Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Thai Curry Soup

I made this last night and we ALL (kids included) fell in love with it.  The flavors are spot-on and you can put in whatever veggies you like.  It makes a TON, so I cooked less dinners this week than normal because we didn't want to stop eating this for left-overs.  I made Mel's Kitchen Cafe's coconut rice and put a scoop in the bottom of the bowls, which made it more filling and hearty.

Thai Curry Soup

Heavy Cream
Thai Red Curry Sauce (11 oz. bottle from Trader Joe's)
Green Cabbage Shreds- 10 oz. package
1-2 Onions, diced
3 chicken breasts, diced 
Salt
3 boxes broth (I used bone, but any chicken or veggie will work)
Vegetables of your choosing

I used: Green beans, sweet peppers (the small multi-colored ones), broccoli, 2 zucchinis, carrots, mushrooms.  You can put in whatever you like and it all works!  Just make sure you adjust cooking times (ie- zucchini and mushroom cooks fast and should go in at the end)

Instructions: 
In a LARGE pot, sautee onion in 2 Tbs. butter until soft.  Add cut chicken and minced garlic.  Cook until chicken is no longer pink.  Pour broth, green beans, and carrots in (and any veggie that may need more time to soften).  Bring to a boil for 10 minutes, or until veggies are soft to your liking and chicken is fully cooked. Add chopped zucchini and Thai sauce.  Bring to a boil again and then add cabbage and cream (I probably used 1 cup cream, but you can add to your desire).  Cabbage cooks fast, so give it a minute or two and then serve.



Asian-Style Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce

These were SO good and a great switch-up from the normal Asian dinners we make around here.  The flavor was really fantastic and the sauce was super good (although strong, don't overdo it).  We paired it with Mel's coconut rice and some roasted veggies.  Seriously delicious.


Asian-Style Meatballs with Sweet Chili Sauce
Mel's Kitchen Cafe

MEATBALLS:
  •  2 pounds ground meat (beef, pork, turkey or a combo - see note)
  •  1 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
  •  1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  •  2 green onions, white and green parts finely chopped
  •  2 large eggs
  •  2 tablespoons soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
  •  1 tablespoon finely minced ginger (or ginger paste)
  •  3 cloves garlic, finely minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  •  1 teaspoon dried basil
  •  Zest from 1 lime (about a teaspoon)
  •  Pinch of crushed red pepper, more or less to taste (optional)

SAUCE:

  •  1/3 cup soy sauce (I use low-sodium)
  •  1/3 cup sweet chili sauce (see note)
  •  1/4 cup fresh lime juice (from 2-3 limes)
  •  2 tablespoons brown sugar

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl, add the ground meat. Add all the other meatball ingredients and mix until well-combined (I just dig in there with my hands). Roll 2-3 tablespoons of the mixture into meatballs and place 1/2-inch apart or so on the prepared baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cooked through (an instant-read thermometer should read 165 degrees F in the middle of a meatball).
  4. While the meatballs cook, whisk together all the sauce ingredients in a microwave-safe bowl or small saucepan and heat until simmering.
  5. Using tongs or a spatula, remove the meatballs from the baking sheet onto a plate or tray. Drizzle the cooked meatballs with the warm sauce and garnish with additional green onions and toasted sesame seeds, if desired. Serve the meatballs on their own or over brown rice, white rice, quinoa, etc.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Copycat Cafe Pig Barbecue Sauce

Copycat Cafe Pig Barbecue Sauce

If you had the pleasure of visiting GA prior to circa 2009 ish.... you probably had the privilege of patronizing the Jewkes'  favorite BBQ joint. It was a tiny hole in the wall in Peachtree City but man oh man....it served the best BBQ pork potatoes money could buy. The owners got tired and shut down the place. Mom even asked for their BBQ sauce recipe (it was all in the sauce...isn't it always?!). It disappeared along with the restaurant.  We've been on the hunt since. This is a sweet BBQ sauce. It's slightly "runnier" than most BBQ sauces but that's what made it more of a sauce than a condiment in the best kind of way. Cafe Pig's poured perfectly over a potato topped with shredded pork, sour cream, and  shredded cheddar cheese. This one does also!! It's nearly perfect. Its also delicious served with little smokies, brushed onto grilled chicken etc etc. My friend, Robyn Kikuchi, gave me this recipe probably 5-6 years ago. I've been making it since.

