Come along with me as I journal about my latest cooking and gardening adventures. Discover what grows in my zone five garden, and see what new recipes I try from my cookbook collection each week.

As I share recipes and information from my kitchen, I invite readers to comment and share ideas along with me in this blog. I am looking to increase followers to my blog, so that I may learn more about cooking and gardening.

Since moving to Midland, Michigan, I have been reading and researching many cooking journals, cookbooks and collected recipes from the past thirty years. Organizing pictures of gardens I enjoy has also been a joy for me, as I continue to learn about garden design and horticulture.

angel food cakes

angel food cakes
this kitchen is seasoned with love

Monday, May 17, 2010

almond chicken

here is a wonderful recipe for almond chicken, very similar to a dish served in many chinese restaurants. my version does not have deep fried chicken and uses only white chicken breast slices, with a light panko bread topping.

the dark brown almond sauce is one of the keys to this recipe, along with serving the chicken over a small bed of rice with freshly chopped romaine lettuce. i also serve a few crispy rice noodles as topping to the meal.

almond brown sauce
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock, 4 tbsp rice wine or dry sherry, 3 tbsp cornstarch, and 1 tbsp light sodium soy sauce. Boil these ingredients.

To assemble the dish: plate up a small scoop of white or brown rice, top with shredded lettuce and chopped green onions, place a couple of chicken pieces on top, and drizzle with brown sauce. garnish with green onions and almonds to taste. crispy rice noodles can also be used as a topping as desired.

grilling out

sunday was a beautiful day in midland, and we spent the day in the yard. brian was cleaning and mulching the flower beds, while i planted my wicker deck boxes. though it was a bit chilly by dinner time, it was perfect for a grilled meal. i had planned to make grilled pizzas with grilled vegetables.

earlier in the morning, i used ina garten's california pizza dough recipe and substituted one-half of the white flour with whole wheat flower. this dough is a sturdy dough that holds up well on the grill. the ingredients are simple: flour, salt, olive oil, and water. i use my kitchen aid mixer and the dough hook to knead the dough for 10 minutes until it is pliable. i use my oven light to help the dough rise for several hours. after the dough has risen, the dough is divided into several smaller size pizzas, rolled onto a sheet pan covered with corn meal. this also helps the dough from adhering to the grill.

i prepped the ingredients for the pizza toppings: mozzarella cheese, red pepper, red onions, pepperoni slices, tomato slices and tomato pieces, along with pizza herbs.

after the pizza dough grills on each side for one minute, we add the toppings and grill with the cover closed for about six to seven minutes. i usually finish up the pizzas in the oven indoors to make certain the chesse is melted and the toppings are crispy.

along with the pizzas, i served grilled vegetables: zucchini, red and green bell peppers, and large onion slices. i usually season these vegetables with garlic and herb seasoning, along with cracked black pepper.

this menu can be adapted from the pantry. pizzas or the grilled vegetables can be made with mushrooms, black and green olives, or a variety of cheeses. i have made this meal for years and each time is a new experience.