“Open Sesame” ~ Ali Baba

I always come across Asian recipes I would love to try but I never do.

You know why?

I never have sesame oil and they all call for sesame oil. I never can remember to pick it up at the store.

Guess what?

I bought some sesame oil today!!

Whoot Whoot!

Guess what?

We are having an Asian Inspired dish tonight.

🙂

Korean Beef Bowl

(adapted from Mel’s Kichten Cafe)

  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium chicken or beef broth
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes plus more to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger
  • 4 green onions, chopped, divided
  • Hot, cooked rice

First start your rice or quinoa so that it will be ready about the time you finish up with the beef.

In a large skillet, brown the hambuger meat with 2 of the green onions and garlic. When cooked through, drain excess grease.

In a separate bowl, mix together soy sauce, broth, brown sugar, one green onion, sesame oil, ginger and red pepper flakes.

Stir sauce into beef mixture, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Serve over warm rice, garnish with remaining green onion.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/46c/38928065/files/2015/01/img_9477.jpg

Advertisements

“A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.” ~ Victor Hugo

Wow, how my life has changed.

And I LOVE it.

I’m still a Type A worry wart but my worries are now different.  I have slowed down a bit.

Use to – had I still been unshowered and in my PJ’s at 10:00 a.m., I was ridiculously behind on my day. Now, I’m in my PJ’s covered in spit up, my hair a mess, with my first cup of coffee in hand sometimes as late as noon.

I’ll even open the door for the mailman looking like this.

But that’s ok. Because what’s important is sitting here, snuggled up, staring at the best thing I have ever done. And having her look right back at me and smile.

These moments are priceless.

And fleeting.

Everything else can wait.

I’ll cook while she sleeps and today I cooked the following.

Brown Sugar and Garlic Chicken

(adapted from Makin’ it Mo Betta)

  • 4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup sprite
  • 2-3 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons corn starch
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • Red pepper flakes

Spray crock pot with non-stick cooking spray, place chicken inside.

Mix together sugar, vinegar, sprite, garlic, soy sauce and pepper. Pour over chicken.  Cook for 6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

Remove chicken and shred. Pour remaining sauce into sauce pan. Mix water and cornstarch and add to sauce. Bring sauce to a boil and boil for 2-3 minutes until it thickens and becomes a glaze. Remove from heat and stir for a couple more minutes and add pepper flakes. Mix in shredded chicken. Serve over rice.

Very Flavorful!

phonto-abp

“Without a family, man, alone in the world, trembles with the cold.” ~ Andre Maurois

Last week was cold.

I mean stupid cold.

This is why I live in the south people!!! To avoid this kind of weather!!!

How do people up north deal with this on a yearly basis. I totally hibernated. And what goes well with hibernation?

Warm, comfort food!

(and red wine)

So that’s what we had for dinner.

Goulash

(adapted from the Deen Brothers)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 pounds ground beef
2 large onions, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes
1 29-ounce can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons dried basil
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni

Brown meat and onion in a large dutch oven, drain. Then add all remaining ingredients except for macaroni. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  Add macaroni and simmer for another 20 minutes. Then let goulash stand for 20 minutes before serving.

Goes great with hot cornbread!

goulash

Stay warm!

-abp

“Babies are bits of stardust, blown from the hand of God.” ~ Barretto

I am in LOVE with my baby girl!!!

Everyone said I would be but gosh she has to be the cutest thing i have ever seen!!! I could just sit and stare at her all day – and a lot of the time that’s what I do!!

Because of this, there has not been a whole lot of cooking going on in my house (much to my husbands dismay – although he’s too sweet to say anything!). But every now and then, I’ve surprised him and thrown something together like this crockpot meal.

Cashew Chicken

(adapted from Sally Cooks)

  • 2 chicken breasts, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1-2 cups frozen broccoli, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 cup carrots, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 4 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup water or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup cashews

Place chicken and vegetables in crockpot. Mix together other ingredients except for water/chicken broth and cashews, pour over chicken and vegetables. Pour in water/chicken broth until covered.  Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Before serving, toast your cashews and stir into crockpot. Serve over rice.

photoI hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

New recipes from the Holidays coming soon!

-abp

“People who throw kisses are hopelessly lazy.” ~ Bob Hope

I’m not sure if its the weather or if jet-lag from the holidays but I’m feeling pretty lazy. So tonight it’s another crock pot meal.

It’s already smelling yummy!!

That’s one of the great side benefits of cooking with the crock pot – how it makes your whole house smell awesome!

Tonight’s recipe has been adapted from Mmm…Cafe.

