October 25, 2014

15-Minute Shrimp Mei Fun


We've been pretty busy lately, so I've been making a lot of my quick and easy dinners.  Of all of my 15-minute meals, this one is my family's favorite.  It's better than "take-out" (or so my husband proclaims), and it is incredibly easy to make.  I used frozen peas this time, but you can really use any vegetable combination you prefer... celery, broccoli, snow peas, asparagus, etc.  I'll never forget my little sous chef's reaction the first time I made this dish - she couldn't get enough of it!  Oh, reminisce with me little.  Four years ago... *sigh*  They grow up too quickly.  She looks pretty comfortable with those chopsticks, though!



Ingredients:


  • 8 oz thin rice noodles 
  • 3 tbsp sesame oil, divided 
  • 3 tbsp butter, divided  
  • 1/2 c carrot, julienned
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cabbage 
  • 1/4 c frozen peas 
  • 1/2 c onion, minced 
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely minced 
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger, finely minced 
  • 1 c bean sprouts, drained 
  • 1/4 c water (reserved from soaking the rice noodles)
  • 1/4 tsp brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper, or to taste
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce, or more to taste 
  • 1 large egg, beaten 
  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined 

Directions:

Place the rice noodles in a large pot and cover with hot water.  Set aside and allow it to soak for 15 minutes.  

Meanwhile, preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add 2 tbsp of the sesame oil and 2 tbsp of the butter to the hot skillet.  Add the carrot, cabbage, frozen peas, and onion; cook for 2 minutes.  Add the garlic, ginger, bean sprouts, brown sugar, pepper, and soy sauce.  Move the contents of the skillet to one side of the pan.  Add the egg to the skillet and cook through.  Stir the egg into the rest of the ingredients in the skillet.  Keep the contents of the skillet to one side.  Add the remaining 1 tbsp of butter and 1 tbsp of sesame oil to the skillet.  Add the shrimp.  Cook on both sides until the shrimp are cooked through.  Add 1/4 c of water  and the drained rice noodles to the skillet.  Toss well and season with more soy sauce and pepper, if desired.  

Enjoy!


October 14, 2014

Easy Pumpkin Cheesecake & Gingersnap Trifles


Happy National Dessert Day!  Treat yourself to these quick, easy, and delicious pumpkin cheesecake trifles with crushed gingersnaps.  They're so good, you might find yourself eating the whole thing like I did!


October 12, 2014

Homemade Cinnamon-Spiced Applesauce with Canning Instructions


One of my favorite things to do on a chilly fall day is make applesauce.  It's super easy, tastes better than any of that store-bought stuff you can buy, and it makes the house smell ahh-mazing while it's simmering!  For the best flavor, try to use a variety of apples that are good for cooking such as Fuji, Gala, Pippin, Jonathan, Gravenstein, Rome, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and McIntosh.  Honeycrisp apples are also very good (actually my favorite), but they are a little more on the watery side.  Whenever I use Honeycrisp apples, I reduce the amount of water to usually 3/4 cup.  The beauty of homemade applesauce is that it's very forgiving.  The natural sweetness of your apples will ultimately determine how much sugar you will want to use.  Always start out using less sugar than you think because you can always add more later.  If your applesauce is too sweet, add some lemon juice.  Try substituting the water for apple juice and even add a touch of pure vanilla extract for some more depth of flavor.

For making a larger quantity of applesauce for canning, see below.


October 11, 2014

Spaghetti Squash, Chicken & Broccoli Soup with Cinnamon


Nothing satisfies the soul on a cold autumn day quite like a warm bowl of homemade soup.  This is a delicious lightened up version of chicken and broccoli soup that is both hearty and healthy.  Instead of using pasta or rice, I added roasted spaghetti squash.  What really puts this over the top, though, is the delicate touch of cinnamon.  It really is a fantastic fall soup that will please even the pickiest of palates!  


October 3, 2014

Simple & Succulent Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork Barbecue


This recipe is so easy that I almost didn't share it, but it came at the perfect time, so here it is!  It was a very long day of work immediately followed by cleaning, running errands (piano lessons, groceries, etc.), helping my little sous chef with her homework (Everyday Math can be so frustrating)... all while being reminded that I hadn't fulfilled my promise to "play with me" yet.  At the end of the day, I thought to myself, "I sure am glad I put that pork in the oven at 6:00 this morning!"  It was dinnertime.  I yanked the pork out of the oven, pulled it apart, mixed in some barbecue sauce, and served it on buns.  Viola!  After a day like that, I'm thankful for an easy meal!  It's so tender and juicy... and with little-to-no effort on my part!  Time for wine.  Cheers!


October 1, 2014

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Pumpkin-Cream Cheese Glaze


It started a couple weeks ago while we were celebrating the wedding of some friends.  After a very touching, beautiful ceremony, we found ourselves enjoying cocktail hour with friends and family.  Mid-conversation, a tray of what looked to be martinis were presented to us.  Pumpkin martinis you say?  Sure, I'll try one.  One sip, ahhh - I was in heaven!  They were the most it was the most (okay, so I had two!) delicious pumpkin martini I have ever had!  I tend to not jump on the pumpkin train as quickly as everyone else does when autumn rolls around, but I am officially on board!  Choo choo!  

For my first pumpkin recipe of the season, I made these delectable pumpkin cinnamon rolls.  I decided to amp up the pumpkin and add it not only to the dough, but to the filling and the glaze.  Making cinnamon rolls from scratch may be time consuming, but these are so worth it in the end!  They are certainly a family favorite, and they don't last very long around here at all.  They are amazing warm, but I enjoy them the most when they are cold.  I indulged in two of these bad boys today, so please excuse me while I go do some crunches.  


September 28, 2014

Simple Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Cinnamon


This roasted pork tenderloin is cooked to perfection and pairs beautifully with the cinnamon-spiced apples, carrot and onion.  It's a delicious taste of fall that is easy to make and sure to please.  


September 25, 2014

Quick Beef Pot Pie (Meat Pie)


At the start of autumn, I always make one of my husband's top-ten favorite meals, beef pot pie.  (We call it meat pie here.)  I had planned to make it for dinner, but there was one little problem - my little sous chef came down with a cold and wasn't feeling well all day.  Thankfully, she had no school for the Jewish holiday, so she could rest.  However, I still had to work, which proved to be a little bit of a challenge.  One of the beautiful things about working out of home is that I can easily take frequent cuddle and playtime breaks throughout the day.  But when sickness strikes, the need for things like cuddling increases tenfold.  It ended up being a really busy, busy day for me.  Taking care of my little one, working, cleaning, trying not to stress out.  I look up at the clock.  *Gasp!*  It's already 4:45?!  Meat pie takes hours to make!  We've been looking forward to meat pie all day, so I decided to come up with a speedier version of it.  I gathered my ingredients and laid them all out on the table and got to work (while my daughter clung to my heels pleading for more couch cuddles).  The verdict?  Delicious!  It tastes like it's been cooking the entire day!  All said and done, including baking time, it was ready in under 1 hour.  Success!  It doesn't end there.  I stood up from the table after everyone paid me lovely compliments about dinner, and I thought about all that I had accomplished in one day.  I breathed a sigh of relief, turned away from the dinner table... and cleaned the kitchen.  Again.              

You might be interested in:  Crock Pot Beef Pot Pie
                                                 Stove-Top Beef Pot Pie

September 24, 2014

Baked Salmon & Balsamic Quinoa Salad with Zucchini and Pine Nuts


The days are growing colder, and the nights are creeping earlier.  What do I love about fall?  So many things!  Baking pies and breads, picking pumpkins and apples, crunching leaves under my feet, sipping hot cocoa, breathing in the crisp air, and wearing chunky sweaters with fuzzy socks and boots!  Yesterday was the first official day of autumn, though it's felt like autumn for quite some time now.  It was chilly outside, and I was in the mood to fire up my oven for dinner.  I had some lovely organic salmon that I needed to use up, so I made a simple & delicious baked salmon.  As a side, I made a warm quinoa salad with zucchini and pine nuts, and brightened up the flavor by adding balsamic vinegar.  Divine!  

September 22, 2014

Trottole with Seafood & Smoked Gouda Alfredo


I lied.  In my previous post, I promised to start sharing recipes weekly, but it's been exactly two weeks since I've posted anything.  I had a good reason to lie, though.  We ended our summer with a much-needed beach vacation.  It was a magical time.  Yes, I'm happy to be back home and sleep in my own bed again, but I sure would love to go back for some more of that fresh seafood!  

While visions of sea scallops danced in my head, I splurged a little at the grocery store without a second thought.  I gently cooked shrimp, crab, and scallops in a simmering smoked Gouda Alfredo sauce.  I then poured that delectable, creamy mixture of goodness over cooked organic trottole.  It was so rich and creamy, it had to be a sin!  I served it with steamed broccoli and Tums.  Everything in moderation!  

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