Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Mongolian Sauce

This sauce recipe is very flexible: it has been used on beef, pork and chicken in my kitchen. I made a regular size recipe, and there is always enough leftover to freeze for another meal.

To use this versatile sauce, I stir fry my chosen meat over high heat, removed it to a plate, then stir fried the veggies (or heated up a bag of frozen veggies in the microwave) then spooned some of the fabulous sauce over the food on individual plates. The kids only wanted a little on the meat, and some on the their plates for dipping, while my husband and I topped everything on our plates with the sauce!

Mongolian Sauce
recipe adapted from Favorite Family Recipes via this pin on Pinterest

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground ginger (or 1 tablespoon fresh minced ginger)
1 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 cup water or chicken broth
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water, to dissolve cornstarch

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and ginger to the pan, saute for 30 seconds or so until you can smell them. Add the soy sauce and water before garlic burns. Add brown sugar to the pan, and stir to dissolve. Raise the heat to medium-high heat and boil for 2-3 minutes. Combine the cornstarch and water in a small bowl, turn the heat to low until it stops boiling, stir in the cornstarch slurry, then turn the heat back up to medium-high and stir until the sauce boils and thickens.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix

It's finally fall! Hooray!

Now that we are living in an area of the country that actually gets seasons, I have been in the mood for hot chocolate, but a little sick of buying the boxes of hot chocolate mix at the store. My kids love hot chocolate, so we can burn through those little packets pretty quick!

My mom always made a big batch of this hot chocolate mix when I was growing up. We would have hot chocolate often in the winter...after sledding, after walking home in cold weather, or just as a warm treat on a cold day. I remember making it alot in the winter afternoons after school, after a long cold bus ride.

The proportions don't need to be set in stone. The original recipe called for 16 oz instant chocolate drink mix, but my store had a container that was 21.8 oz, so I just threw the whole container into the recipe. More chocolate is fine by me!  The store also didn't have big boxes of dry milk, so I grabbed three bags, which was about 4 oz over the originally called for 24 oz. Again, I'm not worried about it.

I also used my kitchen scale to measure out the creamer and powdered sugar, which made it easy. If I had a sifter, I should have used that on the powdered sugar to get out any lumps.

Homemade Hot Chocolate Mix
28.8 oz nonfat dry milk powder (3 - 9.6 oz bags)
21.8 oz instant chocolate drink mix
8 oz non-dairy creamer
8 oz powdered sugar

Combine in a large container with a lid 

and shake to combine. (seriously, I tried stirring it for 10 minutes and couldn't get it combined, and with 2 shakes it was all perfectly even.)

I moved it from the Tupperware container with a lot of room to a pretty glass jar. (A canning funnel works great for this.)

Combine 1/3 cup hot chocolate mix with 1 cup hot water.

Also, if you are making this hot chocolate for a group, running a pot of hot water through the coffee pot (without any coffee grounds - duh) makes an easy way to whip up many cups at the same time, instead of standing at the microwave zapping individual cups. If you are serving kids, this makes some VERY hot water, so after I mix up the hot chocolate, I put an ice cube in the cups to cool it down for little mouths. I have also been known to combine this mix with decaf coffee at night for a nice little latte-like treat.