1 c brown sugar
1/8 t vinegar
1 t mustard
1/2 c BBQ sauce (I usually have Sweet Baby Ray's on hand)
1 t Worcestershire sauce
3/4 c water
1/2 c ketchup

Mix in a sauce pan and bring to a boil.

Healthy, Easy, and Quick Chicken Salad

Healthy, Easy and Quick Chicken Salad

Before you read this recipe I must make a confession. It uses canned chicken. Don't run. Don't judge me. I also have never enjoy canned chicken in particular. BUTTTTT I had this at a recent get together and immediately asked for the recipe and was very surprised it had canned chicken. Also....I've put forth an effort to simplify cooking recently so this answered that plea. The options and add-ins are endless. When i served this to my family, I did it like a chicken salad bar. I put sliced sliced almonds, craisins, chopped pickles, grapes, pineapple, green onions, etc all in small bowls so people could add what they liked. Here's the core of the recipe:

Two cans of Canned chicken (I like Sam's Club, Tyson or Kirkland brand...don't go cheap here)
light mayo
0% Fage greek yogurt
celery
green onions
garlic powder
salt and pepper

Are you the type that hates recipes if there aren't specific measurements. Me too. But I also recognize that some people like a "juicier" chicken salad. I don't. So jut add your preference. I probably did about 1/3 c of mayo and yogurt. 3-4 green onions. I forgot the celery. A dash of the seasonings.
We ate it on healthy, delicious pita bread. Then the next day I ate it with the amazing crunch master crackers.

Poppyseed Pleaser Salad

POPPYSEED PLEASER SALAD

Yes. I made that name up all on my own. My friend, Sarah Ripperdan, shared this recipe with me after serving this crowd pleaser. EVERYONE WILL LOVE THIS SALAD. It tasted so fresh, light and sweet. It was also beautiful bc she mixed in so many colorful veggies. I can't recall for sure (and i don't wanna be accountable) but i may have had thirds or fourths.

Dressing:
Mix the following in blender
1/2 c sugar
1 t salt
1 t dry mustard
half small onion or small red onion
1/3 c red wine vinegar (will give the dressing a slightly pink hue)
After blended, add 1 T of poppy seeds and slowly add 1 c canola oil.

Salad (the options are endless but this is what she used and it was heavenly):
spring mix
cucumbers
chopped apples
red pepper
high quality shredded parm cheese
caramelized pecans (this is seriously the best part)
craisins

Carmelized Pecans:
Put a handful of pecans in a skillet. Add about 1/3 c sugar. Let the sugar caramelize as you stir. Be careful not to burn.Let them get slightly toasted. As they cool, the pecans harden.

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Quick and Easy Bowtie Lasagna

I'm at Jenn's house right now in Arizona and she made this pasta for us last night that was so good and so easy!  She says she makes it all of the time when she needs to deliver a meal to a family because its a crowd-pleaser as well.

Quick and Easy Bowtie Lasagna

  • 1 pound Ground Beef or Turkey
  • 5 cups Bow Tie Noodles
  • 3 cups Spaghetti Sauce 
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Garlic Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (or More, Make It To Your Taste)
  • ½ cups Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ cups Sour Cream

Fry ground meat in small pan. Meanwhile, cook noodles according to package directions.
After noodles are cooked, drain and drizzle with olive oil. Mix in your spaghetti sauce. 
Add your fried hamburger, seasonings, cheese, and sour cream. Fold together and allow it all to combine and melt together, over low heat, for about 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
Serve to your family and be prepared to have it disappear before your very eyes.

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Mexican Black Beans

1 can of black beans, undrained
1 small onion
1 tsp. minced garlic 
1/4 can of water
2 T apple cider vinegar
1 packet Sazon Goya sin achiote (in mexican food aisle)


Saute onion and garlic in oil. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes.