Kids Prepare General Tso’s Chicken for Chinese New Year

General Tso's from the Caylor-Browns

General Tso’s from the Caylor-Browns

Ammon & Carter are From the Year of the Rat (2008), so we made them Rat Masks for some Chinese New Year “ownership”

Ammon & Carter are "Rats"!

Ammon & Carter are “Rats”!

Ammon & Carter flank the Ingredients

Ammon & Carter flank the Ingredients

Chicken 2 ½ lbs. of skinless uncooked chicken strips Chicken Coating (before frying) ½ tsp. Salt ¼ tsp. Black Pepper 2 Egg Whites 3 Tbs. Cornstarch Sauce ½ cup cold water 1 Tbs. cornstarch ½ cup Brown sugar ¼ tsp. Ground ginger ¼ tsp. Crushed red pepper 1 Tbs. Hoisin sauce 2 Tbs. Soy sauce 3 Tbs. Ketchup

Step 1: Marinating the Chicken Thoroughly rinse then marinate the uncooked chicken breast strips with approximately ¼ cup soy sauce in a gallon freezer bag. Place the freezer bag in a refrigerator crisper. I know marinating often only takes minutes, but I choose to marinate for at least 12-18 hours ahead of time.

Step 2: Baking the Chicken Set the oven 350° 1-2 hours before mealtime. Place the marinated chicken breast in a baking dish. I keep the marinate on for added flavor as well as adding water so as to submerge the chicken (keep it moist, if you will). Cover with the dish’s lid or aluminum foil. Bake for 1 hour.

Step 3: Making the Sauce while the chicken bakes In a bowl, mix the cornstarch with COLD water (remember corn starch CLUMPS in warm water). Wisk thoroughly. Add the brown sugar, Hoisin sauce, ketchup, soy sauce, ground ginger, and crushed pepper. Set aside. *If you choose and are blessed with lots of skillets, you may want to pour this sauce in another skillet while the chicken cubes brown. I tried it only one time (seen below), and I didn’t like the clutter on the range eyes.

Ammon Stirs the General Tso sauce

Ammon Stirs the General Tso sauce

Carter takes his turn with General Tso sauce

Carter takes his turn with General Tso sauce

Step 4: Making the chicken coating before frying the baked chicken Take out the baked chicken and allow it to cool (strips cool QUCKLY). While it is cooling heat your favorite wok or skillet (ours is cast iron….woo hoo! I love cooking with cast iron!) on a low-medium heat with 2 Tbs. of oil. Cut the chicken into cubes. In a bowl, mix the Corn Starch, Salt, Pepper, & Egg whites. Transfer the liquid into a Gallon plastic zipper bag. Place the cubed chicken in the bag as well then shake, shake, shake (Ammon & Carter love it… we often sing “Shake your chicken” to the tune of “Shake your Booty”). Turn the skillet up to medium high and pour in the chicken turning occasionally to allow the batter to brown. No need to check chicken temperature, it was baked through in the oven. When the cubes are browned, turn the heat down to simmer/heat. Add your sauce over the cubes. For approximately 10 minutes, stir occasionally making sure the cubes are covered with the sauce.

Step 5: Putting it all Together Pour the liquid over your Chicken cubes, and Guess what? General Tso’s Chicken is done. Serve over steamed broccoli and whole-grain rice of which both I can share another preparation recipe another day.

DIY Mardi Gras Bread in Minutes

Mardi Gras Cake

Ingredients for Monkey Bread

½ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 cans ( Our cans were 13 oz) Pillsbury™ Flaky Supreme Refrigerated Cinnamon Rolls

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

¾ cup butter or margarine, melted


Step 1: Heat oven to 350 F. Lightly grease 12-cup fluted pan (Bundt Cake Pan if you’re “Old School” LOL)

Step 2: Have your child/children either cut (case knife) or pull apart the rolls in half. Arrange in the fluted pan.

Step 3: In a small bowl, mix brown sugar and butter: pour over cinnamon roll pieces.

Mix Brown Sugar

Step 4: Bake 30 minutes or until golden brown and no longer doughy in the center. Turn upside down onto serving plate.

Ingredients for Glaze

1 cup confectioners’ sugar

3 Tablespoons heavy cream (or milk for a less creamy texture)

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step 5: Top the Cake with Glaze & Sprinkles

Top the Cake with Gold, Purple, & Green Sprinkles. We found all 3 sprinkles at our local Party City store. 

Carter Sprinkles

Ammon Sprinkles

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Valentine Cookies in Less than an Hour

Valentine Cookies

My Carter & Ammon (just 6 years old!) made these Delicious & Quick Valentine Cookie from scratch!

Sugar cookies


1 Cup butter, softened

1 Cup granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon almond extract

1 egg

2 teaspoons baking powder

3 cups all purpose flour

Stirring the Mix

Heart Cookie Cutters


Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth.

Beat in extracts and in large bowl. Continue reading

Grinch Kabobs: Healthy, Holiday Snack in Minutes!

Carter & Ammon's Grinch Kabobs

Carter & Ammon’s Grinch Kabobs

I am always looking for looking for a healthy, fun snack for Carter and Ammon. Right at the turn of our Thanksgiving season to Christmas my cousin, Wanda Wimpy Miller, shared a Facebook post about Grinch Kabobs. I loved it immediately.

Here are the Ingredients

From Bottom to Top: Green Grape, Banana coin, Raspberry or Strawberry, Mini-Marshmallow

From Bottom to Top: Green Grape, Banana coin, Raspberry or Strawberry, Mini-Marshmallow toothpick not pictured

I made sure everything was prepared for the kabobbing!

I made sure everything was prepared for the kabobbing!

Seedless green grapes can be found just about anywhere, and Carter and Ammon have loved them ever since they can remember.

Carter proudly displays a kabob

Carter proudly displays a kabob

Bananas frequent our kitchen countertops too. I was glad the strawberries I found were too large for what I thought to be for the Grinch’s red part of the Santa hat. Right beside them was a basket of raspberries which seemed more the appropriate size. We don’t have raspberries in our house much. My children welcomed the taste-change for what was to be “raspberry burst of flavor” (as Ammon called it).

Ammon's 1st Grinch Kabob

Ammon’s 1st Grinch Kabob

I was very proud that Carter and Ammon asked if they could eat marshmallows without grabbing and snatching for them. I instructed, “When you finish all your kabobs, you may have the remainder of your marshmallows.” They followed their instructions without complaint.

Carter and Ammon were literally "transfixed" to their task. They loved it!

Carter and Ammon were literally “transfixed” to their task. They loved it!

Well, I didn’t have camera to capture us all “devouring” the Grinch Kabobs. Nana, Daddy S, Ammon, Carter, and I had them eaten in about 10 minutes. It was kinda like, “Mmmm, that was good. I like that ‘raspberry burst’ that blends with it all! I need to eat another one!”: GONE! I hope you and yours will feel the same way when you make some.

We are making more for a Caylor-Brown Holiday gathering but we need to quadruple the number!
Merry Christmas to All!