Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and gets to spend a lot of time relaxing!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sushi Platter -Holiday Party Food

During the holidays we have a lot of family and friends stop by and we never know how long they will stay. It may be a short visit, perhaps and hour or so, in which case we have beverages to offer along with light snacks. However, sometimes we are having so much fun catching up that they end up staying for a meal! When that happens, light snacks are not enough, and sometimes we don't want to spend the time cooking so we order take-out. Sometimes we order pizza, other times we get sandwiches, but when we feel adventurous, there is sushi.
We simply order a few different platters of sushi and sashimi along with seaweed salad, dumplings and tempura.
The food isn't too filling and is just right.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Noodle Soup

When the weather starts to get cooler, I tend to enjoy different soups. Fresh noodles are a favorite of mine and are even better when included in a soup. Noodle soup comes in so many combinations that it is hard to decide what to put in it at times. I almost always include corn and either seafood or chicken. You can of course add beef, pork, eggs and many other ingredients as well.
Shredded carrots, peas, spinach, and broccoli are some of my other favorites to make it a nice balanced meal.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Simple Greek Salad


There are many varieties of salads and they are among the easiest things to make. They can be enjoyed as a snack, appetizer or even a meal. 
I usually make Greek salad when I'm in the mood for an easy lunch to bring to work. I prepare the vegetables by washing them and cutting them the night before and dress it in the morning so the flavors can mix before it is lunch time.
To make Greek salad, simply chop a tomato, 1/2 of a cucumber, 1/2 an onion (red ones are preferable, but sometimes I use sweet onions), and a green pepper into bite sized pieces and mix together with 1 cup of crumbled feta cheese. Then add pepper and a little bit of salt to taste. (I usually don't add much salt as the feta is salty enough for the whole salad). Sprinkle with 2 tsp. of each dried, crushed oregano and basil, then drizzle olive oil on top to coat. Toss to mix thoroughly and enjoy!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Softshell Crab Maki Rolls

 


 
Maki rolls are a popular item ordered at the Japanese restaurants that I go to. There are so many different types of fillings that go into them that it can sometimes be hard to choose which one to order!

I can normally eat only 2 maki rolls in one sitting as there are usually 8 pieces per roll. This time I only ordered 1 roll, because I wanted to try some of the other menu items. The roll I chose had fried softshell crab in it as well as avocado and cucumber.

I have also made my own at home before.
Feel free to check out the instructions here: Maki Rolls

Friday, July 5, 2013

Garlic Fried Squid



I love seafood and garlic fried squid has always been one of my favorites. This is an easy dish that can be enjoyed as an appetizer or part of a meal served with rice.

For the squid, I usually buy the pre-cut and scored frozen variety, then thaw it. Once thawed, rinse it off and then coat with flour (usually 3/4 cup flour mixed with 2 tsp. of garlic powder is enough for a 500 gram bag of squid), and deep fry.

The vegetables can be prepared beforehand or after frying the squid.
You will need:

1/2 of an onion, diced
1 green pepper cut into chunks
1/2 of a red pepper, cut into chunks
5 button mushrooms, halved

Heat a tbsp. of vegetable oil in a large pan or wok. Next add the vegetables and squid and give it a good mix. Add 1 tsp. of soy sauce, 1 tbsp. of hoisin sauce and 2 tsp. oyster sauce. Stir fry to mix everything, then turn off the heat.

It can be served on a plate and garnished with lettuce if you'd like!

You can also sprinkle clean, chopped green onions and cilantro on top just before serving.

Enjoy!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Prime Rib Beef Dip


One of my favorite ways to enjoy prime rib is in a sandwich, sliced thinly and served with a well made ciabatta bun. Some caesar salad on the side makes it a complete lunch. It is so simple to make and easy to serve.

I usually just purchase a prime rib roast and roast it according to these instructions from the "The Kitchen Magpie".

I then slice the rib roast just under 1/4" thick. and pile them onto lightly toasted ciabatta buns. I usually spread on a thin layer or horseradish to the bread as well.

For the jus, I put the drippings from the prime rib roast into a saucepan, add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. I simmer it to reduce for about 10-15 minutes.

As for the Caesar salad, it is simply washed and chopped romaine lettuce tossed in store bought Caesar salad dressing, topped of with fresh grated parmesan cheese along with a thin, toasted slice of bread.

What is your favorite way to enjoy prime rib? Feel free to comment!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Kale Chips Recipe


Kale chips have become one of my favorite snacks. They kind of remind me of seaweed, because they are crispy to start and then fall apart when you eat them. My kids love them as well which is a huge bonus!

They are also quite easy to make as well. I keep it simple and only add olive oil and a bit of salt. A friend of mine goes all out and uses sour cream and other ingredients as well.

To make kale chips, thoroughly was the kale and dry it in a salad spinner. I make sure it's really dry so that the kale crisps up nicely.

Next, toss it in olive oil and sprinkle salt on it. Lay them in a single layer on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

Bake at 300 F for about 20 minutes or until crisp.

I usually like to check on it every 5 minutes after the 10 minute mark, because the baking time tends to vary depending on the thickness of the kale. Some kale I have bought are bigger and have thicker leaves than others so they take longer.

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

One King's Lane Day of Kitchen Sale



I love the freshness of spring! It gives me the urge to shop for new kitchen essentials and things that are not so essential. I can always use new cake plates, dishes and fun things to spruce up my culinary creations. 

With that in mind, the One Kings Lane Day of Kitchen sale is upon us! This is an amazing sale because it is a great opportunity to get a better price on some high quality kitchen items that One Kings Lane has to offer. 

The following are a few of my favorite sales of the moment. One Kings Lane sales only last 72 hours which means, if something lovely catches your eye, you should snap it up! I have missed out a few times! This Day Of Kitchen sale is on until April 26th so get going! I'd love to see what you get. Are you going to change up your kitchen for spring?
The Spring Table Sale at One Kings Lane
Beautiful dishes, printed linens and flatware full of life! Freshen up your table with some new basics. 

The Composed Counter Sale at One Kings Lane
Complete your collection of key pieces with kitchen essentials that are functional and fun!

Entertaining Essentials Sale at One Kings Lane
As the weather gets warmer, be prepared to entertain. Whether you are hosting a casual brunch or an elaborate get together, the wine glasses, coasters, and cake stands will make all the difference.

The Eat-In Kitchen Sale at One Kings Lane
The kitchen is where all the magic happens in our house. We make our meals, chat over tea and of course enjoy our meals all in the kitchen. These fun dining finds include furniture and smaller essentials that you can mix and match to create your perfect dining space. 

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Heart Shaped Basil



It's time to start planting all sorts of things in the garden already, but the weather has been a roller coaster so far this spring. It has warmed up and then dropped down to freezing temperatures again.....back and forth a few times already. There has been sunshine, rain and snow in the past couple of weeks! Something very different from the past few years.

So far, I have only my garlic outside which was planted last fall. I like to grow herbs, tomatoes and usually peas as well, but am afraid to get started just yet. It was warm today, but we are supposed to have freezing temperatures again this weekend, so I will wait.

For now, I have posted a picture of the heart shaped basil that I found in the basil bunches last summer. I also found a heart shaped potato last year!

I wonder what I will find this summer. Have you found any interesting shapes in your garden?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Fried Calamari


Fried Calamari is one of my favorite appetizers. It is pretty filling so I sometimes just have it as a snack in the afternoon. It's easy to make and the kids love it!

Simply cut some squid into rings or strips and dip them into eggs and then a flour mixture.
Have a separate bowl with 1 beaten egg in it and another bowl with a flour mixture in it. (1 cup flour, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 tsp. cajun spice)

After coating the squid in the egg and then the flour mixture, deep fry it until golden and place on a plate lined with a paper towel. Let it cool for a bit and enjoy with your favorite dip! (I sometimes use salsa, garlic mayonnaise or ranch dressing)

Saturday, March 23, 2013

10 Things to Do With Boiled Easter Eggs


It's a lot of fun to decorated boiled eggs and then hide them around the house for the kids to find along with sweet treats! However, finding something to do with all of those boiled Easter eggs may be a challenge. Depending on how many of them you make, the kids may not want to eat them all.

As a child I ate many many eggs when it came Easter time, because I really liked boiled eggs. I wouldn't eat the yolk though! Nowadays, I know I have to eat the yolk and try to make sure the kids eat the whole egg.

If you are stuck for ideas, feel free take a peek at a few of these ones. I have put together a list of 10 things to do with Easter Eggs! You can incorporate them into different dishes or make them the main item in the creation.

1. Slice in half lengthwise and serve with salt and pepper

2. Deviled Eggs- Peel, then halve 6 boiled eggs, and take the yolks out and put into a bowl. Arrange the egg white halves onto a platter. Mix the yolks with 3 tbsp.mayonnaise, 1 tsp. ranch dressing, 1 tsp. mustard, 1 tsp. minced onion, salt and pepper to taste. Refill the egg white halves with the egg yolk mixture and sprinkle some paprika on top if desired. Feel free to double the recipe if you would like to use a dozen eggs instead.

3. Cobb Salad-chopped iceberg lettuce, topped with pecans, sliced boiled eggs, grated carrot, chopped tomatoes, cooked and sliced chicken breast and bacon. Finish it off by adding your favorite dressing. I prefer ranch for this one!

4. Sliced Egg and Bacon Bagel (throw on some lettuce or sliced tomatoes and mayonnaise, depending on how you like your sandwich)

5. Cut into chunks and add them to Potato Salad

6. Cut into chunks, they can be added to Pasta Salad

7. This is an obvious one, but very popular in my house! Make egg salad sandwiches

8. Spinach Salad- fresh, washed baby spinach topped with chopped tomato, bacon bits and sliced boiled egg. Finish it up with your favorite vinaigrette dressing. My preference is poppy seed vinaigrette for this salad.

9. Toss 2 peeled, whole boiled eggs in a small pot with 1 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. of water and a half tbsp. of oil. Stir to coat and simmer for about 10 minutes. Serve with simple white rice. 

10. Pack them for lunch or eat them for a snack. Peeled and plain!

What do you do with your boiled eggs? Feel free to comment below. :)

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mango Shrimp Stir Fry

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This colorful and fun stir fry dish was as tasty as it was pretty too. My kids loved it! The sweet and fruity burst that the mango added was nicely balanced with the onions and peppers. Of course, shrimp is always a big hit in our household too. 

To make this stir fry, you will need the following ingredients:

1 red bell pepper (cut into pieces about 1.5" in size)
1 green bell pepper (sliced into 1/2" pieces)
1 large onion (cut into wedges)
1 pound of raw shrimp (peeled and deveined)
1 mango, cut into 1/2" slices (ripe, but still firm works best)
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
3 tbsp. Plum Sauce
1.5 tbsp. cooking oil of your choice (I like to use Extra Virgin Coconut Oil)
salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil on high in a large Wok or pot.
2. Toss in the onions and cook them in the oil for about a minute.
3. Add the remaining vegetables and shrimp and mix around until shrimp is fully cooked.
4. Add the mango, soy sauce and plum sauce. Mix well. (Still over high heat)
5. Remove from heat and add salt and pepper to taste. (Optional)
6. Serve with rice or noodles. 

If you decide to make this dish, I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Staying Clean in Your Kitchen

www.FlirtyAprons.com

I'm not sure about everyone else, but I know that I always end up with a mess all over my clothes after cooking in the kitchen. Especially when I am in a hurry!

It really does help to wear an apron, particularly when I am having guests over. I like to be dressed and ready to entertain, then finish everything that needs to be done in the kitchen.

If I wear an apron, I don't have to be as careful because I can just throw the apron in the laundry basket when I'm done cooking! I don't get caught opening the door with stains all over my clothes. Lol.

I have a few Flirty Aprons and they also have adorable bibs for toddlers!

Even the kids can stay clean. Right now through March 14th, the Toddler Bibs are buy one get one FREE!

The coupon code is "BIBFREE" and can be used at flirtyaprons.com

Enjoy!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Thai Green Curry Recipe


Thai curries are available in many different types, such as green, red or yellow. My personal favorite is red curry. However, once I tried green curry cooked with beef, it was a toss up. 

When I make a curry dish, I usually include shrimp, chicken or sometimes both. My mother has made yellow curry using beef before, (simply mixed with onions) but it's not something I have ever make. I usually also include many different vegetables, bamboo and even baby corn if i have some on hand. 

This time, I made green curry with beef and added bamboo (easily found in a can), carrots, cauliflower, zucchini and green bell peppers. and it was delicious!

I love curry dishes because they are easy to make and easy to serve as a one plate meal. 

To make this dish, you need the following ingredients:

1/2 pound of sliced beef
2 cups of cauliflower
1 zucchini sliced into 1/4" wide pieces
1 can of julienned bamboo, rinsed and drained
1 carrot peeled and sliced into 1/4" wide pieces
1 green bell pepper, sliced into 1/4" wide pieces
2 cups of Coconut Milk
1 tbsp. Soy Sauce
3 tbsp. Green Curry Paste
2 tbsp. cooking oil of your choice

Instructions:

Start by stir frying the beef in the cooking oil of your choice. Once the beef is cooked, add the vegetables and bamboo and toss with the green curry paste and soy sauce.

Next, add the coconut milk and stir to mix. Once it all comes to a boil, turn of the heat.

Serve with jasmine rice.

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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Pad Thai




Thai food is one of my favorite types of food, because Thai dishes have such a variety of flavors in each dish. Whenever I go to a Thai restaurant,  Pad Thai is a must try for me. I find that it made differently at each restaurant I have been to. In some restaurants, it is sweet and others it is not sweet at all. Nonetheless, it is usually spicy! A lot of Thai dishes contain lemongrass which I am not particularly a fan of and one restaurant I was at added it to their Pad Thai.

I have made Pad Thai at home before, but it's just one of those dishes that are just better when it is made by someone else. Perhaps it is because it has so many different items in it, and getting the right flavor has been quite the challenge for me.

I will keep trying new ways of making pad thai, so if you have any recipe suggestions, please feel free to comment!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!



I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday! I had a lot of great food during the past couple of weeks and look forward to sharing many recipes this new year!
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