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Showing posts from 2017

Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant

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Sometimes, you tire of heavy Holiday foods. I mean...not really a lot. But there's gotta be like, ONE, meal where I don't crave thick slices of ham and full-fat egg nog. Spiked with a bit of rum.

...anyway. I was NOT referring to my own holiday let-loose diet. But on the off chance you want some veggies. And if you can get your hands on some eggplants still good from fall harvest then this recipe is a winner. winner. Eggplant dinner.

I wrote this post SO LONG AGO that I'm not sure where I sourced the original recipe or idea. Possibly Martha Stewart Living subscription circa 2011? 2012? I stay on top of my blog, as you can see ;)

Quinoa-Stuffed Eggplant with Yogurt Sauce Serves: 2
Ingredients:

2 large Eggplants1 c. quinoa, rinsed and drained1/2 lb. mild Italian sausage1 quart baby bella or white mushrooms, cleanedItalian parsley, stems removed and roughly choppedsalt and pepper
Directions:

Cook quinoa according to package directions.  Set aside to drain.Remove sausa…

Pho Tai Chin Recipe, Brisket and Eye of Round Beef Pho

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I have only made pho on my own a total of two or three times ever.  Mostly because making it means committing to having a giant pot's worth and babysitting the broth either overnight or the entire day.  But, it was starting to feel like fall recently and so, I bit the bullet.  Plus, we had help in town to finish up some of it!

Pho bo, or beef pho, is relatively simple to make.  Probably the hardest part is acquiring all the ingredients and scheduling some time to make the broth.  And having a giant pot.  I bought all the ingredients at my local Vietnamese grocery store and it costs less then $30!!! Can't beat that.  Although braving the parking lot and streets in Chinatown are no joke.  I literally had to translate Vietnamese/English for a lady who hit an old man's car while trying to back out of her parking spot. They were trying to file a police report as I was walking into the grocery store and flagged me down to help.  Thank goodness APD has a translator on staff becau…

Slow Cooker Chex Mix

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So, in my previous Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie post, I gushed about how much I love my slow cooker. And it's because of genius things like being able to make Chex Mix in it!

And then you get a house that smells of Chex Mix. MMMMMMMMmmmmmmmmmmmm!

As if the microwave method of making homemade chex mix isn't easy enough, you can now make it in your slow cooker. In all honesty, making it in the microwave is way easier but like I said before, you can make your house smell like chex mix!

You can customize this recipe to any version of Chex mix you prefer, but I like the OG recipe that comes right off the back of the boxes of Chex.

I, personally, really like my Chex mix to have only Chex pretty much. I really don't much like the pre-made bagged versions of Chex Mix because it just doesn't taste as good. And I end up picking out all the Chex to eat first anyway. Then I have a sad bag filled with rye chips and pretzels and weird bagel chip things.

Ok, the cheddar bag…

Pumpkin Spice Brownies

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So, as previously mentioned I'm totally Basic and love PSLs (pumpkin spice latte's for those of you without an addiction). Fall is my excuse to get fat and eat pumpkin spice errrrrrrthing.

Without further explanation, here are AMAZING PUMPKIN SPICE BROWNIES!!!!!! Of course, you could just buy a box of brownie mix and add pumpkin pie spice but what would be the fun of that? Especially when you are juggling your 11 month old alternatively on your hip and handing him wooden spoons and bowls and letting him open all the cabinets so you don't burn him with a double boiler? --that's sarcasm...it has recently come to my attention that sarcasm does not come through on texts, after offending multiple people : |

This recipe was adapted from the Cook's Illustrated Classic Brownies recipe

Pumpkin Spice Brownies
Makes about 24 brownies
Recipe adapted from Cook's Illustrated Classic Brownies recipe
Ingredients

1 1/4 c. cake flour (5 oz)1 tbs. cocoa powder3/4 tsp. baking po…

Slow Cooker Chicken Pot Pie

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I stumbled upon this idea a few years ago while I was surfing the internet for good slow cooker recipes. I can't remember the original source for the inspiration, but I think it was a blog that featured a slow cooker recipe for every day of the year! It might have been this one? A Year of Slow Cooking

Anyway, it was chock-full of awesome slow cooker ideas and recipes. I fell in love with my $20 CrockPot in Veterinary school. I bought a cheapie on sale at Target and started using it for the typical chilis, stew, soups, pot roasts, etc while I was stuck in class or clinics. It was so revolutionary for me to be able to come home to a hot dinner that was already made! It was fan-freaking-tastic!

So as I got a little more comfortable with the CrockPot I started to look for other was I could use it. Jambalaya, creamed corn, mac n' cheese, chex mix! The possibilities were pretty much endless. There were totally a few flops, but for the most part I was pretty happy with this ne…

Tyson's Tacos

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I made it back to my first Austin Food Blogger Alliance Happy Hour since having John and it was at Tyson's Tacos! One of my favs and I was able to make it because it's just down the street from work and home.  It was such a wonderful experience I thought I'd blog about it, even though I'm mostly just a recipe blogger.

Tyson himself hung out with us and told us his story and the story of Tyson's Tacos.  Tyson and his family had run a restaurant in Mexico, but left when Mexico city was starting to get a little too dangerous.  He opened Tyson's which was a bit of a strange idea coming from Mexico as tacos aren't a restaurant food in Mexico, it's more of a drunken late night street food indulgence.  Another cool thing about Tyson's Tacos is that the menu is customer-driven.  Taco combinations are made after customers who are able to rack up enough of the reward points.  And he won't say no to a weird taco combination, even if he would never have th…

Super Easy Ravioli Lasagna

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I was perusing Food & Wine or maybe it was Epicurious...or Food52...who knows.  Anyway, it was one of those foodie websites/e-mails that I torture myself with every day when I came across this ravioli lasagna idea.  I had seen something similar on Pinterest but sometimes I don't trust Pinterest.  Those beautiful pictures of food are sometimes very deceiving.  I've been burned before with what looks like awesome recipes on Pinterest turning out as complete flops.

Has this ever happened to you?

https://www.boredpanda.com/funny-pinterest-fails/

Well, this ravioli lasagna is NOT the case of the Pinterest fail.

It was a recipe win!

A weeknight, super easy, semi-homemade winner winner ravioli lasagna dinner.

A kind of feel guilty posting the recipe here because it's not really a recipe...
More like some instructions on layering store-bought stuff.
Well, the roasted vegetables I made.  But I think the recipe I originally looked at also said you could purchase these from the de…

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

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It's fall! It's fall! It's fall!

That means now I have an excuse to drink/eat ALL the pumpkin spice flavored things like your typical basic B and wear sweat pants.  But lets get real.  I wear sweat pants year-round.  And also drink pumpkin spice everything.

Fall also means squash season.  And apple everything.  And warm goodness.  And casseroles.  So basically fall is like my favorite season.

Until the next season hits :)

So why not combine my two favorite things? Pumpkin + Chocolate Chip Cookies!!!!

Yum Yum Yum Yum <------my Cookie Monster impression

In all seriousness, I would say these turned out a bit more pumpkin bread-y than cookie texture.  Or at least that's what the discerning Cookie Monster living in my house decided.  But that didn't stop us from eating all 48 of them.  In one day.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies
recipe adapted from Food Network Recipe
Ingredients:

1 lb. butter (2 sticks), softened1 c. sugar1 c. brown sugar1 tsp. vanilla1 & 1/2 c. …

Chicken Noodle Soup

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It's that time of the year again! FALL  FLU SEASON!

I'm not sure how it's happened so early, but hubby has some how managed to get sick already.  Well, I guess it's not that surprising.  Baby John is in daycare and he carries the plague home to us probably on a daily basis.  Last week I started to feel a tickle in my throat and immediately reached for the Emergen-C (that stuff works, I swear!)  Was in a little bit of denial at first, and thought it was just some allergies, but it must've been some kind of bug because it hit the hubs full force on Friday night.
He sounded like crud and has been super congested.  So yesterday afternoon I made some chicken noodle soup.  I know, I know.  I deserve the wife/mommy-of-the-year award! Thank-you, thank-you! (that was total sarcasm; as the hubs pointed out yesterday, I'm sometimes not very nice).

Didn't have carrots on hand but lucked out and had everything in the house.  Bonus! No grocery trip!

Also, usually I als…

How to Fancy Up Instant Ramen

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Sometimes you don't have time to plan dinner and so it's great to have some quick dinners on hand in the pantry.  Like boxed mac 'n cheese or better yet, ramen.  Although probably not the healthiest of choices, it;s quick and fulfilling and with some additions, can be a really great meal.  Here's how I usually fancy up ramen to make it more satisfying and filling.


Start with really good instant ramen.  Try to get one without MSG.  I like this Korean version because the noodles are nice and fat and juicy and it's really spicy and flavorful.  I would advice NOT using the whole spice package-it's really hot! And you can get it at HEB, or at least it's at my HEB. If you have some leftover chicken broth or vegetable broth, use it in place of water.  Otherwise water works just as well.

Throw some frozen or fresh veggies in along with the noodles while you're boiling them.  I like to use fresh spinach or frozen green peas or frozen cornAdd some protein.  If I hav…

Kitchen and Cooking Tips

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I hate to call these kitchen 'hacks' because I've had failed tries of using internet famous internet 'hacks'.  So these are just a few handy tips and tricks I've picked up over the years that I find handy and that actually work in streamlining cooking or kitchen organizing.  Some of these tips I picked up from my mom.  Some of them I picked up from roommates or friends.  Some of them I found on the internet and found useful.
sharpen your knife before each time you use itI picked this up from an old roommate of mine.  He would sharpen (re-align) his knife before he used it every time.  It only takes half a minute, but makes a world of difference.  I mean, you get that stick thing sharpener in most knife blocks and sets anyway, so use it!  I try and do 10 alternating strokes on each side of the knife. Also, contrary to what most beginners think, a sharp knife is much safer to use than a dull knife.use the back of a spoon to peel gingerway easier than using a knif…

Chicken Tonkatsu

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Tonkatsu is usually Japanese-style fried pork.  I use the same technique for chicken breasts.  This is super simple and, like all fried things, delicious.  I have made this with pork; a more traditional tonkatsu.  This usually requires frying twice to ensure the pork is cooked through.  I have also experimented with baking in an oven at 425*F on a wire rack after misting the coated chicken with oil with good success.

Chicken Tonkatsu
2 servings, Estimated time ~30 minutes
Ingredients

2 chicken breasts1 c. all purpose flour1/4 tsp. salt1 egg, beaten1-2 cups panko bread crumbscanola oil for fryingTonkatsu sauce*, shredded green cabbage, and sushi rice to serve Directions:

If chicken breasts are thicker than 1/2", pound slightly until uniformly about 1/2" thickSet up small separate bowls for flour and salt, beaten egg and 1 tbs. water, and panko bread crumbs. Dredge the chicken breasts in flour, shake off any excess.  Dip in egg wash. Press into bread crumbs on both sides.Once oi…

Shrimp and Grits

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You know how you throw out or give away all the food in your fridge before you go on vacation? Yea, well it's a necessary evil of making sure you don't come home to a stinky house.  The problem with that, is it leaves you with no food when you come home from vacation and you're tired. And you have to unpack. And need to do 5 loads of laundry.

Going grocery shopping is one of the last things on my mind when I come home from a trip.

So I usually have a few things stocked in my pantry or freezer that I would consider 'staples'.  This is also helpful for if you have a baby and don't have time or the effort to have perishables.  And hate food waste.  I usually have some oatmeal and/or grits in the pantry for breakfast.  And I usually have some kind of seafood, ground beef, and chicken thighs or breasts in my freezer.  And I usually keep some parmesan cheese in my freezer.  So I happened to have some frozen shrimp in the freezer when we came home from our trip to P…

New Momma Cooking

I took a little hiatus from blogging because I had a hard time figuring out how to cook the time-consuming, challenging recipes and meals that I was used to once baby John showed up and I no longer had help from my mom and went back to work.

But now that John's a little better on a schedule and I've figured out how to compromise my cooking with some shortcuts, I'm back.  Recipe and posts will be a bit simpler than before, because I don't really have hours of free time anymore.  Those are taken up by baby snuggles!

I've never been great at super meal planning where you cook everything one day of the week, but I have found a few things helpful.  Some of these tips are from a book my friend gave me, Parents Need to Eat, Too
So here are a few tips and shortcuts that I've found useful as a new mom:

buying prepared produce is OK.  Save time, but splurge a little for those already washed and cut veggies.  I now buy at least one bag of sugar snap peas or broccoli or the…

Getting ready for AFBA city guide

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Getting together the Austin Foob Bloggers' 2017 City Guide and checking out some Vietnamese places I hadn't been yet. 
Mi Xa Xiu at Cyclo Restaurant

Xiu Mai (Chinese/Vietnamese meat balls)

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My mom stayed with us for a whole month after John was born.  To say we were pampered is the least of it.  She made this for us while I was wallowing in self-pity about my peri-partum Bells Palsy (facial nerve paralysis) and Reid was fighting a flu-like cold.  And she helped with baby John.  The kitchen smelt so good.  I asked her to write down her recipe for me (a very hard task for someone who cooks as well as she does).  We ate it in baguettes with French mayonnaise and cucumbers and shredded and pickled carrots for banh mi xiu mai (though I couldn't chew the crusty delicious outer crust so I ate mine with lettuce).

Xui mai, or su mai, or whatever other crazy spelling we've come up for translating Chinese/Vietnamese words into English phonetics are basically Asian meatballs.  They are savory from fish sauce and soy sauce and have a bit of a chewy/crunchy bits sprinkled throughout from the waterchestnuts or jicama root.  So like instead of onions in Italian-style meatballs.  …

I had a baby

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I had a baby.  John.  On November 26,2016 at 3:01am weighing 6lbs 6 oz and 21" long.
So there was a break from the blogging.  My next few posts are going to be back logged from when I started them or super late.  I may not have a post consistently again.  Or one that makes any sense.

Sleep deprivation is tough...

Almost as hard as quiting cheese and dairy because John may have a milk intolerance.

My baby burrito

Cold Buster Orange Smoothie

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I don't know about you, but allergy and cold and flu season has been kicking my butt. Maybe it's the lack of sleep while waking up so frequently to breastfeed the baby, the Bells Palsy, or just being post-partum, but my immune system just hasn't been working great.  So this is a great way to quickly get some vitamin C in that's easy to gulp down.   I love the taste of cardamom  and cinnamon and the turmeric adds anti-inflammatory benefits. Raw honey is supposed to help with allergies.  Flax seed adds omega 3.  I have a Blendtec blender so it's super easy to throw everything in (can be prepped night before) and blend in the morning while I'm toting the baby around in the morning.   Then it goes in my shaker cup!
2 c. Unsweetened vanilla almond milk1 large Fuji apple 2 carrots 2 mandarin oranges 2 tbs ground flax seed 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp Indian turmeric  2 tsp ground cardamom 
Directions: combine all ingredients in a blender.