Honey Sauced Chicken

  • 1.5 – 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 tablespoons of ketchup
  • 1 ½ Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 2 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ to ½ tsp. red pepper flakes (depends on heat desired)
Salt and Pepper chicken and place in slow cooker.
salt and pepper chicken
In a medium bowl mix together the rest of the ingredients.
mix ingredients
mixuter
Pour over chicken, stir to coat. Bake on low for 4 hours or high for 2 hours.
stir to coat
With 30 minutes left to cook, carefully remove chicken from sauce, cut into bite size pieces.
cut up chicken DSC03113
Return to sauce, mix well and continue to cook.
return to sauce
Serve over rice.
serve over rice
This was a very good meal and one of the more simple I have found. So much so, even though I was feeling lazy, I decided to whip up Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffles!
More on those later.
Happy Rainy Monday!!!
abp

“A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.” ~ Pat Riley

It’s a good day to be an Alabama fan! Whoot, Whoot! Rooooolllll Tide!

BACK to BACK championships! The 3rd in 4 years! And being the wife of an Auburn fan, I must add it is the 4th in a row for the state of Alabama with AU taking the other of the four.

We are the football state if you ask me.

But I am pooped – I was up way past my bedtime watching that game. So tonight is an easy dinner night, which usually means a crockpot dinner. And tonight that crockpot dinner is a very flavorful pork roast I found on allrecipes.com.

Yummo Pork Roast

  • 1 (2 pound) pork roast
  • 1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix
  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic

Place pork roast in slow cooker and top with onion soup and water.

Add in beef stock and soy sauce. Mix well and turn to coat.

DSC02968 DSC02973

Top with minced garlic. Spread over top of roast.

DSC02976 DSC02977

Cook on high for 5 hours. (about 4 hours in start basting a little with the sauce and with with about 10 minutes left flip and mix in the garlic)

DSC02981

Remove roast from cooker. Slice pork and serve with sauce.

DSC02986DSC02988

I served it with refrigerated mashed pototoes (I like Bob Evans) and a bagged salad.

DSC02984

Doesn’t get much easier than that!

Roll Tide.

abp

“If I had to narrow my choice of meats down to one for the rest of my life, I am quite certain that meat would be pork.” ― James Beard

TGIF!!!!

Anyone else as ready for it to be Friday as I am??? Goodness, what a long week. At least it’s been a productive one. One of the most productive things I did was re-signup at the gym. I’ve made a pact with myself.  I MUST go at least twice a week! 3 days would be preferable but I will not beat up on myself if its just 2.

Wish me luck.

I have to admit – I’ve never been one to cook many pork tenderloins. Mainly because they always seem dry.

But alas! I have found one that is not!!!

I made it this past weekend and even though my “pan sauce” separated and didn’t’ thicken as it should – it was still yummo!!

The tenderloin went great with mashed potatoes and roasted brussel sprouts!

The marinade is just awesome.  I think I might try it with chicken.

Recipe adapted from Chef Mommy.

Marinade  (I need a good name for this)

  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsely (I used dried because it was all I had)
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed

Mix all ingredients together. Reserve 2-3 Tablespoons. Marinate 1 lb pork tenderloin in ziploc bag for at least 3 hours.

(Mine marinated all day)

I think the longer the better.

Take the pork from marinade and sear all sides for 2-3 minutes in hot skillet over medium-high heat.

Place in baking dish with several tablespoons of the marinade (from the bag – not the reserved marinade) and bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.

To make the pan sauce (or try in my case)

Take the skillet you seared your pork in and deglaze with ½ cup chicken broth.  Add the reserved marinade and let boil down for 2-3 minutes. Add 1-2 teaspoons of butter (oops! I think thats where I messed up – I did tablespoons). Stir until melted. Pour over sliced pork.

Do you see all the extra butter floating around??? How could you not?!

A little extra butter never hurt anyone……..

As for the brussel sprouts. Just half or quarter them according to size.

Toss with extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt and fresh ground pepper. Place on a foil lined baking dish.

Roast for 20 minutes at 415°.

Turn them 1-2 times during that time.

I like mine a little black and crispy.

Right now would be a great time to sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese!

Even with the ugly looking pan sauce this meal was a winner!

Will definitely make again!

On another note – it’s always great to have these nice meals with all the different ingredients, but I gotta tell you – that grilled cheese sandwich that I made tonight (with plain old white sandwich bread, a cheese slice and butter) was like a little slice of heaven after a long day.  I finished it up with Ben & Jerry’s New York Super Fudge Chunk straight from the carton, in my pajamas, watching the first college football game of the season. I am one happy, happy girl. 🙂

abp