Tag Archives: Recipes

Asian Napa Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients:napacabbage
1 large head Napa Cabbage, shredded
1 (3 ounce) package chicken ramen noodles
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup sesame seeds, toasted
1/2 cup slivered almonds
6 green onions, chopped
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/8 cup white sugar

Directions:
Crush ramen noodles, place them in a medium skillet and brown in butter over medium heat. Add almonds and sesame seeds. Stir often to prevent burning and add powdered seasoning mix from ramen noodles. Toss in a large bowl with cabbage and onions.
Prepare the dressing by whisking together the vegetable oil, rice vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Pour over salad, toss and serve.

Review:
This slaw is my current obsession (and a recipe that calls for ramen noodles-it has to be delicious)! Don’t freak out because of the ingredients just yet because there are a couple alterations we do when making this. In trying to still keep down the calories and carbs, we use one packet of sweet-n-low instead of the sugar, and some non-stick spray instead of the butter. Of course, you can play with using something different other than almonds if you prefer, as well as the oils and vinegar.
Enjoy this cold slaw/salad at your next BBQ or even as a quick side dish during the week. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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Broccoli, Tomato and Cheese Strata

In the past, we’ve made several variations of quiches and frittatas for breakfast and brunch get-togethers but Erin thought we should try something different this past weekend. Similar to a frittata or a quiche, this casserole has an egg base with several other ingredients to make an all-in-one meal.

Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups French Bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
6 oz. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 cup Grape Tomatoes, halved
1 cup Broccoli Florets
1 1/2 tbsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
8 Eggs
3 cups Milk
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Pepper
4 oz. Ricotta Cheese
1 tsp. Basil, chopped

Directions:
Place cubed bread in a buttered 9×13 inch baking dish. Top bread with 1 cup cheddar cheese, tomatoes, broccoli and 1 tbsp. parsley.

In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour egg mixture over break and gently press to soak every cube. Add dollops of ricotta over top of dish. Sprinkle strata with basil and remaining cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Remove strata from refrigerator and bring to room temperature (about 1 hour).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees farenheit. Bake until strata is puffed and lightly golden brown, about 1 hour. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes before serving and garnish with remaining parsley.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Review:
Think of this as a breakfast bread pudding; warm, rich, filling, and delicious! This was a huge hit at this past weekend’s brunch and was the first dish that was gone. There’s always room for a hot casserole-type dish whether your hosting or going to someone’s house; this recipe was very good and will definitely be used again for our breakfast/brunch outings.

This variation had several kinds of vegetables but it would be very easy to mix it up – you could make the same recipe with spinach and feta, or with onions, peppers, and mushrooms, or really any other variation that your family likes. In this variation, we didn’t add meat to keep the dish kosher, but it would be very easy to add breakfast sausage or chicken to really make this a one dish breakfast.

For the cuts that can be made, you can always use Egg Beaters or Egg Whites (the kind that come in the pre-made container) that contain almost no calories, fat or carbs but still have protein, you can use fat-free milk or fat-free half and half, you can always use reduced fat cheeses, and you can even find whole grain French bread at grocery stores like Balducci’s or Whole Foods.

Regardless whether or not you make a couple calorie cuts, this dish is an easy way to prepare for a meal if you’re having company or even if you’d like to sleep in a little longer since all the prep work is done the night before. Enjoy the idea and share your family’s variations!


Crock Pot Korean Ribs

These Korean Beef Short Ribs are going to be one of your favorite dishes when you’re done — a little spicy, a little sweet, a little smoky and oh-so-tender. These are a must try!

Ingredients:
2-3 pounds of Beef Short Ribs
1 cup Soy Sauce
1 cup Brown Sugar
5 whole Jalapeno Peppers
1/2 cup Water

Directions:
Place either frozen or thawed beef short ribs into the crock pot. Combine soy sauce, water and brown sugar and add to the crock pot. Finally, add in the whole jalapenos and cover.

Cook on low for 8 hours or until meat is fall-of-the-bone tender.

Review:
I have to say, the name of this dish isn’t too explanatory and I wouldn’t want you to think this is an Asian dish (don’t think General Tso or Sesame Chicken) but a meat-lover’s dinner with a twist! Don’t be scared… this was absolutely delicious.

Erin whipped up this meal one morning before she left for work and (Viola!) it was ready when she got home. Like the directions say, it’s just a matter of mixing everything together, putting it in the crock pot and letting it cook low and slow – or is it long and low?? (Erin!) – at any rate, the results were amazing. The beef was so tender that it was falling off the bone and was flavored so well! The sauce is pretty thin, but it’s perfect if you want to add a little on top as you’re making your dinner plate; it’s almost like a smoky, and a little sweet, BBQ sauce.

Don’t worry about the jalapeno adding a spicy-heat to the dish. Once they are cooked, they add a nice smoky flavor to the dish, but they don’t add any spicy heat. If you want a little kick (this is what I did), cut up the pepper and eat it with meat… Mmmm. It was not at hot as you think eating a whole jalapeno would be; I don’t even think my eyes watered and I can be a wimp when it comes to spicy things. To compliment to delicious short ribs, we had a salad and white asparagus (one of our favorite vegetables); if you’re not looking to cut out carbs, this would have been great with mashed potatoes, a sweet potato, or even rice.

If you don’t use beef short ribs regularly, you should find a way to work them into your meals – they are absolutely delicious and are so flavorful and tender. I would have never thought to use this cut of meat unless someone told me about it… that’s why I’m sharing this with you! Try it out and let me know what you think.


Crock Pot Beef Stew

Ingredients:
2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch pieces
5 cups cut-up fresh vegetables, such as potatoes, carrots, celery and onions
3 cups water
1 package Beef Stew Seasoning Mix
1/4 cup flour

Directions:
Mix vegetables, water and Seasoning Mix in crock pot.
Coat beef with flour and stir into ingredients already in the crock pot. Cover and cook for 8 hours on low or 5 hours on high until beef is tender.

Review:
This is a great meal if you’re looking for something hearty, pretty healthy and you’re short on time. Erin and I have been trying really hard to eat healthy and we’ve realized that it takes a lot of planning; she had the great idea of using the crock pot to throw things in before she leaves for work and then there’s nothing to be done when we get home. One night last week, she whipped this up and it was great.

Erin didn’t use potatoes but added extra carrots and celery and this dish was great and it felt really healthy. I’m sure you could use different seasonings than the mix that we bought at the grocery store, but it was a quick and easy start, and we’ll certainly build on the recipe next time. Also, to cut down on the calories and carbs, I’m sure you could skip the flour, but using it will make the broth a little thicker and will create the difference between a stew and a soup.

Overall, the flavor was really delicious and the beef was tender – a great, warm, hearty dish that’s pretty easy to put together and that’s still easy on the waistband.

Enjoy!!


Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes

Ingredients:
8 ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
2 large eggs
5 large egg whites
1 ½ cups flour
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¾ teaspoons salt
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
1 cup light brown sugar
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter

Directions:
Place a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with baking liners. Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar for 3 minutes. Beat in 1 egg white and ½ teaspoon vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt. In another bowl, mix the pumpkin puree, 2 eggs, granulated sugar, oil and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Whisk in the flour mixture.

Layer each muffin cup with some of the pumpkin batter, then the cream cheese mixture, then more of the pumpkin batter. Bake until springy to the touch, 25 minutes. Let cool.

Prepare frosting while cupcakes are cooling. Using an electric mixture, beat the brown sugar, remaining 4 egg whites and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt. Fill a medium saucepan with enough simmering water to reach a depth of 1 inch; place the mixing bowl on top. Whisk the mixture until it registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit on an instant-read thermometer.

Transfer the bowl back to the mixer and beat at high speed until fluffy; lower the speed and beat to room temperature, about 5 minutes. Add the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, then beat at high speed for 5 minutes. Beat in the remaining ½ teaspoon vanilla. Transfer the frosting to a pastry bag and pipe large rosettes on top of the cooled cupcakes.

Review:
These cupcakes were out of this world! If you like pumpkin and cheesecake, then these are a must! The actual cupcakes are so moist and the cheesecake in the middle is so delicious and such a treat. The only thing that could be better than the cupcakes is the frosting – it is light and fluffy and is probably the best frosting I’ve ever tasted (and I don’t even eat frosting half the time). Erin said the frosting was a bit labor intensive, but it was worth it in the end; it’s the perfect topping to a great cupcake. Neither is too sweet, but just perfect! Erin used a piping bag for the frosting and it worked perfectly.

If you want to experiment with something a little out of the ordinary, then try these cupcakes and let me know what you think (I don’t think you’re going to be let down)!


Apple Cupcakes with Caramel Glaze Frosting

The deliciousness and credit of this post is goes to Erin, I had very little to do with it except for some tasting… Mmmmm

Cupcake Ingredients:
1 ¼ cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 egg, room temperature
½ cup lightly packed brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 Rome apples (about 1 pound), peeled and shredded

Frosting Ingredients:
¼ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup half-and-half cream
¾ cup packed brown sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups confectioners’ sugar

Directions:
Arrange a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cupcake pan with baking liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth. Whisk in the oil and vanilla. Stir mixture into the flour mixture until just combined; stir in the apples. Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake can until almost full. Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry, 25 – 30 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely.

While cupcakes are cooling, begin making the frosting. Combine the butter, half-and-half, and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Remove from the heat and stir in the confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. Set pan over a bowl of ice water and whisk or beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Frost cupcakes when they are completely cool.

Review:
These cupcakes are great if you’re looking for something a little bit different than the normal cupcake with whipped frosting. The actual cupcakes are moist and dense, a lot like a muffin, and a little bit sweet. The apples really blend into the mixture and cook down so you’re really not biting into apple chunks but rather little pieces of apple here and there. When baking, the cupcakes do not rise too much so be sure to fill up the baking liners almost full (and don’t be expecting the fluffy cake-like cupcakes).

The frosting is very good but a little hard to work with. When making these, Erin tried to frost the cupcakes as soon as the frosting was complete but we found that waiting for about 5 minutes or so, until the frosting can set up a little bit, it was much easier to work with. The frosting is more of a glaze than a frosting that you would pipe on, but it is really good.

If you’re looking for a fall treat or just something a little different than your everyday cupcake, then these are a good alternative. Check back in the next day or so for an unbelievable cupcake recipe that you MUST try!


Pumpkin Pie (Easiest Recipe Ever)

Ingredients:
• 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
• 1 (14 ounce) can Sweetened Condensed Milk
• 2 large eggs
• 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
• 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

Directions:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.

Review:
This is one of the easiest recipes I’ve ever done and it makes the most delicious pumpkin pie I’ve ever had… honestly! A couple friends who don’t normally eat pumpkin pie love this one! One change I always make to the recipe is that I use 3 teaspoons on pumpkin pie spice (pre-mixed, that you buy in the spice isle at the grocery store) instead of the separate spices that the recipe calls for; it’s up to you, try it both ways and see which you like better.

I know it’s a little late to be posting this with Thanksgiving being tomorrow (I can’t believe it’s already here!!), but pumpkin pie is something you can make all season long; just wait until you’re over the Thanksgiving hub-bub and pumpkin pie overload that comes with it and try this out later in the autumn. Enjoy!