Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meals- Takeout Dinner Edition

A quick and easy takeout meal made at home.

 

 

There’s nothing like takeout after a long day at work or after you’ve run a ton of errands. I think everyone has a favorite local Asian restaurant for takeout. It seems like there’s something magical going on in the kitchens that keep everyone coming back. While it’s certainly faster to call up your favorite takeout place, it’s not necessarily something you want to do all of the time. Not only can it add up in terms of dollars, but it may not be great for your overall health. My great-grandmother never went on a diet, she believed in moderation. I’m not rejecting your favorite Asian takeout out of hand, but you can make your own takeout at home without taking too much time.

My sons have always been vegetable eaters. There were very few vegetables that I had to force on them. In fact, they even eat some of the veggies I hate, including lima beans and green peas.  The best part about this recipe is the ability to switch up the veggies to your liking. This recipe works with corn, green beans, or squash. It’s up to you. It’s also vegetarian and vegan adaptable. Moreover, you can buy the vegetables prepped in the produce section or in the freezer section of your supermarket. You can also put the steak or tofu cubes in the marinade the night before, or you let it marinate for ten minutes before proceeding with the recipe.

Stir-Fried Beef with vegetables and garlicky cauliflower rice.

1 pound stir-fry beef strips, you can also use a sirloin steak, cut into strips (if using a steak, put it in the freezer for up to 30 minutes, it will make it easier to slice into strips)

Marinade

½ cup low sodium- soy sauce

½ cup low sodium teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Vegetables

2 broccoli crowns, sliced in quarters or 1 package of frozen steam in bag broccoli

½ cup julienned carrots

4 ounces or ½ cup snow peas

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal, including green parts

1 steam in bag of lemon garlic, garlic, or plain cauliflower rice

1 tablespoon of cornstarch or gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Vegetable or peanut oil

Place the beef strips in a resealable plastic bag. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 3 tablespoons, then pour the rest over the meat. Seal the bag and let marinate for as little as ten minutes up to overnight.

Steam the cauliflower rice according to directions. Empty out into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined colander to get as much of the excess water out.

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the broccoli for three minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. If you’re using the steam in bag broccoli, follow the directions. Open the bag when done and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower rice, green onions, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When heated through, add contents to a bowl. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot. Using tongs or a fork, remove the beef strips and add them to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, moving the meat around with a spatula or spoon.

Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir. Make a well in the center. Add the marinade you set aside along with the cornstarch slurry (mixture). Stir thoroughly until you have coated the meat and vegetables completely.

Serve hot. This meal will keep in a plastic container for three days. It also freezes well for up to one month.

| Yield: 4-6 servings | Cook Time: 30 minutes |

Inactive time: 10 minutes to overnight

 

 

 

 

Stir-Fried Tofu with vegetables and garlicky cauliflower rice.

 

1 package of drained extra-firm tofu, cut into cubes

Marinade

½ cup low-sodium vegan soy sauce

½ cup low sodium vegan teriyaki sauce

3 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar (Swerve light brown sugar substitute, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar)

4 garlic cloves, minced

2 ½ tablespoons of minced fresh ginger root

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional

Vegetables

2 broccoli crowns, sliced in quarters or 1 package of frozen steam in bag broccoli

½ cup julienned carrots

4 ounces or ½ cup snow peas

1 bunch green onions, sliced on the diagonal, including green parts

1 steam bag of lemon garlic, garlic, or plain cauliflower rice

1 tablespoon of cornstarch or gluten-free cornstarch mixed with 1 tablespoon cold water

Vegetable or peanut oil

Place the tofu in a resealable plastic bag. In a large bowl mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Reserve 3 tablespoons, then pour the rest over the tofu. Seal the bag and let marinate for as little as ten minutes up to overnight.

Steam the cauliflower rice according to directions. Empty out into a paper towel or cheesecloth-lined colander to get as much of the excess water out.

Heat water to boiling in a saucepan. Add the broccoli for three minutes, then drain and rinse with cold water. Set aside. If you’re using the steam in bag broccoli, follow the directions. Open the bag when done and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

In a wok or large skillet, heat about 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat until it shimmers. Add the cauliflower rice, green onions, and carrots to the pan. Sauté for 4-6 minutes. Add the sugar snap peas and broccoli and continue to sauté for 3-5 minutes.

When heated through, add contents to a bowl. Add an additional 2 tablespoons of oil to the pan and allow it to get hot. Using tongs or a fork, remove the tofu cubes and add them to the pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 8-10 minutes, moving the meat around with a spatula or spoon.

Add the vegetables back to the pan and stir. Make a well in the center. Add the marinade you set aside along with the cornstarch slurry (mixture). Stir thoroughly until you have coated the tofu and vegetables completely.

Serve hot. This meal will keep in a plastic container for three days. It also freezes well for up to one month.

| Yield: 4-6 servings | Cook Time: 30 minutes |

Inactive time: 10 minutes to overnight

 

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Fiction, North of 40 and 50 plus Authors, Still A Chick Lit Author Spotlight

Still A Chick Lit Author Spotlight- Lynn Lipinski

Generation X is in a unique position. Sandwiched in between two larger generations, Baby Boomers and Millennials, we have carved out a niche that allows us to function in both an analog and digital world.

To that end, I have joined TikTok, where I have found a community of artists and authors who are pursuing their passion and making a name for themselves.

I am happy to spotlight the first of what I hope to be many wonderfully talented and gifted writers and their latest novel you should put on your list of must-read books.

Lynn Lipinski

 

Lynn Lipinski is a writer who channels an overactive imagination into fictional worlds where justice rules, karma is real and the good person comes out on top. Her second book, “God of the Internet,” was named to Kirkus Reviews Best Indie Books of 2016 list.

Her Zane Clearwater mystery series (“Bloodlines” and “Serpent Loop”) are set in her hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma, which also happens to be her favorite place to write about. Decades of living in Los Angeles have worn away the Okie accent but not the Oklahoma girl’s heart. She earned a master’s degree in creative writing from Mount St. Mary’s University in 2018. She is currently working on her third novel in the Zane Clearwater mystery series.

 

Her latest book is Serpent Loop, published in October 2022. Witnessing a murder at the carnival he works for was a painful reminder of Zane Clearwater’s dark past. He had hoped all that was behind him, but one look at the fear on his sister Lettie’s face and he’s right back in the thick of it. Even if it means jeopardizing his dream of becoming a police officer, he’s desperate to protect her at all costs.

Unfortunately, that may be harder than anticipated. Zane knew Lettie was a whiz with a computer, yet he had no idea she was putting some of those skills to work on the dark web in questionable schemes that have landed her in serious trouble. 

Zane has a slew of questions. As do the police…and the FBI.

When Lettie takes off for California, Zane embarks on a journey of discovery that will test the limits of their unbreakable bond. Can he keep the promise he made to himself and protect Lettie? Or is this one mess she will have to face on her own?

 

You can find Lynn Lipinski’s Serpent Loop here:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09FP8Z7ZD

 

Follow Lynn on social media

Instagram @lynnlipinskiauthor

TikTok @lynnlipinski

 

If you’re an author who is north of forty or fifty plus and you’d like to be featured in Still A Chick Lit’s Author Spotlight, email us at stillachicklit@gmail.com.

 

Creating Opportunities, Women in Business, Work and Careers

Quick Start Guide for Founding a Business in Your Community

 

You don’t have to be a business expert to start a business in your community. Starting a business in your neighborhood will enable you to give back to your community while also establishing yourself as a leader others will look up to. Wondering how to get started?

 

Learn why you should form an LLC, how to market your new business, and how to use SEO to improve your business model and reach out to hundreds of new customers.

 

The Benefits of an LLC

 

An LLC, or Limited Liability Corporation, can limit your liability in the event of legal difficulties. Both civil and criminal procedures may arise as a result of payment issues or workplace accidents. Further, the LLC is solely responsible for the company’s debt, which means its assets, and not those of the individual stakeholder will be used to repay it.

 

By forming an LLC, you ensure that your personal assets, such as a home, vehicle, and bank account, will not be at risk. It is almost mandatory to have an LLC to protect yourself and your family in an increasingly litigious world.

 

Small Business Marketing Ideas

 

When you come up with a great idea that makes your clients’ life easier, you need to ensure that they can find out about your services and how they can buy them. Successful marketing will aid in connecting your business with the lifeblood of your business — your customers.

 

As you gain more success, you’ll begin to have options for how to expand your business or improve what you are already doing. Sales can help customers discover the value of your products and services. Marketing can help open up more and more opportunities for success. Business leaders are not only leaders in their field but also leaders in their communities.

 

Creating an outstanding logo for your business is one of the easiest ways to boost your marketing efforts. It is a great way to make a memorable first impression, stand out from other companies, and help you create repeat business.

 

If you would rather not pay a designer, you can create your own logo with the help of affordable software. These programs allow you to make an effective logo by choosing the icon, color scheme, and text you would like.

 

SEO Is Key

 

To have a successful business, credibility is a critical element. Search engine rankings are a key factor for determining whether a website is trustworthy, as well as whether people are likely to choose those sites.

 

Through search engine optimization, you are more likely to be higher up in the search rankings. It even opens up doors you never knew were there. Your website will get people and companies to come to you for information, products, and collaborations. Consider hiring local SEO services from Upwork or a similar job site. Your business can then achieve maximum success.

 

When you start your own business in your community, you can reap tremendous rewards. However, there are a few things to think about. If you start an LLC, explore marketing, and utilize SEO in your marketing, you’ll quickly see your company taking off. There is no reason to wait any longer to start your business. As long as you work hard and spend enough time on it, your business will succeed.

 

For more insights, explore the Still A Chick Lit blog here.

 

An Author's Life, Musings of A Writer, North of 40 and 50 plus Authors, View from the inside of a Literary Agents office

Still Writing After All These Years- Books By Women

I had the opportunity to write an article for Women Writers, Women’s Book. The site was launched in 2011 to be another platform for contemporary women writers and authors around the world writing in English. Its mission is to encourage and promote the visibility of women writers. We are particularly interested in the edges, the intersections between genres, nationalities, languages, arts, cultures.

Barbara Bos is the managing editor and owner of Women Writers, Women’s Books. With sections such as, writing, interviews, recommended reads, agent’s corner, submissions, library 2021, author genie, hybrid publishing, and ask BLIX, Barbara has lovingly and judiciously curated a site that both supports and encourages women writers.

Barbara was born in Holland. After finishing University she left for the UK. Since then she has uprooted herself twice more, currently living with her family in a small village in Galicia, North-West Spain.

 

You can read Still Writing After All These Years

http://booksbywomen.org/still-writing-after-all-these-years-by-chamein-canton/  

 

For more information about Books By Women, visit their site

http://booksbywomen.org/

Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Cast Iron Baked Ziti

 

 

There are basic factors recipes must meet in order to be the Makeover Monday Meal:

  1. It has to have a fairly short prep time, and the meal or dish should come together in less than an hour.
  2. The ingredients have to be easy to find in your grocery store, freezer, or fridge. The use of pantry items is a plus.
  3. The recipe has to be adaptable, even traditional meat recipes.
  4. It should be healthy

 

This week’s recipe for Cast Iron Baked Ziti comes from America’s Test Kitchen. This is a wonderful weeknight meal that comes together quickly and is easily adapted for a vegan/vegetarian or gluten-sensitive diet. The sauce is a combination of fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, basil, mozzarella, and grated parmesan cheese. Moreover, as good as it tastes when you first make it, the leftovers actually taste better overnight in the fridge.

 

Cast Iron Baked Ziti America’s Test Kitchen

GATHER YOUR INGREDIENTS

1 ½ pounds grape tomatoes

1 tablespoon

extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon tomato paste

¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes

12 ounces (3 3/4 cups) ziti (gluten-free ziti)

3 cups water, plus extra as needed

1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 cup) (vegan parmesan cheese)

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

4 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded (1 cup) (vegan cheese like Daiya Provolone or mozzarella shreds are quite good)

INSTRUCTIONS

Adjust oven rack 6 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Heat 12-inch cast-iron skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes. Toss tomatoes with oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Add tomatoes to skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly charred and blistered, about 10 minutes. Stir in garlic, tomato paste, and pepper flakes and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Off heat, coarsely mash tomatoes using a potato masher.

2

Stir in pasta and water and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to vigorous simmer, cover, and cook, stirring often, until pasta is tender, 15 to 18 minutes.

3

Stir in Parmesan and adjust sauce consistency with extra hot water as needed. Stir in basil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Transfer skillet to oven and broil until cheese is melted and spotty brown, about 5 minutes. Serve.

 

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Entertainment, Living Your Best Life North of Forty and Fifty Plus, Movies, Still A Chick Lit Podcast, Television Books

New Podcast Episode- Still A Chick Talks Ageism and Women in the Media

Like many other women who are north of forty-five and fifty-plus, I rejoiced when I heard Sex and the City was coming back to television. I think many women identified with the characters as they pursued careers and other life goals as women in their thirties. The first Sex and The City movie took fans across the bridge to their forties and fifty with Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte, and Samantha. The second iteration, while fun, seemed to lose the thread of realism that drew fans like me to the television series. Now, you might wonder what was real about a fashion and designer shoe-obsessed freelance writer living in a posh apartment in Manhattan. Honestly, nothing. What mattered is Carrie was living in a way most of us could only dream of, and we were invested in her story.

 And Just Like That represents the same hopes and dreams of Late Boomer, Gen-X, and Xennial women, who are in their late forties and fifties. The very fact that HBO is bringing the show back and they are not pandering to a younger demographic. Seeing Carrie and Miranda with grey in their hair was liberating on so many levels, and it flies in the face of our youth-driven culture. It’s also a beacon of hope a medium where one wouldn’t ageism applied, books.
Chick-lit was the now lambasted genre that brought us Sex and the City as a book. Chick lit was considered lighthearted fiction with a twenty-something or thirty-something heroine dealing with her professional, work, and emotional life. However, once the plot revolves around a character that is north of forty or fifty-plus, everything changes about publishing that book. A hot romance between fifty-somethings is deemed ‘seasoned romance’, which sounds more like a cookbook category. On the other end of the spectrum, is the idea that any book about a woman over forty has to be some kind of emotional journey.  Both And Just Like That, and Sex and the City prove that stories centered around women as we age emotionally and chronologically aren’t an all-or-nothing deal. Aging happens gradually, and it’s about time that all media realizes it can be approached in a nuanced way. To bring this back to this not-so-flattering comparison being made with the Golden Girls, it would behoove us to note, that the show changed the way we looked at women in their fifties. No one ever thought of their grandmothers or mothers as vital, sexually progressive women like Dorothy, Blanche, Rose, and Sophia. The characters helped to liberate generations of women, even if we didn’t know it at the time.
Tune in to listen and let us know what you think about all the fuss over Carrie and Miranda’s grey hair, and let us know think will happen for your favorite characters the fabulous ladies.

Follow the Still-A-Chick-Lit Podcast to stay informed when there are new episodes to listen to on Spotify.

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Adaptable Recipes, Dinner, Food Glorious Food, Healthy Food Makeover, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Midweek Bonus Adaptable Recipes

Midweek Bonus Recipe- New England Clam Chowder & a vegan Clam-less Chowder

 

A Midweek meal to warm your soul

New York is the home of great cheesecake, bagels, and pizza. Baltimore’s seafood and crabcakes are worth writing home about. While Chicago is home to great steak, distinctive hotdogs, and deep-dish pizza. New England is known for lobster, lobster rolls, calamari, and chowder.

As a New Yorker, I do love Manhattan-style clam chowder with its tomato base, but I do enjoy a creamy bowl of chowdah. It’s just the right mix of brothiness from the clams, with a hint of smoke from the bacon, soft pillowy potatoes, and cream. It’s delicious.

This recipe comes from a small newspaper out of Maine. I’ve had it for some time now, and the newspaper’s title has faded. I wanted to share this recipe with a few substitutions to fit different dietary needs.

We’ve included the recipe for clam-less chowder, which is a vegan version that uses mushrooms in place of clams. The use of the liquid from soaking dried mushrooms gives the soup an umami punch. We tried to make sure there is something for everyone to enjoy, especially on a cold day with oyster crackers.

New England Clam Chowder

Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Hands-On Time: 45 minutes
Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 strips thick-cut bacon (low sodium bacon or hickory-smoked turkey bacon)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten-sensitivities use gluten-free all-purpose flour, white or brown rice flour)
  • 4 cups bottled clam juice, divided
  • 1 pound chopped fresh clam meat, with juices
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light cream (2 1/2 cups 2% milk plus 1/2 cup half-and-half, or 1 3/4 cups fat-free milk plus 1 1/4 cups half-and-half) (non-dairy: light coconut, soy, or rice milk) **
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper

Instructions

Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and cook, turning occasionally, until crisp, 10 to 12 minutes. Remove the bacon, leaving the fat in the pot, and crumble into small pieces; set aside.

Add the butter, onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes.

Return the bacon to the pot and stir. Reduce the heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, while you prepare the potatoes.

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Turning back to the onion/bacon mixture, increase the heat to medium-low.

Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until thick paste forms. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the bottled clam juice, 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes and clam meat with its juices. Keep stirring for 5 minutes, until the clams are tender.

Add the cream slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.

** If you’re using non-dairy milk, use three additional tablespoons of flour

** If you are lactose intolerant, you can use lactose-free milk

New England Clam-less Chowder

  • 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable or Canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted vegan butter
  • 1 large onion, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 medium-size white potatoes, peeled and cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 16 ounces of dried Porcini mushrooms, chopped (cover with hot water and let soak for 30 minutes, reserve the liquid)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (for gluten sensitivity use gluten-free all-purpose flour, white or brown rice flour)
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ¾ pounds of sliced mushrooms (shitake, oyster, or portobello mushrooms are great choices)
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 3 cups light coconut, soy, or rice milk
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • ½ teaspoon liquid hickory smoke (optional)

Instructions

In a 2- to 3-quart pot on high heat, boil the diced potatoes in salted water until tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Set a 4- to 6-quart pot over low heat. Add the vegetable oil and butter.
Add onion, celery, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot. Cook, stirring often, until onions are tender and translucent, 6 to 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-low. Add the flour gradually, stirring continuously, until thick paste forms. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.

Increase the heat to medium and slowly add the reserved mushroom liquid,  followed by the vegetable broth 1 cup at a time, incorporating it into the mixture before adding more.

Increase the heat to medium-high and add the potatoes, sliced mushrooms, and liquid smoke, if using. Keep stirring for 5 minutes, or until the mushrooms are soft.

Add the coconut milk in slowly; then stir in the white pepper.

Discard the bay leaves before serving. Serve hot.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Breakfast, Food Glorious Food

Bonus Recipe- Apple Cider Donuts

 

 

The arrival of fall brings cooler temperatures, vibrant foliage, and apples. Many people take their children to farms to enjoy hayrides, pumpkin patch, and apple picking.  I with apple picking at Blue Orchard in Connecticut where they had an abundance of apple varieties ranging from Cortlandt, Gala, McIntosh, and Empire to name a few.  We also picked up a half-gallon of their sweet apple cider.

While apple pie remains supreme, apple cider donuts are a close second. Many visitors to Blue Orchard left with their cider donuts.  When it’s spiced right, an apple cider donut is perfect with a cup of tea or coffee. I’d seen the recipe for baked apple cider donuts in the New York Times Food Section and decided to give it a try.  If you don’t have a donut pan, it’s a worthwhile investment and can easily become a weekend or holiday breakfast tradition.

Still A Chick Lit has adapted the recipe for:

  • Vegetarians/Vegans
  • Gluten Sensitivities-Celiac Disease
  • Low and No Sugar Diets

Apple Cider Donuts by New York Times adapted by Still A Chick Lit

 

INGREDIENTS

Nonstick cooking spray

1 ¾ cup/225 grams all-purpose flour (gluten-free all-purpose flour, 1 to 1 gluten-free baking blend, white rice, brown rice, or sorghum flour)

1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder

¾ teaspoon fine sea salt

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature (unsalted vegan butter)

¾ cup/165 grams light brown sugar (Swerve brown sugar substitute, organic light brown sugar)

¾ cup/150 grams granulated sugar (Swerve sweetener, Splenda granulated, monk fruit granulated sweetener, raw cane, turbinado, or coconut sugar)

2 large eggs, at room temperature ( ¼ Aquafaba, ½ cup silken tofu pureed with ¼ teaspoon baking soda, 2 flaxseed or chia seed eggs, vegan egg substitute such as Bob’s Red Mill or Just Eggs, which is made with mung beans)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup/120 milliliters apple cider

 

PREPARATION

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 2 (6-cavity) doughnut pans (or 12-cup muffin tin) with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, add flour, baking powder, salt, 1 teaspoon cinnamon, and nutmeg and whisk to combine. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream 10 tablespoons/140 grams butter, brown sugar, and 1/4 cup/50 grams granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated after each addition, scraping the bowl as necessary. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Add the flour mixture and mix at low speed until incorporated. With the mixer running, add the apple cider in a slow, steady stream and mix to combine. Scrape the bowl well to make sure the batter is homogeneous.

Spoon the batter into prepared doughnut pans, filling them about 2/3 of the way. (You can also do this using a disposable piping bag or a resealable plastic bag with a 1/2-inch opening cut from one corner.) Bake until evenly golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center of the thickest portion comes out clean, 12 to 15 minutes. Rotate the pans halfway through baking. (If you are making muffins, divide batter evenly between the prepared cups and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating halfway through.)

While the doughnuts bake, whisk the remaining 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon together in a small bowl to combine. In a separate small bowl, melt the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter in the microwave. Let the doughnuts cool for 5 minutes after baking, then unmold them from the pans, brush with the melted butter and dredge them in the cinnamon sugar while they are still warm. Serve immediately, or let cool to room temperature.

 

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Adaptable Recipes, Food Glorious Food, Makeover Monday Meals, Take Out Favorites From Your Kitchen

Makeover Monday Meal- Turn Takeout into Dine-in

Almost everyone has a go-to place for great takeout. Whether you go on a Friday, Saturday, or even Tuesday night, there’s nothing like ordering your favorites and digging in when you get home.

However, there are times when you just don’t feel like making the drive. Granted, there are a plethora of delivery options available, but many of them require a minimum order to get free delivery, and if you’re in the mood for one thing, it’s just not worth it.

For many people, lo mein with its noodles stir-fried with vegetables and your choice of beef, chicken, or shrimp in a delectable sauce, ticks all the boxes. Thankfully Cooking Professionally has a recipe for Beef Lo Mein that is not only delicious but it can also be prepared for two in twenty minutes. Moreover, by making it at home, you can control the level of sodium and carb intake.

With so many supermarkets and grocery stores offering pre-chopped and julienned vegetables in their produce sections, you can save yourself some more time. This is a great and economical way to enjoy your favorite takeout meal at home.

If you want to make this vegetarian or vegan:

Omit the beef and increase vegetables *

Replace the oyster sauce with an equal amount of low-sodium or regular soy sauce plus 2 teaspoons of white sugar, coconut sugar, turbinado, or raw cane sugar. You can also use 1 teaspoon of Swerve, Splenda, or monk fruit sweetener. *

To make it low-carb instead of Lo Mein noodles or egg noodles, you can use zucchini or spaghetti squash noodles. Instead of blanching in hot water for 2 minutes, blanch the vegetable noodles for 4 minutes and set them aside. *

 

Beef Lo Mein recipe by Cooking Professionally adapted Still A Chick Lit

Ingredients

• 14 ounces Lo Mein noodles (or cooked egg noodles) *

9-ounce beef sirloin (tenderloin/rump or any tender meat cut) *
• 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
• 2-3 spring onions, cut into 2-inch pieces
• 1 bell pepper, julienned
• 2-3 cabbage leaves, cut into thin slices
• 5-6 snow peas
• 1 small carrot, julienned
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil for the sauce:
• 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
• 2 teaspoons dark soy sauce
• 4 tablespoons oyster sauce *
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 1 tablespoon Shaoxing wine (or rice vinegar)
• 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
For the marinade
:• 1 tablespoon sauce mix
• 1 teaspoon cornstarch
• 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
optional garnishes:• chopped spring onions• chili oil, to taste

Directions

Step 1

To begin, blanch the noodles in hot water for 1-2 minutes, then sprinkle in a bit of sesame oil, mixing well. Set aside.

Step 2

Combine all of the sauce ingredients into a small mixing bowl. Set aside.

Step 3

To prepare the vegetables, wash and slice them. Set aside.

Step 4

Cut the beef steak into thin slices, going against the grain. In a separate bowl, combine all of the marinade ingredients, then add the beef slices. Let sit for 10-15 minutes. Set aside.

Step 5

Heat the pan or wok over medium-high heat. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of oil, then add in the beef slices.

Step 6

Flatten the beef, searing for 1-2 minutes, then continue to stir fry for an additional 1-2 minutes. Then, follow with the vegetables, adding in the hard ones first. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

Step 7

Make space in the middle of the wok, add in the noodles, and pour in the sauce mixture.

Step 8

Toss all the ingredients and noodles well for 2-3 minutes to combine evenly, until fully cooked. Remove from heat and transfer to a serving plate.

Step 9

If desired, top the dish with extra chopped spring onions and chili oil. Serve immediately.

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Dinner, Fall Comfort Recipes, Makeover Monday Meals

Makeover Monday Meal- Soup’s On

 

Well, November is here, and we are about to head into the heart of the holiday season. That said, Thanksgiving is just a few weeks away, and many of us will be gathering with family and friends to celebrate and give thanks together.

All of it means there’s a lot of planning underway to put family favorites on the table, and you might be looking to try a few new recipes to include for your get-together. As the unusually warm air gives way to colder temps, you might be looking for something that makes your feel warm inside, and a nice bowl of soup fits the bill.

This recipe comes to us courtesy of Catherine Fulvio of the Ballyknocken Cookery School in County Wicklow, Ireland. Catherine’s Kitchen Quarantine Edition had a wonderful recipe for red lentil soup, that’s soothing, delicious, and 100% vegan. The addition of coconut milk makes this soup creamy and velvety.  Many of us will have people with different dietary needs at our tables this Thanksgiving, and this is a soup that is sure to please.

Finally, the soup comes together quickly with a minimum of prep time. You can season the soup to your taste. Be mindful of the fresh ginger, it can have quite a bite. Keep tasting as you go along, and remember to use salt and pepper to balance everything on the palate. Also, Catherine has a tip for ginger that I always use. Store fresh ginger in the freezer. Use a freezer bag and use it as needed. Not only will it keep, but it also makes it far easier to use in recipes.

This recipe is Vegan. Vegetarian, Gluten-free, and low-fat.

I hope you give this a try.

 

Red lentil and ginger soup by Catherine Fulvio

 

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp Oil
  • 1 Onion finely chopped
  • 1 ½ Red Chilies deseeded and finely chopped
  • Pinch of Freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • 2 Red Peppers deseeded and diced
  • 4 oz Red Lentils soaked for 10 minutes in water and drained
  • 20 fl oz Vegetable Stock
  • 14 fl oz Can of Coconut Milk
  • 1 tsp Fresh Ginger grated
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Toasted Desiccated Coconut and Fresh Herbs to garnish

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan and cook the onion for 10 minutes until transparent.
  • Add chili and ginger and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the peppers, lentils, and nutmeg and stir to mix. Add the coconut milk and the stock to the soup. Leave to simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked through and the lentils are soft. Remove from heat and blend until smooth. Season to taste.
  • Sprinkle over the toasted coconut, garnish with fresh herbs and serve.