Deedles Dish in a Nutshell

I am a Midwestern girl from a long line of cooks who doesn't think cooking needs to be complicated. Enjoy the recipes!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Fabulous Fried Rice

I am so excited to share this recipe with everyone! I absolutely love Chinese food and decided a few months ago that I was going to try and start making it at home.  I started out with this recipe for fried rice and it is SO GOOD.  I make it a couple of times a month and it makes a huge amount and there are always leftovers.  I've shared this with my parents and some friends and everyone has raved about it.  Let me know what you think!

1 lb beef for stir fry, sliced chicken breast or shrimp or combination
2 cups rice
1 1/2 c. peas and carrots, chopped
1/2 c. chopped sweet onion
2 eggs
2 tbsp vegetable oil, separated
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp sesame oil
1/2 c. green onion, chopped for garnish

Easy Asian Marinade:
1/3 c. vegetable oil
1/3 c. soy sauce
1/3/ c. white wine for cooking
2 tsp grated garlic and fresh ginger

Like I said above, this makes a huge amount.  If you're cooking for few people and/or don't want leftovers, I recommend halving the recipe.  The leftovers are delicious, though, so it's up to you!

At least a few hours before cooking, I marinade the meat in the marinade recipe listed above.  Sometimes, depending on what I have in the house, I omit the garlic and ginger and the marinade is still delicious. 

Cook rice first. I have a rice cooker that I use.  If you don't have one, cook according to the instruction listed on the bag.  While rice is cooking, heat one tablespoon of vegetable oil in a medium skillet.  Add meat and cook thoroughly. For the shrimp and beef, cook until there is no pink on the outside and remove from heat as they will cook through in the rice.  For chicken, cook thoroughly before adding to rice mixture.  In a large skillet or electric skillet (my preference), heat the other tablespoon of vegetable oil on medium to medium high heat.  Add peas and carrots.  Cook for a few minutes until carrots start to get tender then add the chopped sweet onion.  I once again use the Vidalia Onion Chopper for this because it chops the onion really small and even so everything cooks through in the same amount of time. 

This is what it looks like:

As veggies are cooking, whisk the egg in a separate bowl.  Once the veggies are tender, move them all over to one side and add the egg.  Scramble the egg and mix it with the veggies once it's cooked. 

It's starting to come together!!

Next, add the soy sauce and sesame oil.  Immediately add the rice and stir it all together.  Add meat and green onion, reduce heat and cover for about 5 minutes.  Serve!

Suggestions: I use frozen peas and corn that can be found in the frozen food aisle.  I also don't add as much as is listed above but I like less veggies so it would be your own preference.  At the step where you add the soy sauce and sesame oil, after adding the rice to the skillet I add approximately another tablespoon of soy sauce until the rice is browned.  I serve this with egg rolls, wontons or egg drop soup with great success.

Here it is folks!

This is beef and chicken fried rice that I served with mini egg rolls with Angela Pappas while enjoying the Mob Wives finale followed by Keeping Up With the Kardashians.  Yes, we like trashy TV.  What can I say?

Good eatin',


White Pizza

Welcome back! I haven't posted in a few days but I wanted to share another delicious creation I concocted this weekend.  I always love white pizzas when I'm out at restaurants but I've never actually made one at home.  It's really easy and most of you have probably done it yourself but I thought I'd share this for those of you who have not tried it before!

I made this on Sunday night after an epic day beside the pool in 90 degree Colorado sun for approximately four hours so to say I was exhausted is an understatement! This recipe was simple and delicious and yielded leftovers for the next day. :-)

1 thin Boboli crust
4 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
panful fresh spinach (remove stems, wash and dry prior to cooking)
2/3 c. ricotta cheese
1 big ball fresh mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated parmesan

Heat oven to 400.  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a pan on medium heat.  Add spinach and grated garlic.  (I grate the cloves on a cheese grater because I like the taste of garlic but not big chunks.)  Turn the spinach several times to make sure it's coated and then cover for 1 minute.  Uncover and turn again.  Cover for one minute or until spinach just starts to wilt.  Brush both sides of the crust with olive oil and placed it directly on the oven rack.  Just watch it closely and test it for crispness.  While crust is in the oven, grate the fresh mozzarella.  When crust is ready, remove and let cool on a pizza pan.  Brush top again with a little olive oil.  Spread spinach mixture over crust.  Spoon out ricotta in small spoonfuls across the crust.  Top pizza with mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.  Return to oven and heat for 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Broil for a few minutes so cheese bubbles and browns a bit on top.  Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

Here is the final result:

I love this option for something different than the same old homemade pizza.  This was another product of a Criminal Minds marathon...I told you there would be a theme.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Crisp Corn Salsa

Here we go again! A new recipe to share.  I have wanted to try making my own salsa for a long time now but was very intimidated.  I printed this recipe several weeks ago hoping it would be similar to the corn salsa at Chipotle (as I am basically obsessed with it).  To my surprise, it was almost identical! I went to a BBQ at my friend Casey's and paired the salsa with blue corn tortilla chips for the color contrast.  PLEASE try this recipe over the summer because you will absolutely be the hit of any party or gathering. 

