Homemade General Tso’s Chicken- SRC

Homemade General Tso's Chicken

Oh, back to life. Back to reality.

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We’re back from our Caribbean cruise vacation. It was such a wonderful time. A wonderful break from life. It was a wonderful way to celebrate my 30th birthday!

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But we’re back home now and back to the normal grind. Back to work today…

But it seems like Tuesday will be a day at home, and maybe even Wednesday, because of this blizzard heading our way. Yay? I mean it’s great for another day ‘off’ but I’ll need to make up the time in the end and snow. But, damn, I love a good Nor’easter. I heart you already Winter Storm Juno!!

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I am a Weather Channel junkie. JUNKIE. Whenever there is a big storm I watch the Weather Channel, or our local news channel, 24/7. I love tracking storms. I love watching the updates throughout the day(s) as they get more and more information from different areas to get more specific quantities of snow/rain with tides or wind gusts. Oh, it’s so damn exciting.

Plus, it’s a good break from reality so we get to veg out and I get to cook!! I have some fun recipes to get to work on too! I’ve had my eye on a brownie recipe for awhile that I gotta make. And I’m working on perfecting my chocolate chip cookie recipe. It’s getting there!!

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And I know I am going to be making this General Tso’s Chicken again.

Hot damn, this General Tso’s Chicken is so freaking good. It will make you toss your take out menus in the trash. Okay, maybe you still need take out for your egg rolls and such, but I doubt we’ll ever order General Tso’s again. It is gonna be homemade for us all the way now.

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This is another one of those instances when I love Secret Recipe Club as it helped me discover another great blog and recipe. I thoroughly enjoying checking out the recipes on Asiya’s blog Chocolate and Chillies. She posts delicious recipes while sharing about her life in Toronto as a stay at home mom to 2 little boys. Her recipes often pack some heat (from chillies!) since she is Indian and her husband is Pakistani. There were quite a few recipes that caught my eye, including her Chocolate Truffle Energy BitesBlack Bean Burger, Pasta with Spinach Pesto, Roasted Red Peppers and Sundried Tomatoes, but I picked out her General Tso’s Chicken recipe.

I stuck with the recipe with the exception that we love broccoli with our General Tao’s so I added that. Because of that addition I doubled up the sauce. If you don’t want broccoli then cut back the sauce to follow the recipe exactly as it was on Asiya’s blog.

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So while the Northeast is getting slammed with snow, we’ll be cozy at home making chocolate chip cookies and another batch of General Tso’s Chicken, since we know take out is not getting through 24+ inches of snow!

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General Tso’s Chicken

Makes 4 servings


  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1″ cubes (about 1 lb)
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 3 1/2 tbsp canola oil, divided
  • 2 Cups pieces of broccoli
  • 1 inch ginger, minced
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 5-7 dried red chillies
  • 2 green onions, white part only, cut into 1 inch length


  • 5 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 Tablespoons reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 1/2 Cup water
  • 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon orange juice
  • 2 Tablespoons cornstarch


  1. Marinate the chicken in orange juice and salt for 15 minutes.  Meanwhile, mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
  2. Coat the chicken with the 1/3 cup cornstarch.
  3. Over high heat, heat 2 Tablespoons of oil in a wok/large non-stick skillet.
  4. Add the chicken and fry until cooked through.  Remove and put on a paper towel lined plate.
  5. Add the broccoli and stir every 20 seconds or so. After 2 minutes add 1/4 Cup of water and cover for 1 minute. Remove the broccoli, set aside.
  6. Heat the remaining oil in the wok and add the garlic, ginger, and dried red chilies.  Fry until you can smell the spices.
  7. Add the sauce and mix.  When the sauce boils and thickens add the chicken, broccoli, and green onions.  Stir to coat everything with the sauce.  Serve immediately with some hot steamed rice or quinoa.

Adapted from Chocolate and Chillies


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Fusilli with Fresh Corn and Chicken in a Garlic Cream Sauce- SRC

Fusilli with Fresh Corn and Chicken in a Garlic Cream Sauce

Holy cow.

You guys this recipe knocked my socks off.

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And then the dog ate them. Just kidding! He only eats the baby’s socks. And thankfully it’s summer so we’re going barefoot now. woohoo!

This recipe is simple but it hits all the right notes.

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Since getting this month’s Secret Recipe Club assignment I’ve made this twice. Making a recipe again when I don’t have to is big. Especially in such a short period of time! But when you find something you love you go with it. And I loved Mary Kay’s blog called Homemade Cravings. Seriously, I had some cravings after I checked out her blog.

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Check these out…  Mini Layer Nacho BitesPanera Autumn Squash SoupCream Cheese and Caramel Frost Apple Cupcakes.  See, she has great taste! Check out her Pinterest account too. She pins some great dishes as well. yum!

Since I made this twice I made some alterations the second time around. Nothing too drastic but just a few things to make it my own. I increased the amount of chicken to the recipe to add more protein and increase the amount of servings this pasta dish made. (hello leftovers!) As well, I increased the amount of sauce that is made since I loved it the first time I made it so I had to have more!

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It’s quick to get all of this together but my tip to you is how to get the kernels off the corn cobs easily and neatly. Take a big pan and put an upside down bowl in the middle of it. That is going to be your pedestal where you hold up your corn, bottom side down. Then you run your knife down the side of the corn, allowing the kernels to fall off into the pan.

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Be sure to use all the great fresh corn you have at your finger tips this summer when you are making this great pasta dish. Yum! I bet this would also be great with some fresh zucchini as well.

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Fusilli with Fresh Corn and Chicken in a Garlic Cream Sauce


  • 1 pound Fusilli (Rontini works well too)
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2  pounds chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 ears of fresh corn on the cob, kernels cut off
  • 3/4 Cup half and half
  • 1/2 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
  • Salt and Pepper


  1. Cook the fusilli according to instructions on package. Reserve 1 Cup of the pasta water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the chicken pieces. Brown the chicken and then move to the outer edges of the skillet.
  3. Add the garlic to the center of the skillet and saute for a minute.
  4.  Add the corn kernels to the skillet. Mix everything together and cook for another 4-5 minutes until tender, stirring every 30 seconds or so.
  5. Add the cup of pasta water, half and half, and the cheese. Allow to come to a low boil.
  6. Remove from heat and toss with the drained fusilli until all pasta is evenly coated. Toss with the minced parsley.

Adapted from Homemade Cravings



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Monday Munchies: Fajitas and ‘Ritas- Boston, MA

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Fajitas and ‘Ritas has been serving Boston with fun Tex-Mex food since 1989. Enjoy Texas favorites from Nachos to Tequila Wings, Fajitas to Barbecue, and Chili to Burritos. That’s 25 years of amazing lunches and dinners serving up some delisious food and drinks!

Price had worked near Fajitas and ‘Ritas years ago so we would occasionally meet there for lunches or drinks after work. It was a great place for affordable meals and drinks to help you get though the rest of a rough day.

It had been ages since we went but going back for lunch recently brought back the memories of the great food and margaritas we enjoyed together and with friends among the mural covered walls.

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During our recent visit, we had planned on starting with the Build Your Own Nachos. Basically, you start with a plate of tortilla chips with melted cheese ($3.74) and then you pick the toppings you would like. I like that you can make the nachos exactly how you enjoy them with steak ($3.74) or chicken ($2.15) or chili ($1.64) and topped off with things like sour cream ($.75) or jalapenos ($47). Nachos were on my mind but since a basket of warm tortilla chips with salsa were put in front of us the moment we were seated we decided to enjoy those and pick other starters when we ordered our drinks.

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I ordered the Mexican Sunrise ($6.07). I wanted something fun and it sounded like a great pick with it’s Lunazul Reposado, Grenadine, lemonade, orange juice, fresh lime juice, and ginger ale. It had great bite from the tequila and the lemonade and was such a pretty color from the Grenadine. I liked the slight effervescence from the ginger ale as well.

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Price enjoyed the house margarita ($5.37). Fresh citrus and a hearty amount of tequila always makes for a great drink. Plus, the affordable price doesn’t hurt.

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Ultimately, we decided on starting with the small order of 8 tequila wings ($8.18). Price loves wings so this was his pick. He was excited to dig right in when they were set down in front of us and the scent of the wings rose up with the steam coming off the hot wings.

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The tequila wings were juicy and really flavorful without being too hot. The tequila adds a really nice flavor. I would have preferred the skin to be crisper but I’m honestly really picky about wings since I don’t actually really like wings. shhh… I prefer tenders but I have to say I did have one of these and it was really good. Loved the flavor from the sauce.

The wings were served with a zesty blue cheese sauce and, of course, celery. I loved the blue cheese sauce as it was really creamy and flavorful. I couldn’t resist dipping some tortilla chips into the sauce as well.

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I picked out the special of Jalapeno Poppers since they are some of my favorite appetizers. I love the combo of spicy pepper with cooling cream cheese and the crunch from the crisp coating. These poppers were a perfect combo of that. Plus crazy fresh from the fryer, which is a must with poppers as you want a hot filling and crisp coating.

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The jalapeno poppers were served with the same zesty blue cheese sauce as the wings.

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Fajitas and ‘Ritas has several zones in their restaurant. It makes for flexible seating when it comes to avoiding loud crowds or for hosting a party in an area.

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For my entrée, I ordered the steak and shrimp fajitas ($10.28) because I couldn’t pass up the signature dish in which the restaurant is named.

The fajitas are served with fresh guacamole, chopped pico de gallo, sour cream, and 2 warm flour tortillas.

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I loved it all. It was a large portion of vegetables with steak and 4 shrimp. The steak was lean, flavorful, and tender while the shrimp had a nice blackening to it from the heat of the cooktop. The steak was cut into strips so it was easy for stacking into the tortillas.

Because we enjoyed 2 starters, I saved half of my fajitas to have for lunch the next day. It heated up well in the microwave as the veggies were still a bit crisp and the steak was not too well done in the first place so it didn’t get tough and chewy after it was reheated.

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Price picked the pulled pork platter ($9.35). The platters are served with a corn muffin, cole slaw, beans, and a side of BBQ sauce. The typical hearty Texas meal!

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Price really enjoyed the 12 hour smoked pork that was smothered in BBQ sauce. The thick sauce was smokey and sweet and a great compliment to the beans. A bite of pulled pork followed up with a bite of corn muffin was a great combination.

We both really enjoyed the cole slaw as it was really crunchy and lightly dressed. For us, texture is a big factor in a good cole slaw and this style of cut (like a dice, not ribboned) makes it extra crunchy.

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While Price was enjoying his entrée, he had a CoronaRita ($8.41). What’s a CoronaRita? Well, it’s their house frozen margarita served with an upside down 7oz bottle of Corona in it. As you drink the margarita you pull the Corona out of the drink to release more of the beer so it mixes with the ‘rita. yum!

Besides the margaritas, they also serve wine and margarita like drinks with a vodka base instead of tequila. The Texas Sipper ($6.54) made with Titos Handmade Vodka, St. Germain, Grapefruit Juice, soda has my name all over it for next time.

I had been hoping to enjoy some dessert but we had filled up too much on our meal. Only means we need to go back for some Sopapillas (One for $1.64, Three for $4.40) and, of course, more ‘ritas!

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And a big THANK YOU to our waitress who gave us awesome service, as well as being super sweet to Autumn. Just the sweetest thing ever!!!!!! Love the extra attention for our little one. Made my day.

Fajitas and ‘Ritas

25 West St #1

Boston, MA 02111


*While a portion of my lunch bill was comped by Fajitas and ‘Ritas these opinions are entirely my own.


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3.7-9: Weekend Recap

{Friday Night}

Price home early | Price made our Blue Apron dinner | Grimm | bed

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sleep in | bagels from Katz’s | Kemper at the vet & some shopping | took a nap with Autumn | Price did volunteer Downtown Chelsea design work | made Blue Apron shrimp dinner | blogging & photo editing | bed

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Got to sleep in… Autumn slept 7 hrs!!! | breakfast | Price had a really horrible headache | Ikea | Price did more volunteer work | watch NASCAR | lots of sorting and folding of laundry | Cosmos show | bed

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Monday Munchies: The Fat Cactus- Lynnfield, MA

The Fat Cactus

I swear I could eat Mexican food twice a week and never get bored of it. It’s just a cuisine that is so flavorful and delicious. I can’t resist the opportunity to have it. And we had been recently been talking about going out to dinner so I just knew we had to try a place that we always say ‘oh we should go there!’ every time we drive by. So we headed to The Fat Cactus- A Mexicali Cantina for a great dinner.

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The Fat Cactus is located on Rt 1 in Lynnfield, MA

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Price enjoyed both a frozen Fat Cactus Margy and a Fat Cactus Margy on the Rocks ($6.59). The Fat Cactus is their classic margarita consisting of Tequila, triple sec, sour mix, and fresh lime juice. He said that both were good but he preferred the one on the rocks much more.

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I had the Prickly Pear Margy, which is their #1 best selling special ($9.95). I thought it had a great boozy kick to it as it was pretty sweet from the prickly pear juice. Because the margarita had orange juice instead of lime juice I decided to get it with sugar on the rim as I thought the sweetness would be a perfect pair. I would definitely order this margarita again.

We started with some complimentary chips and salsa. The chips were crisp and salty, which went well with the salsa that came with a kick. Typically restaurant salsa is pretty plain and mild but this was good with some bite.

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The Baja Spicy Popcorn Shrimp ($8.99) sounded like a great appetizer so we ordered that. It was a great alternative to the calamari that we typically order. The shrimp were small and the perfect poppable appetizer. The shrimp’s light coating was lightly fried to a toasty brown color. The shrimp were flavorful on their own but even better when dipped into the Baja dipping sauce. The dipping sauce was creamy and really quite spicy amping up the flavor of the shrimp even more. I dipped some chips in the sauce as well since I enjoyed it so much.

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For dinner I ordered the Tacos AL Pastore ($9.99). The pair of pork tacos came with a choice of rice, refried beans, or black beans. I selected therice, which was seasoned nicely and loaded with vegetables as well. The portion was rather large, and I was looking forward to dessert, so I only had 1 taco and some rice but that taco was so dang good. The pork was dang tender and flavorful. The rotisserie pork was marinated with pineapple and red Chilies, and then topped off with fresh onions, cilantro, and the same Baja sauce that was served with the Baja Spicy Popcorn Shrimp. So many layers of flavor!

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Price had a Chimichanga filled with Carne Deshebrada ($12.99). Carne Deshebrada is  marinated, slow-cooked moist shredded beef. It was a perfect filling for the chimichanga, which basically is a deep fried burrito, which is then covered in queso. umm… yum! Again, the portions were generous, as the chimichanga was served with rice and a choice of refried beans or black beans, so Price saved half of his to make room for dessert as well.

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We shared the Deep Fried Ice Cream dessert ($5.99). A softball sized ball of ice cream was plated before us. We dug into the ice cream which is rolled in cinnamon and sugar and then coated with crusted cornflakes. And if that wasn’t enough it was topped off with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, and a cherry! It was really good but it honestly would have been a bit better if it was softer as it was rock hard, but I suppose it’s tricky frying ice cream.

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We are already looking forward to our next visit to The Fat Cactus. They have great deals during the wee, like on Monday any Burrito or Chimichanga is just $5! As well they post specials on their Facebook page.

The Fat Cactus- A Mexicali Cantina

215 Broadway

Lynnfield, MA 01940