Friday, October 31, 2008

After being on the road for a week and eating more than enough fast food, I was ready for something homemade and healthy tasting. I pulled out this recipe from my "to-try" pile and paired it with rice that my friend Juli once made for me. A great meal!

Spicy Green Beans with Pork
(thanks to Family Fun, October 2008)

1 pound pork tenderloin
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons rice wine
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon spicy bean sauce
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil
1 pound green beans, trimmed and snapped in half
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (1-inch) piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup toasted white sesame seeds

1. Shave the pork into thin strips. (Tip: first partially freeze it for 30 to 90 minutes.) In a small bowl, toss the shaved pork with 2 tablespoons of soy sauce, 1 tablespoon of rice wine, and the pepper. Marinate the pork at room temperature while assembling the rest of the ingredients.
2. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon of soy sauce, the remaining tablespoon of rice wine, the stock, spicy bean sauce, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch, and set aside.
3. Heat a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the beans and stir-fry them until they begin to brown or blister, about 10 minutes. Remove the beans from the pan using a slotted spoon and pour off all but 2 tablespoons of the oil.
4. Return the pan to the heat and add the pork, garlic, and ginger. Stir-fry the mixture until the pork is no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute.
5. Add the reserved sauce and green beans, mix well, and cook until the sauce begins to thicken, about one minute. Finally, sprinkle with the sesame seeds before serving. Makes about 5 cups.

(**I omitted the rice wine, spicy bean sauce, and chili garlic sauce because I didn't have them. I didn't substitute anything, just left them out. So instead of spicy beans and pork, it was more sweet. This also allowed my kids to actually taste it and they liked it! :)

Juli Miller's Fried Rice
(thanks Juli!)

2 c. cooked rice (she likes Jasmine, but I just used generic long grain white rice)
4-5 scrambled eggs (I didn't add milk, salt or pepper--just scrambled the eggs)
2-3 green onions, sliced
about 1 c. diced ham
handful of peas (I used about a cup)
soy sauce
Yoshida's gourmet sauce (this is the key ingredient!)

In large frying pan or wok, scramble eggs. Add in green onion, ham and peas until warmed through. Add in cooked rice. Drizzle with soy sauce, using only about 1-2 Tblspns and toss until evenly distributed. Then add in about 1/4c. gourmet sauce and toss until rice is evenly coated (you may need to add more).

(This recipe can easily be cut in half, as it makes a LOT!)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sweet Texan Cornbread

We are heading out of town again today and so I did the "clean out the refrigerator meal" last night. We had southwest salads and cornbread. I love doing a southwest salad when I need to use up what's in my fridge. The key ingredient is cilantro--if you have that, it will taste southwest--then you can add just about anything else. Good salad toppers are: cilantro, tomatoes, black beans, corn, grated cheese, cucumber, leftover taco meat, grilled chicken, etc. For the dressing, I usually mix equal parts Ranch dressing and bbq sauce.

As for the cornbread...I am not sure where this recipe came from--it's been in my recipe binder for a while. It is a GREAT cornbread recipe--super moist and sweet. No butter or honey needed!

Sweet Texan Cornbread

½ c. butter, melted
1 box Jiffy cornbread mix
1 can cream style corn
1 egg
1 heaping Tblspn. sugar

Melt butter in 8 X 8 pan (or I’ve used a pie dish, or round cake pan).
Mix together egg, creamed corn, and cornbread mix.
Mix well and add sugar.
Pour into pan and stir into butter, until just blended.
Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Crockpot Roast

I know, I know.....ANOTHER crockpot roast. There are thousands of differing ways to slow cook a cut of beef, and here is 1,001. I am in the midst of trying to find a recipe to cook for our ward Christmas party and will probably be posting a few different recipes throughout the process. Here is attempt #1: good and ridiculously easy, but won't be used for the party. It turned out more "sweet-n-sour--candied--bbq" than I was expecting. I am looking for something I can stuff into a pita pocket with tzatziki sauce, so if you know of a good recipe, please pass it on!

Crockpot Roast
(thanks to Joy Park)

2-3 lb. rump roast
1/2 bottle Russian salad dressing (can not be substituted with anything else)
1/2 bottle bbq sauce

Put the roast in the crockpot and add about 1/2 c. water. Cover and cook on low for about 8+hrs. At about hour 6, dump water and add salad dressing and bbq sauce. Cook another 2 hrs. until meat can be cut easily or shredded.

(Obviously, all ingredients can be adjusted based on need and preference--just make sure you have equal parts salad dressing to bbq sauce).

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Raspberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Cake

We went up to Flower Mound to visit some friends from business school and Jessica served this one morning for breakfast. Jessica originally got the recipe from another business school friend, Catherine. Seems like most of my good, tried and true recipes have come from business school friends! Anywa, this was YUMMY! Even Marc, who doesn't like cake, breakfast, or anything sweet but not chocolate, loved this! I made it myself this weekend and took it to an evening baby shower.

(Disclaimer: I tried to do some serious multi-tasking and doubled this recipe--one for the cake walk at Fall Fest and one for a baby shower and did it all while hosting playgroup at my house. Guess with 5 little ones running around, I was bound to make a calculation mistake. I did. I put 1c. of extra flour in--oops. So to those who were at the baby shower and thought the cake was quite was. But I promise, if you follow the directions and can do math better than me, it will turn out great. It really is yummy!)

Raspberry Cream Cheese Breakfast Cake
(thanks to Jessica--and ultimately Catherine--for sharing!)

Crumble and set 1 cup aside:
2 ¼ c. flour
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. butter

½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
¾ c. sour cream
1 tsp. almond extract
1 egg

Use a 9” pie pan; push up a little on the sides.

Filling (Catherine 1 ½ times following recipe and so did I!)
Beat, add to center:
8 oz. cream cheese
¼ c. sugar
1 egg

Top with:
½ c. rasp preserves (swirl)
frozen raspberries

Sprinkle 1 cup of crumble on top.
Add almonds to top (optional).
Bake @ 350ยบ for 45-55 minutes.
Cool to room temperature
(or serve warm so that the cream cheese "filling" oozes out, makes a mess and tastes that much better! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes

Marc's boss had us over for dinner and served this dish with "sliders"--something I hadn't heard of until we moved here to TX (they are basically just mini-hamburgers). I followed suit and served it last night with barbequed sausage. It's a great dish, makes a lot, and is less cheesy (more healthy? :) ) than other mac-n-cheese I've had. Loved it!

Stove-Top Macaroni and Cheese with Roasted Tomatoes
(thanks to Raj Idnani and Cooking Light, January 2005)

3 cups halved cherry tomatoes
Cooking spray
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 ounces sourdough bread, torn into pieces
1 teaspoon butter, melted
12 ounces large elbow macaroni
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded extrasharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (12-ounce) can evaporated low-fat milk

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place tomatoes in a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle with black pepper. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally.

While tomatoes cook, place bread in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until crumbly. Toss crumbs with melted butter. Sprinkle the crumbs on a baking sheet, and bake at 375° for 12 minutes or until golden, stirring frequently.

Cook macaroni in boiling water 7 minutes; drain. Return macaroni to pan; place over medium-low heat. Add cheese and remaining ingredients; cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes. Sprinkle each serving with about 3 tablespoons breadcrumbs.

**I put the mac & cheese back in the 9 X 13 pan I was using and then sprinkled the breadcrumbs over the whole dish

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I have been feeling guilty that it's been so long since I've posted. Even worse, I am feeling guilty that I haven't been cooking for my family, at least not "really" cooking. I have re-made a few recipes from this blog and done a lot of "let's see what we can throw together at the last minute" type of meals. I just haven't been motivated or felt creative. But thanks to guilt (and a comment today...."you've had your banana cake up for a long time now"--thanks, Andrea!) I will get back into the swing of things. In fact, I am trying a new homemade mac-n-cheese recipe tonight. Hope it's good so that I have something to post and get out of this rut! We'll be out of town a lot this month so there may not be a lot of new recipes tried, but with the holidays and company coming, I promise there are more yummies on the horizon!

Thanks for your patience...