6 ears of sweet corn
2 poblano (serrano) chiles
2 jalapenos
1/2 red onion
1/3 c. cilantro
1 tbsp lime juice

I bought all of the ingredients minus onion and lime juice at Sunflower Market and it was less than $5!

Boil or roast corn cobs.  Dice veggies to desired size. Chop cilantro. I once again used my Vidalia Onion Chopper with the smaller dicer for the chiles, jalapenos and onion and it worked very well.  When the corn is done cooking, let them cool and then cut the corn off the cob into whatever container you're going to use.  Combine all ingredients and chill in the fridge for an hour before serving.

That's it!! And this is the final product...

Suggestions: Boil the corn cobs if you don't have time.  I didn't look at the recipe until about an hour before the BBQ so I didn't have much of a choice.  In my opinion, as well as the other party-goers, it was still delicious.  Also, use fresh lime juice if you can because it gives it a really great flavor.

As indicated earlier, this salsa was a huge hit at the BBQ with both adults and kids! We also had a discussion of how it would be delicious to have in salads, wraps, eggs, etc.  It would be a great thing to have in your fridge and include in many different recipes.  I used the leftovers in a taco salad and it added some great flavor.

I hope you enjoy!

Good eatin',


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Homemade Taco Pizza

This is a meal I tried last night and it was a HUGE success.  I definitely didn't expect it to be as good as it was and am excited to enjoy the leftovers over the weekend.

Let me start out by easing the minds of those people not from Iowa.  I know taco pizza sounds weird and kind of disgusting.  You could not be more wrong.  It is so amazing.  The first taco pizza I ever tasted was from a chain in Iowa called Happy Joe's.  They are known for their taco pizza and it's easy to tell why.  They have hands down the best taco pizza and it's something I crave when I go home.  You can get an idea with this pic:

This picture is of a Happy Joe's pizza so you can see what it is "supposed" to look like.
I didn't make this from a recipe...just put together what I thought sounded good and went from there.  Here is the best I could do to formulate some sort of a recipe.

Homemade Taco Pizza
1 thin Boboli pizza crust
1 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground beef or turkey
1 packet taco seasoning
Shredded Mexican cheese

diced yellow onion
shredded lettuce
diced tomatoes
sour cream
crushed Taco Doritos
red taco sauce

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Brush both sides of the Boboli crust with olive oil and put it directly on the oven racks.  Watch crust carefully and pop any air bubbles that appear.  Once the crust is crispy to your liking (I like mine very crispy), take it out and set aside on a pizza pan.  While oven is heating, brown beef or turkey and add taco seasoning per the directions on the packet.  Once the meat is prepared, spread it over the crust.  I added the diced onions at this point as I like it when they are heated a bit but this would just be based on your preference.  I topped it off with the Mexican cheese.  The amount would be based on your preference.  I like my pizza with a lot of cheese but it's up to you and your audience!

After the cheese was melted, I broiled it for a second to get the cheese really cooked well and removed it from the oven for it to cool a few minutes.  I didn't top the entire pizza with the extra toppings because I knew it wouldn't be reheatable that way so I recommend to only top with what is going to be eaten so you get the most out of it.  I added lettuce, tomato, sour cream and crushed Doritos and then drizzled the taco sauce on top.

So, not only is this recipe delicious, it can be adjusted for whatever you and your family enjoy.  If I were making this for my family or for a dinner party, I would set out all of the regular "taco toppings" and let people add them as they like.  You could include olives, jalapenos, green onion, refried beans, guacamole, etc.  The list is endless!

There are several things that could be substituted or added depending on what you're looking for.  You'll notice I didn't use sauce but some recipes online use refried beans on top of the crust as a kind of sauce.  Feel free to make your own crust if you'd like or use whatever you find at the store.  Also, add spice as you want! You can use a hot taco sauce and/or a hot taco seasoning packet and really punch it up!

Here is another suggestion, and this goes for any recipe: Substitute if you want something healthier! Don't think that you HAVE to stick to a recipe for it to be good.  You can add light sour cream...or none at all.  I made this with extra lean ground turkey and it was still delicious and not as greasy.  The list goes on an on with the things you could change depending on your taste so go ahead and do what sounds good!!!

