$10 buck dinners!

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Chicken and Veggie Egg RollsPork Fried Rice and Egg Rolls

Egg roll wrappers are so cheap! And your choices of fillings are endless. Chicken, pork, shrimp, vegetarian. I could go on and on. Plus, there’s something about egg rolls that kids just love. A perfect way to get lots of wonderful veggies in a package that’s easy for the little ones to manage. Just add some delicious fried rice and never eat Chinese takeout again. OK, that’s a bit much, I know. Take out has it place. But seriously. The good thing about home cooking is that you know it’s fresh, it tastes great and completely fits in the budget.

Chicken and Veggie Egg Rolls:

1/2 pkg Egg Roll wrappers – $.99
1 1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach – $.50
2 large Carrots, diced or julienned – $.40
1 1/2 cups chopped chicken (I used 4 boiled chicken legs, seasoned and removed from bone) – $2.10
1 handful bean sprouts – $.40
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce – $.45
1 tsp minced garlic – pantry
1 tsp minced/grated ginger – pantry
1/2 tsp pepper – pantry
Rice wine vinegar – pantry
1/4 to 1/2 cup Canola Oil – pantry

COST: $4.84

In a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat, saute veggies (except for bean sprouts) in a dash of oil for no more than 2 to 3 minutes. Season with pepper, garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Continue cooking for 1 more minute, then add bean sprouts. Toss and remove mixture from pan to cool.

Heat 1/4 to 1/2 cup canola oil to medium, high heat, in frying pan. Oil should be at least 1/2 inch deep. While oil heats, prepare egg rolls.

Lay egg roll wrappers flat, fill with chicken and veggie mixture and roll. Seal with a paste of water and a little flour or an egg wash. I’ve done both and didn’t notice a bit of difference. Water alone doesn’t do that great of a hold, so if you don’t want to waste an egg, just add some flour to your water.

Once your egg roll is made, place in hot oil with the sealed end down first. Cook and turn till entire egg roll is nicely browned. Serve with soy sauce, teriyaki or your own mixture. Here’s a quick dip I got from Food Network and it’s great!

Egg Roll Dipping Sauce (combine in glass bowl):

1/3 cup lite soy sauce
1/3 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 to 2 teaspoons sesame oil
Pinch of red pepper flakes

Pork Fried Rice:

Pork Cutlets (4 in the package) – $2.15
1 1/2 cup day old cooked white rice (we use calrose) – $.60
2 eggs – $.35
1 large Carrot – $.20
1 cup chopped snow peas – $.45
1 bunch green onion – $.50
2 handfuls bean sprouts – $.75
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce – pantry
1 Tbsp Worcester Sauce – pantry/fridge
1 tsp garlic, minced – pantry
1 to 2 tsp pepper (to taste) – pantry
2 Tbsp Canola Oil – pantry

COST: $5.00

Cut pork into small cubes and add 1 Tbsp soy, worcester sauce and garlic and set aside. Slice and dice carrot, snow peas and green onion. How fine or chunky is your preference. Rinse bean sprouts and set all veggies aside in separate bowl.

Next, beat eggs with fork and scramble/fold in wok, with a little oil.  Season with salt and pepper, remove from heat and set aside.

Now, get your wok nice and hot! Add a tablespoon of oil and fry cubed pork till 3/4 done, 3-5 mins.  Add carrots and continue frying till pork is cooked through.  Add minced garlic, a dash of sesame oil (optional) and snow peas. Toss, then make a well in the bottom of wok and add final Tbsp of oil.  Add rice and top with remaining soy sauce.

After mixing and frying for a few minutes, toss in bean sprouts and green onion.  Mix again and taste. Season with more pepper and soy, if needed. Add cooked egg.  Toss and serve!


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Fortune Cookies

Today, February 3, 2011 is the first day of the Chinese new year – Year of the Rabbit. And what could be more fun than making fortune cookies to bring in the Lunar New Year. These simple cookies are not only great fun, they’re super crispy and lightly sweet. Perfect for a special meal or party favor and especially to celebrate the beginning of the Chinese New Year! (BTW, I read over 30 recipes on fortune cookies and settled on a recipe from babycakes291, with modifications from a few of her readers)

Fortune Cookies:

3 egg whites – $.45
1/2 cup white sugar – $.50
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled – $.65
1/2 tsp vanilla extract – pantry
1 cup all-purpose flour – $.75
3 Tbsps water
20-25 preprinted fortunes (cut out and folded)

COST: $2.30

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets well and re-grease between batches, if necessary. Have prepared fortunes ready to go on small strips of paper and set aside.

In a large glass or metal bowl, whip egg whites and sugar until frothy. Stir in melted butter, vanilla extract, water and mix again. Add flour slowly and mix till batter resembles something similar to a thin pancake batter.

Next, spoon batter into 3 inch circles on the prepared baking sheets. Make sure and spread batter very thin, with back of spoon in circular motion. Leave room between cookies for spreading.

Bake for 5 minutes, or until edges begin to brown slightly. Quickly remove one cookie at a time, place a message in the center, and fold in half. Have a glass or mug available to then fold the cookie over rim to create a horse shoe shape. Place each cookie in a muffin tin to cool. This will insure they cool and maintain their shape.

NOTE: Although you don’t want to overbaked, you do need to bake them long enough that they’re golden around the edges. If under cooked, they remain soft in the middle and will not dry to a crisp. The key is to spread batter thin and only make batches of about 4 at a time. While folding each cookie, I leave the pan in the oven with door ajar. This helps keep cookies hot and malleable while I fold each one.


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