Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Already Tested: Budget Bytes' Kung Pao Chicken (with Vegetables)

Despite me being Vietnamese, or in other words, Asian, I still love me some Americanized Chinese food. Kung Pao Chicken being one of them (General Tso's being my favorite).

Here is the link to the website I got this recipe from:

I won't be breaking down the cost of this because Budget Bytes already does that for all their recipes, which makes it easy on me!

This portion will run you $1.82 per serving, according to Budget Bytes and I don't think that includes rice which shouldn't really cost that much anyway.

The only thing I modified in this recipe is that I only used broccoli for the vegetables and then added WAY too much pepper flakes. Oh, forgot one last thing, I used red onions because I didn't have any green onions on hand, but hey, at least they're still onions.

Here are the pictures:

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Here it is cooking in my pan

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Sorry for the blurry photo! But this is the finished product on a plate.


First of all, let me preface this that I added WAY too many pepper flakes! I didn't follow the recommended amount of pepper flakes so this turned out too spicy.

HOWEVER, that did not take away too much from how delicious this was AND how similar it tastes to most Americanized Chinese restaurants. I've tasted better, sure, but this was darn close! Kudos to Budget Bytes for a good recipe for the sauce which really is the main point of this recipe.

I didn't quite understand why I needed to coat the chicken in the eggs beforehand but I did it anyway. But I have a feeling it's to help the sauce coat and stick onto the chicken.

I know I don't have much to say about this, but it's really plain and simple. It's tasty and VERY close to an Americanized Chinese restaurant at a fraction of the cost and very easy to make too. Just don't put a bunch of pepper flakes like I did unless you're into a super spicy flavor.

Alright, til next time!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Testing Out: SimplyBakings' 5 Ingredient Monkey Bread

At my boyfriend's request, I made monkey bread. I was drawn by the "only 5 ingredients" part of the title of SimplyBakings' youtube video so I clicked on it. The less ingredients I have to buy/use the better.

Here's the link to the directions and how it looks through the Youtuber's pictures:

Alright let's break down the 5 ingredients plus 1 bundt baking pan (and added in optional walnuts) cost wise:

  1. 2 cans of Pillsbury Grand Flaky Biscuits (about $3 for 2 cans at Walmart give or take a few cents)
    • NOTE: 2 Cans makes a FULL bundt pan. If you're making it for just yourself, use only 1 can. I used 2 cans and even that is more than both my boyfriend and I need
  2. 1 stick butter ($4.28 for a box of 4, therefore $1.07 for one stick)
  3. 1 cup brown sugar ($1.58 for a bag, therefore 40cents)
  4. 1 cup white sugar ($2.58 for a 5lb bag, therefore 26cents)
  5. 2 TSP cinnamon ($2.50 for a bottle, therefore 35 cents)
  6. OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup Walnuts ($7.48 for a 16oz bag, therefore $1.90)
  7. Bundt pan $7.xx

GRAND TOTAL: $6.98 WITHOUT Bundt Pan, $13.98 WITH Bundt Pan

Honestly, I think I miscalculated the cinnamon but I did the math after converting grams to cups etc, so things may be slightly off, give or take a dollar. But overall, this isn't nearly as cheap as I thought it'd be, but really, this yields a LOT of dessert, enough for a small gathering with some friends. 

Here are the pictures:

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This is an in progress picture. I'm layering the quartered biscuits that are covered in the white sugar and cinnamon along with walnuts

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This is immediately after it has been baked (with the butter and brown sugar sauce)

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Finally, this is the monkey bread after it has been turned over. Yes, that is one missing bread on the top left corner because I ate it hehe


First of all, directions stated to bake at 350 F for 40 minutes, but mine was done in 30 minutes, so watch out at the 30 minute mark in case your oven is similar to mine. 30 minutes perfectly cooked this thoroughly.

So basically this monkey bread tastes like cinnamon rolls. There's no other explanation. Except, you just don't have the icing. It's moist and tasty, but again, EXACTLY like cinnamon rolls. So depending on whether you like or hate cinnamon rolls, you should either make this immediately or steer clear from it haha.

This was incredibly easy to make, as shown in the video. I didn't have a giant ziplock bag so I substituted with a food container to put in the white sugar and cinnamon to shake on the mixture onto the biscuit quarters.

This is also extremely unhealthy, as you probably could already tell. Pillsbury's website on a similar recipe to this monkey bread recipe says it is 450 calories for 1/12 (yes you read that right, a small one twelve) of the Bundt pan's worth of monkey bread. So please be aware of how fattening this really is before you inhale the entire serving.

Will I be making this again sometime in the distant future? Yes. But I won't make it often because of how fattening it is but it sure is a nice treat! Maybe I might make it for thanksgiving. Who knows. But overall this is great if you don't feel like making cinnamon rolls. This seems easier.

Alright, see you guys in my next post!