Monday, January 5, 2009

Peanut Noodles with Snow Peas

Once in New York I had Sesame Noodles at a Chinese restaurant and I loved them. (That was also the day I tried the pu-pu platter, tasty.) I have never been able to find a recipe that tasted as good as the noodles I had at that restaurant. Every recipe I find has rice-wine vinegar in it, which I don’t like at all. So this is my very basic imitation of those noodles. You can pretty much add any vegetable you like to it but I especially like snow peas.

Peanut Noodles with Snow Peas

¼ C Peanut Butter (creamy or chunky)

1-2 Tbl. Soy Sauce (depending on how salty your PB is)

1-2 Tbl. Water

Brown Sugar to taste (depends on if you PB contains sugar or not)

Sesame Seeds for sprinkling (you can toast them if you want)

Snow Peas

Cooked Spaghetti or Angel Hair Pasta (enough for 4 servings )

In small pan over low heat stir peanut butter and soy sauce together until smooth. Add enough water to make it like a thick sauce. At this point taste it and see if you need to add brown sugar (if you use “natural” peanut butter, the kind with only peanut s and salt, you will definitely need some sugar). When sauce is warmed through pour over cooked pasta and toss. Sprinkle with Sesame Seeds. Add Snow peas on top.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

We are still alive....hungry but still alive.

So I took a little break from cooking. Here is the main reason.

My family has been quite hungry now for about 13 weeks, me not so much. The thought of cooking just about made me want to ......well it just wasn't something I wanted to think about. For the last few weeks my sister fed us a lot, I mean a lot. (Thanks Chelle) My mom fed us, my husbands mom fed us, and if no one was around to feed us we ate cereal or toast and I even bought a box of frozen corn dogs. How is that for a healthy meal? I never once have to yell "just take a bite" about corn dogs.

But I think I am beginning to feel better, I have had some ideas for recipes and I am going to start cooking again. Do you think my long absence in the kitchen will make my family appreciate my meals more? Yeah, me neither. Oh well here goes more torture.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A gourmet dinner for all to enjoy!

So I haven't made dinner lately. I haven't made anything for my family for dinner since Thursday. Today is Wednesday. Wow. But lest you think I have starved my children just know that we have either eaten out (at Wingers, yum) or been at a family BBQ, or Sunday Dinner or at my mom's house for Tacos, or at a Birthday party every night since then. It has been a nice break. And tonight my husband won't be home and I have to be to a youth activity where once again we are having a BBQ. So, here is what my kids get.

Lovely isn't it?

And guess what. No one will complain, everyone will eat without being bribed, yelled at or forced to sit in a chair for an unbelievably long time.

Yeah sometimes I wonder why I even go to the trouble to cook. When Ragu and Spaghetti from my food storage is what they really want. But then I remember that I really like to eat, like really like to eat. It is pretty much a hobby. So after tonight I am going to get back to my
"menu planning,cooking food no one wants to taste,dumping food down the disposal, all around family fun!" Woo hoo!

Until then, here is desert.

I really should get to the grocery store.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Cinnamon Apple, Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (sorry, that is the best name I could come up with)

So I like watching The Next Food Network Star, because well, I am a nerd. And sadly, I am teaching my five-year-old to be a nerd too cause she likes to watch it with me. Anyway,I got this idea from an episode where one of the contestants wrapped pork tenderloin in prosciutto.

Mmmmm it looked very tasty. But, I have never seen prosciutto at my local grocery store and I probably couldn't’t afford it anyway. So, I just made my own little somewhat healthier version of wrapped pork tenderloin. I combined the recipe from the show that I watched with this recipe
And here is what I came up with….

Cinnamon Apple, Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin (I have no idea what to call it)

1 Pork Tenderloin (1lb.)
2 Apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I just used what I could find in the fridge)
¼ cup Craisins
1 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ Cup Brown Sugar (more if you like it sweeter)
½ Cup Water
Turkey Bacon (I used 8 slices from the package)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Mix the brown sugar, craisins and cinnamon together. In a 13x9 baking dish lay pork tenderloin down and then wrap the bacon strips around it (you might need to use toothpicks to get it to stay or just tuck the ends underneath the pork loin). Next take your apple slices and lay them around the pork or on it or just put them in the pan however you want. Pour the water in and then sprinkle the Cinnamon, brown sugar, craisin mix over the pork. Cover the dish and bake for about 30 minutes (depending on how many pounds of pork you have) then uncover it and spoon some of the juices over the pork and then cook it another 10-15 minutes until it reaches 160 degrees. Let it rest for 15 minutes. Then just slice it up and serve.
It was sweet and tender and very yummy.

Family Review
Me: Mmmmm, and I loved the apples and craisins too.
Husband: The meat is good, the apples taste like cobbler. (He acted like that was a bad thing, me, I’ll eat anything that tastes like apple cobbler.)
Five-year-old: First of all when she was eating I said, “what should we call this recipe?” she said “not good pork”. So I asked "don’t you like it?" and she said “a little bit”. So apparently she should have called it “a little bit good pork”.
1-year-Old: Ate some threw some on the floor, ate some threw some on the floor. Then when she was done and I set her on the floor to crawl around she found the pieces she threw on the floor and you can guess what she did....yep she ate them.

Nutrition Info:
269 Calories
5.5 g Fat
2 g. Fiber
25 g. Protein

This is a picture of my husband's plate. Can you tell he is not a fan of side dishes (or cobbler for that matter.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It's not just for food around here....

I recently bought a food scale . I had never used a food scale before but sometimes when I watch cooking shows and they have cool gadgets, I start to believe that if I had that cool gadget my food might start to taste like theirs. So I bought one, so far my food still tastes like I cooked it but I have hope.

But anyway, food scales can be fun. I like to measure my pasta because I always seem to cook way too much or not enough. Now I just look at the servings size on the pasta box and measure out the appropriate ounces for the number of servings I need. It is handy. When I buy ground beef in bulk I used it to divide the beef into 1 lb. portions so I can just freeze those for later recipes. My food scale has been one gadget that actually gets used a couple times a week. (Can't say the same for the Smoothie Maker that I thought was so cool.) I can even use it to weigh boxes or letters for postage.

I also randomly weigh things around my house just for fun because I am strange, I think. If you wanted to know, my diaper bag weighs 2 lbs. 10 oz. Also the pork chop I ate for dinner weighs 1.8 oz., my sunglasses weigh 1 oz exactly and my five-year old she weighs....just kidding I didn't weigh my five-year-old, that would be weird, besides she is too big. But my 1-year-old.....
Oops, guess she is too big too. Hope my food scale still works.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry

This isn't a recipe exactly as much as it is an idea for using whatever vegetables you have on hand. Also, I don't even know if this is a stir fry honestly. Wikipedia says stir fry is a "fast Chinese cooking technique using a wok and some oil". I didn't use a wok,( I got a lovely wok for Christmas once, thanks Michelle, but it was downstairs and I was hungry and in a hurry) I didn't use oil, just non-stick spray, and also, I have no Chinese technique. I have no technique period. But I had vegetables, I had frozen shrimp and I had Mr. Yoshida. So I made this meal fast.
Mmmmm Mr. Yoshida's Gourmet Cooking Sauce can pretty much make anything you have in your fridge taste good, Beef, Chicken, Fish, Veggies, Ice cream, okay just kidding on the ice cream, but it is really good on just about anything. Now the thing with Mr. Yoshida is that he is salty (like 20% of your daily sodium intake salty) and also he contains High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) which a lot of people are are avoiding these days for health concerns.
(HFCS is in almost every sweet thing you buy at the grocery store so it is hard to avoid and right now as I type this my 5-year-old is sitting in the kitchen on the floor hiding and eating Chocolate Lucky Charms which is probably loaded with the stuff. What mom buys their kid Chocolate Lucky Charms you ask? I did, but it wasn't for my kid, it was for my husband who is like a kid sometimes, and it was his Birthday breakfast and I think every 28th birthday should start with a whole lot of sugar to make you feel young and forget how old you are getting. And besides he pretty much couldn't care less about his sugar intake since he eats peanut M&Ms by the pound.)
So my rule of thumb is just don't go crazy with this stuff, you might want to drink the whole bottle but hold back and just use a little.
Okay back to the stir fry.

Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry

Vegetables about 5 or 6 Cups cut up. Any kind you like, I used broccoli, zucchini, red onion, mushrooms and carrots. (Notice the carrots, all I had were baby carrots so I painstakingly chopped each little baby carrot and almost chopped off my finger at least twice.)
1/4 Cup Mr. Yoshidas Gourmet Cooking Sauce
12 oz. Frozen Cooked Shrimp (I had these left over from some occasion so I just thawed them and took the tails off.)
Cooking Spray
Noodles or Rice

I started by getting my pan really hot. Then I sprayed my cooking spray, just enough to coat the pan. I added the onions first to get them softened for a couple minutes, then the carrots because they take longer to cook. Then broccoli, then zucchini and last mushrooms. Then I poured on the sauce. When all your veggies are just about done, throw in the shrimp just to warm it up (it is already cooked so we don't have to worry about it being raw). That's it you are done.
Serve it over brown rice, or we used whole wheat angel hair pasta.

Family Reviews:
Me: Quick, easy, tasty and the leftovers were good too.
Husband: He missed dinner that night so he also missed these yummy things.
5-Year-Old: "Is this gumbo? I like the shrimp." (Gumbo? Who is this kid? I have never made or even tasted Gumbo.) She ate the shrimp and broccoli, she didn't like the whole wheat pasta though, I think I overcooked it.
1-year-old: Ah! Ah! Ah! That is the sound she makes when I don't feed her fast enough. She ate the noodles and liked veggies, no shrimp for her though.

Yields: 4 Servings

Nutrition Info: (these are the figures for just the stir fry, not the noodles.)
170 Calories
1 g. Fat
2 g. Fiber
17 g. Protein

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Beef and Turkey Make-Ahead Meatballs

My sister found a great recipe in Taste of Home for "Make Ahead Meatballs." The recipe made a ton of yummy meatballs and then gave suggestions for ways to use them like Meatball Sandwiches, Sweet and Sour Meatballs and Spaghetti and Meatballs.
Using that recipe as my base I made this recipe that makes less meatballs (because a family of four doesn't need 150 meatballs) and uses ground turkey and lean beef for a lower fat version. I used them to make Spaghetti and meatballs and then later Sweet and Sour Meatballs (recipe to come).

Family Reviews:
Me: These were good and they were quick to thaw so I could use them in my recipes.
Husband: How come I only get four meatballs? (He really liked them in the Sweet and Sour recipe.)
5-year-old: Not Good! (When pressed further why she said that she thought she had hurt my feelings so she said, "Well I like them a little bit but not a lot." She is not a fan of meat in any shape except for nugget shape.)
1-Year-Old: I cut up two for her but there seemed to be a lot of meat on the floor afterwards so I am not sure how much made it to her mouth.

Beef And Turkey Make-Ahead Meatballs


6 Egg whites
1 ½ Cups Rolled Oats (I actually used a six grain mix with all different grains including oats, barley, sunflower seeds etc. it gives it a different texture and adds more fiber but oats work great too)
½ Cup bread crumbs
½ Cup Finely Chopped onion
1 Clove garlic minced
½ Tbsp. Salt
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp. ground black pepper
1 lb. Lean Ground Beef (I used 93/7)
1 lb. Ground Turkey Breast (I used Honeysuckle white 99% fat free)


Beat egg whites, add Oats, Bread Crumbs, Onion, Salt, Worcestershire sauce, and Pepper and stir. Mix in the Beef and Turkey.

Using Scoop* shape into balls, put meatballs onto greased racks on cookie sheets. They will be sticky. Bake 400 degrees for 15-18 minutes, turning halfway.

Let cool. To freeze Put on clean cookie sheet and put in freezer for 20 minutes then put in Ziploc bags, press all air out and freeze. Will stay good for 3 months.

*I used the pampered chef medium scoop, approx. 1 ½ inches across.

Makes 52 meatballs.

Nutrition Info.
for 1 Meatball
37 Calories
1 g. Fat
less than 1 g. Fiber
4.5 g. Protein

Servings Size:
About 4 Meatballs
148 Calories
3.5 g. Fat
1.5 g. Fiber
17.5 g. Protein