I decided to make Polenta with Shrimp and Tomatoes tonight since I had all the ingredients on hand. It was super simple but very yummy! I managed not to overcook the shrimp like I tend to do and they were just super succulent! I also added a sprinkle of Old Bay to kick up the flavor and more red pepper flakes since we like things spicy. I was so proud of my photo-taking skills too cuz it almost looks like the picture from the website!
Tonight's dinner was inspired by this Sausage and Apple Stir-Fry. I used Trader Joe's Smoked Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage, which is one of my hubby's favorite. I thought they went really well with the apples and to kick up the flavors, I also added some cinnamon and cayenne. It was such a yummy dish and we especially loved the thick sauce on top of the couscous!
I've gotten pretty good at Thai, Chinese and Indian cooking but something about Korean food scares me. I think it's mostly because I don't have much experience with it and we usually only go out for BBQ which isn't easy to make at home without a grill. I came across this recipe for Korean-style marinated pork stir-fry and decided to give it a try. I didn't have the Chili sauce used in the recipe so I substituted with Sambal Oelek. I also used Kimchi instead of regular cabbage for more Korean flavor. The meal came out amazing and incredibly easy too! Now I'm starting to let go just a bit of my fear of Korean cooking!
We got off work early yesterday, which of course made a long weekend even better! To take advantage of the extra time, I decided to marinate some Indian Lemon Chicken before heading out to the movies. We watched The Avengers (LOVED it!) and came home to an easy and yummy dinner! The spice mixture flavored the chicken perfectly and the yogurt kept the meat moist and tender. I can't think of a better way to start the long holiday weekend!
My best friend Kat is visiting this weekend and I asked her what cookies she wanted me to make her. "Anything with chocolate" was her reply so naturally I made Double Chocolate Dream Cookies! Man, where these babies CHOCOLATEY! My entire kitchen smelled like the Chocolate Factory, which is not a complaint at all BTW! The office loved them and I know Kat will too!
I don't get a lot of spare time during the week but when I do, I love to be creative. One of my favorite outlets is pencil-drawing. I've done a few drawings in the past but as anyone who knows me knows that my hobbies come and go. Here are a few that I've been working on recently and I'm pretty proud of them!
My hubby always talks about some ground pork dish that his coworkers order whenever they go to a Thai restaurant so I thought I'd try and recreate it for him at home. I found this recipe for Pork in Chili Sauce and thought I'd give it a try. I used canned chopped tomatoes and substituted Kaffir Lime Leaves for the lime juice for more authenticity. It came out REALLY good and my hubby said it tasted just like the restaurant! I served the pork over rice noodles since they're his favorite and it was definitely a yummy Thai dinner!
I'm the kind of person that gets my Asian ingredients from Target so you know authenticity is not an issue at our house. I mean, we live in a society of P.F. Chang and Olive Garden so what's wrong with Rachael Ray's Middle-Eastern Chicken Pot? It turned out really yummy and I used dried apricots as my fruit of choice. Since my hubby's not a fan of nuts, I just served the chicken over plain (buttered) couscous and it was an amazing meal! Thanks again Rachael Ray!
Sargento's Italian Sausage Pasta!" I left out the bell pepper cuz I didn't have any and added Italian seasoning since I used regular chopped tomatoes. This meal came together so quickly and it was just so cheesy and yummy! Happy Monday everyone!
It's not often that I find Beef Short Ribs on sale so I was really thrilled when I did this weekend! I decided to make them Indian-style with Garam Masala and slowly braised in my Dutch oven until VERY VERY tender. A PERFECT Sunday night dinner!
1 Tbsp canola oil 4 bone-in beef short ribs Salt and pepper 1/2 c onion, chopped 1/2 c carrots, chopped 1 c diced canned tomatoes, undrained 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 Tbsp Garam Masala 1 c dry red wine 1 c beef broth
1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over high heat. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Add to pan and sear until browned and crusty all over, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
2. Add the onion and carrots to the pot and cook over medium heat until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, garlic and Garam Masala and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
3. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, scraping up browned bits, about 5 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a simmer.
4. Return the ribs to the pot and turn heat down to medium-low. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, until meat is very tender.
5. Transfer the meat to serving platter. Boil sauce over high heat until the sauce is reduced, about 5 minutes.
Tonight's yummy dinner was inspired by Rachael Ray's Braised Chicken with Mushrooms from her Week in a Day show. I love the recipes on that show but enjoy cooking every night too much to follow the concept. I watched her make this chicken leg quarters meal and couldn't wait to try it! I did make a few adjustments using ingredients that I had on hand and it turned out to be an amazing meal! The meat was fall-off-the-bone tender and the mushroom-marsala sauce tasted amazing especially on top of Polenta. Thanks again Rachael Ray!
I've been so busy on weekend mornings that I haven't had time to make brunch in a while now. So when I saw a few recipes online for Overnight French Toast that's assembled the night before and then just baked in the oven the next morning, I knew I had to give it a try. My hubby LOVES French Toast so it was a winner all around! The bread turned out very light and fluffy and we both loved it!
4 slices sourdough sandwich bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (2 cups) 2 large eggs 1/2 c of half-and-half 2 Tbsp maple syrup (plus more for serving) 1 tsp of vanilla 1 tsp of cinnamon
1. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, maple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. Add bread cubes and toss until all of the cubes are coated. Pour into buttered dish.
2. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to overnight. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes.
Growing up, one of my favorite ice cream flavors was Cookies 'n Cream. I worked at Baskin Robbins one summer and probably had a scoop everyday! I don't have much of a sweet tooth anymore but I still couldn't resist making these Cookies 'n Cream Cookies. I love how there are Oreo Cookies in the batter, which were another one of my childhood favorites! They turned out great! Not too sweet but with a really nice crunch from the cookies. Happy Friday everyone!
I've been waiting to make these Avocado Corn Muffins for a while now and finally made them tonight. For some reason every time I buy avocados, my hubby wants Guac right away and I never have any to spare! Since I was home alone, I decided to get some avocados and make my muffins! They came out so good and you'd never guess how healthy they are! The avocados replace the butter or oil found in most muffin batters and there's just a hint of sweetness with only 1/4 cup of sugar. I also added walnuts for crunch and extra Omega goodness! My mom is going to LOVE these and I can't blame her!
Tonight's yummy dinner was inspired by a Pear and Pork Stir-Fry recipe that I came across on Hormel's website. I made a few changes to make the dish a bit more tropical and below is my version. I call it Tropical Pork Stir-Fry!
12 oz pork filet, cut into strips 1 Tbsp cornstarch 2 Tbsp orange juice 1 Tbsp Hoisin Sauce 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp cornstarch 1 tsp Sambal Oelek 1/4 tsp ground black pepper 1 Tbsp vegetable oil 1 Dole Tropical Fruit Cup 4 green onions, cut into 1-inch pieces Salt, to taste
1. In a medium bowl, dredge pork in 1 Tbsp cornstarch. Set aside.
2. In a small bowl, stir together juice, hoisin sauce, garlic, cornstarch, Sambal Oelek and pepper. Set aside.
3. Heat oil in a skillet over high heat. Add pork and brown 5 minutes on each side. Remove and keep warm.
4. Add sauce mixture to the skillet and deglaze for 5 minutes. Add pork back along with fruit, green onions and salt.
5. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 5 minutes until sauce is thickened and pork is cooked through.
This is another recipe I've saved from an Everyday Food Magazine, Stovetop Chili Mac. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand except the zucchini so I decided to make it. So quick and easy and incredibly flavorful! A perfect meal to start the week!
It's been a while since I've found new products worth blogging about but Trader Joe's Spinach and Kale Yogurt Dip is definitely a great find! It's packed with veggies and at 30 calories per 2 Tbsp, there's no guilt involved! It's meant as a dip for cracker or spread on sandwiches but I honestly eat it by the spoonfuls on its own. It's got serious flavor and a total healthy treat!
Another great find is the new Popchips flavor, Thai Sweet Chili. It's a very unusual yet perfect combination of sweet and spicy! You know I can't get enough of Popchips so a new yummy flavor is just awesome! Major props to my local favorite!
I found some HUGE shrimp on sale and decided to make Thai Shrimp Stir-Fry from Martha Stewart's Everyday Food Magazine. I substituted Kaffir Leaves for the lime wedges to make them a bit more authentic and served the shrimp over rice noodles. It was super quick and light so perfect after our Mother's Day brunch!
