Chinese Chicken Salad


I work from home!   I am very grateful that I get to work from home.  One reason is that I get to make my lunch fresh each day!   It also means that I tend to eat the same things over and over.  I love salads.  And I usually will have a lettuce salad about 4 times per week.  And it gets really old.  I’ve tried making my own dressing to just so that I’m using something on a more healthy side, but still.  It gets to be boring.

I’m a follower of the Chef in Training on Facebook, so when I saw her post, I thought, huh, I have to try this.  I know my family may not eat it, but I will.  And I can have this instead of salad every day this week!  Well a regular salad.

In a large bowl add the  sunflower seeds, coleslaw, chopped green onions and chicken.


Break apart Ramon packets until they are crushed into small pieces. Reserve beef packets for sauce. Add Top Ramon pieces to salad and mix together well.

This next part required me to get out the blender!!!


In blender, combine almond oil, sugar, vinegar and beef packets. Blend until evenly mixed.

The original recipe calls for Peanut Oil.  I shop at Target Super Store and they don’t always carry things that I need.  They had the peanut oil but in a huge gallon jug that I didn’t need.  I looked through the different types of oils and came across the Almond Oil.  It says it gives a sweet flavor for salad dressings so that’s what I went with.  Great flavor.  I have a new favorite lunch (besides Zantigo!!).


Chinese Chicken Salad
Recipe Type: Salad
Cuisine: Chinese
Author: Patricia
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 (16 oz) bag coleslaw mix
  • 2 packages Beef Top Ramon dry, save the packets
  • 1 bunch green onions chopped
  • 2 cups cooked and diced/shredded chicken
  • SAUCE . .
  • 1 cup almond oil
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 2 packets beef seasoning from Top Ramon packages listed above
  1. In a large bowl, add sunflower seeds, coleslaw, chopped green onions and chicken.
  2. Break apart Ramon packets with until they are crushed into small pieces. Reserve beef packets for sauce. Add Top Ramon pieces to salad and toss to evenly distribute.
  3. In blender, add almond oil, sugar, vinegar and beef packets. Blend until evenly mixed.

We have had not much of a Spring here in MN.  This past weekend it got into the 70s and we got to use our grill!!!!!  It’s supposed to drop back into winter again but I’m holding firm on the no socks with shoes from here on out!!!


Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉


Chef in Training

Cinnamon Twist Bread


I know it’s that time of the year where most people are baking Easter goodies to put on display.  I have a couple of those that I want to try too, but bread. Bread came to my mind yesterday when I was on Pinterest looking for Easter fun things and I saw a tomato basil twist flavored.  Then cinnamon was on my mind.  Why?  Well because I’m not a tomato fan.   Though I’m sure it would be just fine, I chose the sweet bread instead.

Making bread takes a long time.  You have sit and wait for it to rise.  Not once but twice.  Now how does that work with a person that is working on their patience skills?  Not well.  I have to set the timer and walk away.  Good thing The Voice was on last night!  I loved seeing Usher on there!!!!  Ok, here’s what you do!!


  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon


  1. In small saucepan, warm milk and 1 tbsp butter until butter is melted. Set aside until lukewarm.
  2. In small bowl, mix water and yeast until yeast is dissolved.
  3. In large bowl, add 2 tbsp sugar, salt, and 1 tsp cinnamon. Pour in lukewarm milk and butter. Mix until sugar and salt is dissolved. Stir in yeast and water.
  4. Mix in 2-1/2 cups flour. Turn out onto floured board and knead in the remaining half cup of flour or until the dough is soft and smooth.
  5. Put dough in greased bowl and turn dough so that the top is greased. Cover and let rise in warm place for about 60 minutes, or until double in size.
  6. Punch down dough with your fist. Turn dough out onto floured board and knead for about 1 minute.
  7. Roll dough out into a basic rectangular shape. Use a butter knife or fingers to spread 2 tbsp softened butter on the top of rectangular dough. Evenly spread about 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp cinnamon on top of butter.
  8. Roll up the dough into a log shape and connect both ends by putting a bit of water on the ends and push together into a wreath shape.
  9. Preheat oven 375 degrees F.
  10. Score dough by cutting three slashes across the top with a sharp knife. Put in oven and bake for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.  (Mine was done in 30 minutes)
  11. Turn out bread and let cool on a rack.