This is another thing I recommend that EVERYONE have in their kitchen: The Vidalia Onion Chopper.  I am not one of those people who think that the food tastes better or that someone is "more authentic" if they chop everything by hand themselves.  Definitely not.  At some point, we didn't have dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, vacuums, etc.  Now we use them every day and life is still as good.  Just sayin'.  Here is a pic of the onion chopper and the link below if you want to purchase.
So there you have it! Please be adventurous and try this recipe.  It is so delicious and gives you something different to offer your family and friends! Now here is the final product:

And, lastly, for those of you who are curious...I was watching Criminal Minds reruns as I made this delicacy.  You'll probably find this as a theme. :)

Good eatin,


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Cashew Beef and Sesame Green Beans

This is the recipe that I posted on Facebook a few days ago.  It's out of the Weeknight Solutions section of the June/July edition of Taste of Home.  Here is the recipe as it indicated in the magazine:

Cashew Beef
Prep/Total Time: 30 min
Yield: 4 servings

4 tsp cornstarch
4 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp oyster sauce
1/4 tsp ground ginger
Dash cayenne pepper
1/2 cold water
1 lb beef top sirloin steak, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 Tbsp canola oil, divided
8 green onions, cut into 1 inch lengths
2/3 cup lightly salted cashews
2 garlic cloves, minced
Hot cooked rice

1. In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients and whisk until smooth; set aside.
2. In a large skillet or wok, stir fry beef in one tbsp oil until no longer pink.  Remove and keep warm.  Stir fry onions, cashews and garlic in remaining oil for one minute.
3. Stir cornstarch mnixture and add to the pan.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Add beef; heat through.  Serve with rice.

Here are my suggestions: Double the liquid mixture described in the first step.  I bought the "beef for stir-fry" at the local grocery store and didn't have to cut up the steak that way.  I used one cup of cashews but that would be based on preference.  Also, I marinated the meat in 1/3 cup each of vegetable oil, white wine for cooking and soy sauce.  If you like spice, I would add some Sriracha to either the marinade or liquid mixture in the recipe.

Sesame Green Beans
Coat 1 lb. fresh green beans with one sliced sweet red pepper with 1 tbsp each sesame seeds, rice venegar, sesame oil and soy sauce.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Place on greased baking sheet; bake at 425 for 20 minutes or until tender.

Suggestions: I doubled this sauce as well and coated the veggies again halfway through cooking.  I didn't add the seeds directly to the sauce but coated them on the pan.  I used red and yellow peppers.  (It looks prettier that way and I love the flavor of yellow peppers.)

Here was an example of the finished product:

PLEASE let me know if you enjoyed this recipe and also feel free to comment on what you liked or didn't about the recipe.

Good eatin', Deedles

About Deedles

What is Deedles, you ask? It is a nickname my mom had for me when I was a toddler that referred to the small, curly ponytail that sat right on top of my head.  The nickname stuck throughout the years.  Here's an example:

Yep, that's me!

As for my cooking style...I eat what sounds good.  It's as easy as that.  I may tweak recipes here and there to make them "healthier" but I am of the opinion that withholding certain things from yourself will only lead to fugure binges. (My mom always told me that.)

While I am from a long line of brilliant cooks and bakers, I definitely lean more toward cooking than baking.  For one, I am not much of a "sweets" person and am drawn more toward salty or "savory" dishes.  Secondly, the exactness that is required in baking is not for me.  Apparently that means I am a creative-type but I'm not sure that people who have seen my desk would know this about me.

I would like to say that I throw myself into my meals and the "rest of the world disappears" blah, blah, blah.  Nope.  I am not ashamed to admit that I always have the TV on and will include what I was watching for particular meals as TV often affects my mood and thus my cooking.  I'm not sure that this is the best method as I am often distracted but the invention of pausing live TV has made my life and meals a lot easier, that I know for sure.

So while I may not update this blog daily, I will attempt to add recipes that I have tried and enjoy.  I may include quips or antecdotes about my day but I may not (which will probably say something about how my day went.)  Feel free to comment or post your own recipes as I like to try things  know someone else has made and liked, thus the idea of this blog in the first place.  Thanks for reading!

An Introduction from the Deedles herself

Hey all! Welcome to my blog.  I know there are a lot of websites and cookbooks out there that offer great recipes but this blog has a twist!.  Over the last few years, my passion for cooking has grown and I want to share that with everyone who is interested in great ideas for cheap and easy meals to make at home.  I will always provide the recipe as written from the original source but will add anything I may have changed/added/left out.  I may throw  in some other tidbits as well. :-)

I will end with this quote that I think sums up my relationship with food:

Nothing would be more tiresome than eating and drinking if God had not made them a pleasure as well as a necessity.  ~Voltaire