Every mother deserves some treats on Mother's Day for all the hard work they've put in raising their childeren. I knew my neighbor's son was away at school so I decided I should bring her some homemade goodies. These are Tropical Banana Muffins and Strawberry Jam Muffins (her favorite). She was so happy when I delivered them to her! Guess it's good to have a little baking neighbor like me huh? (Of course, my mom got the same treats too!)
This is my coworker's last Friday with us so I decided to make his favorite, Oatmeal Raisin Cookies. Since I don't have any passed-down family recipe, I decided to make Elise Bauer's Grandmother's, which seriously turned out to be the BEST EVER! I think the secret is using shortening instead of butter for a chewy texture and adding LOTS of raisins. I've NEVER seen cookies disappear so quickly at the office and even Greg had 3 the night before! I'm sorry to see my coworker go but at least he'll be leaving with memories of these cookies!
I discovered Philly Cooking Creme a while back and immediately went back for more! Tonight, I made Tuna Noodle Casserole with it and it was SO incredibly yummy! I tried baking the dish in the oven per the recipe but my topping just didn't brown at all even after 10 minutes so I turned on the broiler instead. After just a few minutes, I had the perfect crust!
We LOVE Moroccan food so I knew I had to try this Pork and Pear Tagine! The combination of garlic, ginger, cinnamon and cumin were just perfect together and the pears added a nice touch of sweetness. I also kicked things up with a bit of Harissa Paste since we like things spicy and it was an amazing Moroccan feast!
Shrimp went on sale at the grocery store this weekend so I finally got to make this Prawn and Pineapple Curry that I've been saving for a while. It was a amazing, the perfect combination of sweet and spicy! The shrimp were so succulent and the pineapples added a burst of freshness to the creamy sauce. I served it over my hubby's favorite rice noodles and it was the perfect way to start the week!
My In-Laws visited us over the weekend and we had a blast! I swear I'm so lucky to have married into such a great family! They're not only nice but also super fun to hang out with! Of course most of our outings included food and although I didn't get to snap pictures of everything, we did have some very yummy meals which included the House of Prime Ribs and Betelnut. Sunday was our big roadtrip down to Half Moon Bay and we had a really nice brunch at the Ritz Carlton. The weather wasn't as warm as we'd hoped so we ate inside at The Conservatory Lounge. It was a nice and casual place with comfy couches and an awesome view of the water!
I also finally got the chance to cook a big meal since we rarely have company over for dinner. Per my hubby's request, I made Anne Burrell's Rack of Lamb with Pistachio Tapenade again along with a big bowl of couscous. VERY comforting and the parents LOVED it! I was a proud lil chef! Good food and good company, I was VERy sad to say good bye... :(
Lobster Tails were on sale so I decided to make Butter Poached Lobster with Tomatoes. It was just ok and definitely not the best we've had. The lobster meat broke down quite a bit and was not as potent as we'd liked. Next time, I'll definitely leave them whole!
Cinco de Mayo is a holiday that I celebrate every year even before I married a half-Mexican. Why? Cuz that's the day I got my Driver's License! It took 3 tries but I finally did it on this faithful holiday 13 years ago and my driving hasn't gotten any better! (I'm not joking...) So this year to celebrate, I made these Spicy Mexican Chocolate Chip Cookies and they were a major hit at the office! In fact, these are probably one of the fastest-disappearing cookies I've ever made! 6 dozen gone before lunch! I guess people like the combination of sweet and spicy and you can't beat chocolate chip cookies!
I bought a tube of Gourmet Garden's Mediterranean Seasoning the other day and couldn't wait to try their Meatballs recipe! This mixture smelled AMAZING and tasted even better! The flavors of the basil, oregano, garlic and bell peppers really shined in these meatballs! I served them over coscous and it was Mediterranean cuisine at it's best!
I found this recipe for Moroccan-Spiced Pork Chops and thought it would be the perfect way to test out my Harissa Paste. OMG the flavors were so exotic and incredibly bold although not overly spicy! I marinated the porkchops overnight and they definitely soaked up all the amazing flavors! I also added raisins for more sweetness and served the chops over couscous. A VERY yummy trip to Morocco on a weeknight!