I took the bread out and placed it on my baking rack to cool and to take photos.  Before I knew it someone was in the kitchen trying to cut it apart.  Goodness sakes I about had a fit!  And I kind of wanted to taste it first!!!



I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with my bread baking!  I got this one down the first try!!

Have a great week.

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉


Bread Baking

Reece’s Chewy Chocolate Cookies


This past weekend I was in the mood to do baking.  I had seen a picture online somewhere of pull apart cookies.  I googled and searched all over for a recipe and could not find one.  I thought I had saved the recipe to my bookmarks, but I did not.

I went to the store and was trying to think of what type of cookie to make.  I saw the Reece’s bag and thought this was a good one to try.  I did use my first batch in a glass baking dish for the pull apart cookies.


They looked as though they turned out good, but when I tried to pull them apart, the middle was a bit undercooked or gooey!!  So I made the rest of the dough into cookies!!!


2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup Hershey Cocoa

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 and 1/4 cup (2 – 1/2 sticks)butter  or margarine, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

1 and 2/3 cups (10 0z pkg) Reece’s Peanut Butter Chips

How to:

Heat oven to 350 degrees F.

Stir together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt.  Beat butter and sugar in a large bowl with mixer until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.  Gradually add flour mixture, beating well.   Stir in peanut butter chips.



Drop by rounded teaspoons onto ungreased  cookie sheet.  Bake 8-10 minutes (do not overbake, cookies will be soft).  They will puff while baking and flatten while cooling (which I didn’t realize until reading through the package directions the 2nd time).  Cool completely.



This was a great chocolate cookie.  I wondered what it would taste like without the cocoa in it.  I’ll try next time and see what the outcome is.  I know I’ve searched for white cocoa (not even sure if it exists – the baker that I am) but I bet it’s just as good!

 I felt like I was dipping my chocolate in a jar of peanut butter.  These were pretty good.


Great treat.  They were nice and chewy too!  I hope I run across the pull apart cookie recipe again.  Or if someone knows of a recipe, let me know.

Have a great week.

Two Girls Cooking – Two Girls Cooking 😉


Reece’s Peanut Butter Chip package

My Sister’s Bean Salsa

This past weekend I went to my brother’s house to watch the Superbowl, but more importantly to celebrate my 22.5 birthday for the 2nd time with him!!

My sister brought this salsa and I HAD to have the recipe for this.  It was so good.  I mean really good!


I made this and ate it along side of the Creamy Chicken Cups that we had for dinner.  Oh my goodness.  I can’t get over the flavor of this.  I took out a couple of ingredients that I didn’t care for, but it was still pretty good.  This will be made over and over.  And I’m so glad that I have a huge bowl left to have some during the day for a light snack!  Or lunch..


One can white corn
One can black beans
One can pinto beans
One small onion
One small green pepper
Two jalapeño
I left out the red peppers and tomatoes – it’s well known I’m not a tomato fan!
2tbs of cilantro
It also calls for pimentos which I did not use.


1 cup sugar,

3/4 cup apple cider vinegar

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp salt

Then pour over top ingredients and cool.



There isn’t one thing in this salsa that is bad for you.  I love the Organic White Tortilla chips that I buy from Target.  I have actually been to Target almost every single day this week so far.  And since I don’t have any of those chips left to dip into the large bowl of salsa, I’ll be going again!

This will be my lunch for the rest of the week!  Words can’t even describe how good this is.  If you’re a salsa fan and want to try out something new, then this is for you!!!

Happy Birthday to my brother last weekend.  Glad we got together to celebrate another year!  AND that I got to taste this stuff my sister made!  Yay!


Every time I want to take a picture with my brother, he always, says:  “What are you doing?  NO pictures.”  But you always see the smile in the picture!!  He tells me not to post it on Facebook.  I did.  But now he’ll be on my blog too!!!!  Love ya bro!

Enjoy this.   You’re gonna love it.  Trust me.


Have a great weekend.

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉


My sister, Kari

Oreo Cheesecake Bars


Last week I made Brown Eyed Bakers Snickers Rice Krispies Bars and they were soooo good.  I had gone out of town a couple of days after making these and I hoped that there would be at least one bar left for me (yay there was)!!

Then I saw these Oreo Cheesecake Bars on Michelle’s site and I so had to try these too!  My family likes (okay I like) the yellow Oreo cookies more than the chocolate ones, so I thought I’d change it up a bit and use those instead!

I’m thinking I should have doubled the recipe so that  I would have enough of these to feed all of the sweet tooth eaters in the house.  Once I tend to get my picture down for the blog, these types of treats seem to disappear.


For the Crust:
23 Oreo cookies (store-bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the Cheesecake:
12 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
6 tablespoons sour cream
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
12 Oreo cookies (store-bought or homemade), coarsely chopped




1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing it to hang over two of the sides.

2. Make the Crust: Process the Oreo cookies in a food processor until they are turned into fine crumbs. Drizzle the melted butter over top and pulse a handful of times until the butter is evenly distributed and all of the crumbs are moist. Dump the crumbs into the prepared baking dish and press into an even layer. Bake for 10 minutes (leave the oven on).

3. Make the Cheesecake: Beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until incorporated.

4. Slowly add the eggs, beating well after each addition, and mix until completely combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the sour cream and vanilla, beating until incorporated.

5. Gently fold in the chopped Oreos, then pour the batter over the prepared crust, smoothing it into an even layer. Bake until the edges are set but the middle still jiggles slightly, about 40 to 50 minutes.

6. Place the pan on a cooling rack and let cool to room temperature, about 2 hours, then cover the pan with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours (or up to 24 hours) before serving.

7. To serve, lift the cheesecake out of the pan using the parchment or foil handles. Slice into bars and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. (I can’t believe I have to wait this long.  This is not a good thing for me!!)




(Recipe adapted from Table for Two)

I’m so thankful that there are so many great bloggers out there to share their fun with us!  Not only do I learn from them but I get to share their great recipes.

Have a great week and enjoy the treat coming from your kitchen

Two Girls Cooking – Patricia 😉


Brown Eyed Baker

Reece’s Peanut Butter Bars

Craig has been asking for home made chocolate chip cookies for about a week.  Well that week has gone by and I am not finding time to get enough things around the house done, let alone bake home made cookies.  Yes, we have to eat dinner every night so if I’ve made something new, I’ll blog it.  But cookies from scratch with work, three kids, baseball every night, it’s just not happening.  But I did go to the store and buy the Pillsbury Reece’s Peanut Butter pre-made cookies!!!  And I’ve had this recipe sitting up on my computer browser for about a week or more so I thought, huh, I’ll use those cookies to make the bars I’ve wanted.  I could have said that I made them, but that would be lying.  And since lying is my biggest pet peeve, I decided that it wouldn’t be a good idea.

While cooking the Lasagna Rolls for dinner tonight, I started with these bars.  I had an hour and a half before we had to leave for baseball.  I was cutting it short.  But right before we had to walk out the door, I got to pull them out of the oven.  Mr. Craig said that he wouldn’t cut the bars before I got home (he knew they were going to be blogged).  Well as soon as I walked in the door, he tells me that he tried to cut a piece and it started to fall apart!!  So I’m not the only impatient one when it comes to having to wait for the sweet treats.

1 package (8 oz) cream cheese, softened (I used 1/3 fat free)

1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup coconut, if desired
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated chocolate chip cookies (I grabbed the Reece’s Peanut Butter cup)
  • 1 Heat oven to 350°F. In small bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and egg until smooth. Stir in coconut.
  • 2 In ungreased, 9- or 8-inch square pan, break up half of cookie dough. With floured fingers, press dough evenly in bottom of pan to form crust. Spread cream cheese mixture over dough. Crumble and sprinkle remaining half of dough over cream cheese mixture.
  • 3 Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and firm to the touch. Cool 30 minutes. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or until chilled. For bars, cut into 4 rows by 4  rows. Store in refrigerator.

Super easy to make.  If you have the time and a good recipe for chocolate chip cookies, then by all means, make them from scratch.  Until I can find a way to work changes in life around, I’ll be making some partial home made desserts (it’s ok to use some store bought things to make life easier!!).

Have a great rest of your week.  I hope yours isn’t as busy as ours is here!!  (Next month comes soccer and football).

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking 😉



Is Sugar Addicting?

I recently posted 20 low sugar snacks that I got from iVillage.

I got another email this week with an article about sugar and if it’s addicting.  I know there are others out there that have the same concerns as I do.  These posts aren’t something that I’ve cooked, but they are ideas that give me and hopefully you things to think about when finding recipes or just shopping for food.

I’ve copied all pictures and statements from iVillage’s website.  None of these are my ideas.  May give me ideas on what to make next or not ; )

limit your daily intake of added sugars


There’s naturally occurring sugar — fructose in fruit and lactose in milk — and there are added sugars that areput into food and drinks during processing. According to the American Heart Association, women should have no more than 6 teaspoons per day of added sugar, which is 24 grams. Most of us get more than 22 teaspoons per day. “It’s not that sugar has to be avoided completely,” says Marisa Moore, a registered dietician based in Atlanta and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “You just need to be mindful that it’s added to many foods and beverages, and excess sugar can lead to weight gain.”



learn to spot the sugar on an ingredients list


Sugar goes by many different names. You may see it listed as brown sugar, turbinado sugar, raw sugar, evaporated cane juice, molasses, honey, corn syrup, fruit juice concentrates, agave nectar or barley malt syrup. You’ll also find sugars that end in “-ose” such as maltose or sucrose. Some foods may have more than one type of sugar listed. “They all impact blood glucose levels the same. The goal is to reduce all added sugar sources,” says Moore.




look beyond the nutrition label


In order to understand how much added sugar is in a food, you have to read the nutrition facts panel as well as the ingredients list. “The nutrition facts panel tells you how many total grams of sugar are in the food, but it doesn’t distinguish what’s a natural sugar versus what’s an added sugar,” says Constance Brown-Riggs, a registered dietician based in Massapequa, New York and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. In addition, the higher up in the ingredients list, the more of that ingredient is contained in the food. A basic rule to limit the amount of added sugars: Look for foods that list sugars fifth or later in the ingredients.


get to know your food


Not all sugar is bad. “You have to become familiar with what’s natural sugar and what’s added,” says Moore. For example, fruit or 100 percent fruit juice is all sugar, but it’s naturally occurring. Dairy products such as skim milk list 12 grams of sugar but it’s naturally-occurring lactose. On the other hand, a can of soda may contain up to 35 grams of sugar and no nutrients.



watch for hidden sugar


You know sugar is in cakes, cookies, pies and candy. But added sugar also appears in foods where you might not expect it such as breads, tomato and barbecue sauces, salad dressings, marinades, nut butters, condiments such as ketchup, and canned fruit. It’s hiding in “healthy” foods, too. “Even whole-grain cereals may contain a lot of added sugar,” says Moore. Trail mix may seem healthy, but you’ve got to avoid those that contain candy pieces. Apple sauce may seem like a sensible snack, but you have to choose those that say “unsweetened” or “no added sugar.” Yogurt contains natural sugars, but it may also be loaded down with extra sugar if it’s a flavored variety.


be wary of beverages


Bottled lemonade, iced tea, iced coffee, protein, energy and some sports drinks typically contain enough added sugar to put you well over the recommended daily intake. “Some beverages may have 40 to 50 grams of sugar per serving,” says Moore. “That means you have to treat them as a dessert and splurge occasionally. They shouldn’t be a part of your daily diet.” If you’re looking for refreshment, get a plain iced tea or iced coffee and add a teaspoon of sugar, which is far less than bottled beverages contain. If you like the carbonation in a soft drink, try flavored sparkling water or plain seltzer with a drizzle of juice.



compare brands

When it comes to foods in cans, bottles, boxes, and bags, compare labels to find the brands with lower amounts of added sugar, says Brown-Riggs. Buy cereal with the least amount of sugar. Choose canned fruits without added sugar or heavy syrup. Look for low-sugar, no-sugar or all-fruit varieties of jams and jellies. For salad dressing, make a vinaigrette from pungent vinegars such as balsamic and citrus-flavored oils. At your next party, mix your favorite liquor with pureed fresh fruit instead of store-bought mixers. And be careful about fat-free and “light” foods — manufacturers often add sugar to compensate for the loss of flavor from fat.

add your own sweetness

If you crave sweetness, mix it in yourself. “You’ll add far less sugar than the manufacturer,” says Moore. For example, instead of buying prepackaged instant oatmeal, which may contain up to 13 grams of sugar, buy the plain variety. Add your own mix-ins such as dried cranberries or blueberries, mashed bananas, a drizzle of maple syrup or a pinch of brown sugar. If you add aromatic spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, you may not miss the sugar at all. You can also try alternative non-caloric sweeteners such as stevia or sucralose (Splenda).

monitor portions

Like everything else when it comes to nutrition, stick with a sensible portion, says Brown-Riggs. Use a small glass if you’re drinking juice or absolutely have to have a little soda. If sweets are your weakness, deprivation never works, so have a few bites of a small dessert, share with a friend or opt for natural sugars from frozen grapes or fresh pineapple. You can also reduce the amount of sugar in home-baked goods if you substitute unsweetened applesauce or pureed prunes for part of the sugar (you may have to experiment, but try reducing sugar by about 1/3 for starters).

give your taste buds time to adapt

You’re used to sugar in everything from cereal to pasta sauces, but you can learn to eat less sugar in time. Cut back gradually. For example, says Brown-Riggs, “if you typically use three teaspoons of sugar in your coffee, cut down to two, then one over a month’s time”. If you’re a regular soda drinker, reduce the number by one per week. In a matter of weeks you probably won’t even miss the sugar overload.

are you a sugar addict?


Can’t get enough sweet stuff? You could be addicted to sugar, says Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D., author of the book Beat Sugar Addiction NOW! But realizing you’re hooked doesn’t mean you have to give sugar up.  Instead, Dr. Teitelbaum says, “You have to figure out what’s causing your sugar cravings, then treat that underlying cause. Not only will your sugar cravings go away, but you’ll feel dramatically better overall.” To find out where you stand, take the following quizzes (adapted from Beat Sugar Addiction NOW!) to see if you’re addicted to sugar and pinpoint your sugar addict type (from Quick-Fix Sugar Fanatic and Sweet Tooth Soother to Sugar Self Medicator and Hormonal Sugar Hunter). Then, learn the life-changing tips you need to feel better fast.



true or false?

My favorite jeans have gotten too tight over the past year.

true or false?

I’m generally not cranky, but when I am about to get my period I get the blues or feel really anxious.

true or false?

I find it very hard to say no to sweets that are offered to me.

true or false?

My go-to mood booster is usually ice cream, cookies, or something else I know I probably shouldn’t be eating.

true or false?

I try to slim down — but the scale won’t budge.

true or false?

I eat sweets or simple carbs (like bagels or white bread) at least three times a day.

true or false?

If I wait more than a few hours to eat, I get shaky and start to feel woozy.

how did you do? if you tallied up less than two “true” answers:

Congrats! While you like sweets as much as the next person, you munch sugar-filled foods in healthy moderation. Keep eating lots of good-for-you fare like produce and lean meat, limit yourself to one sweet a day and you’ll avoid the sluggishness, irritability and weight woes that can accompany sugar addiction, says Dr. Teitelbaum.

if you scored three or more “true” answers:

Daily cravings, snacking on sweet treats at all hours of the day, eating meals that are made of processed foods loaded with excess sugar: These are all signs that you’re a sugar addict, says Dr. Teitelbaum. But don’t worry, you can kick your sweet tooth so you have more energy, a better disposition and an easier time slimming down! Keep clicking to find out what’s causing your sugar addiction and learn super-simple ways to get your appetite and health back on track.

I’m not sure if I’m a sugar addict or not.  I love my jawbreakers, I love to have candy.  I love to make the sweet treats, but I can leave those out if needed.  My downfall is the candy.  And so when I’m at the store I get mad at them for putting those dang candy bars right in my sight where I have to stay strong so that I don’t put on in my cart.  Some times I do.  Most times I don’t.  We have a saying at work: Stay Strong or Indulge Completely.  I do indulge on some days.  And I believe that we all should.  (Now if you’re specifically told not to eat sugar, then please don’t use that statement as you should do so).  I am not on a major strict diet.  I do watch what I eat so that I can stay healthy and to be a good example for the kids.

There is a little quiz on the iVillage site after this portion to see what type of sugar addict you are.  If you interested in reading the full article, you can find it here:


I hope these little posts I’ve been putting up have helped at least someone to think about what you’re putting in your body and to help you think before shopping and buying.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking