doubled roll into a rope shape.

Pita Bread

Pinch off 12 pieces and place balls on a floured surface to sit and rest for 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees with the rack at the bottom.

Pita Bread

Roll each dough ball to a 5-6 inch circle with  a rolling-pin or using your hands to stretch the dough.

Bake about 4 circles at a time for about 5-6 minutes.  Until puffy and slightly brown.

Pita Bread

Remove from baking sheet to cool on a rack.

Pita Bread

The bubble will deflate but when you cut open the pita bread there should be a pocket.


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Crockpot Refried Beans

When looking for a simple refried bean recipe I came across Refried Beans Without the Refry Recipe – Allrecipes.com.  This was so easy and my family fell in love.  My daughter is constantly asking when I will make a pot of beans.  Not only is the an inexpensive side dish but is makes a large quantity that can be split and frozen for later uses.  You are controlling what goes into the beans including the amount of salt.

I make these beans as a side dish usually with mexican food.  We eat them up through the week by making bean and cheese burritos for lunch or into a tasty late night snack dip.  Give these beans a try you can’t go wrong.  I gave the recipe my own tweaks after making them multiple times now.

Crock-pot Refried Beans:Crockpot Refried Beans

  • 1 1/2 cup dried pinto beans
  • 1 1/2 cup dried black beans
  • 9 cups water
  • 1 medium to large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped
  • 2-3 cloves garlic,crushed
  • 1 Tbs salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cumin

Place all the ingredients in a slow cooker.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Placing a colander over a bowl strain the mixture of all liquids (but reserving the liquids).

Return the beans to the slow cooker.

Using an immersion blender pulse until desired consistency adding about 1/4 cup of liquid at a time as needed.  You can also mash beans with a potato masher for a coarser bean.

Taste for additional salt if needed.


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Creamy Balsamic Dressing

With my one New Years Resolution this year to be to try to make all my dressing homemade I have tried  many new recipes.  I have made creamy balsamic dressing twice now.  It is a great alternative to a heavy creamy dressing but still is satisfying in flavor.

I didn’t have any Morton’s Nature Seasoning on hand.  Google came in handy and provided me with a recipe in which I prepared a little container of it.  Not only is this seasoning great in the dressing but I add it to multiple recipes.  Mr.Picky is especially fond of this seasoning.

Creamy Balsamic Dressing:Creamy Balsamic Dressing

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or crushed
  • 3 Tbs mayonnaise or greek plain yogurt
  • 2 Tbs lemon juice
  • 1 Tbs Dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp Morton’s Nature Seasoning
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive or grape seed oil

Whisk together garlic, mayo, lemon juice, mustard, sugar, salt, and nature seasoning.

Add in vinegar and whisk until combined well.  While continuing to whisk slowly add in oil and whisk until smooth.

Keep in the refrigerator and a mason jar, enjoy this healthy option on your favorite salad.

Morton’s Nature Seasoning:

  • 1/3 cup salt
  • 1/4 cup black ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup onion powder
  • 2 1/2 Tbs sugar
  • 1 Tbs dried parsley
  • 2 tsp celery seed

Combine all of the following in a container with an air tight lid.

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