Category

Dinner Main Courses

American Fried Rice

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It is dinnertime & I don’t have anything planned. Let’s play a little game. What is in my fridge? We have thawed out ground turkey, leftover rice, 2 aging potatoes & a half of an onion that is getting ready to be trashed. Mmm mmm, sounds great doesn’t it? Nobody likes wasting food. My husband & I positively hate it. Some of our favorite meal creations come from simply cleaning out our fridge. The hubby asked me last week if I could make a batch of fried rice, so this seemed as good of a time as any since it requires day old rice & as luck would have it… This would not be our traditional fried rice though. This is our fried rice American style.

Ingredients:

1/2 pound of ground turkey or any ground meat

2 cups of day old cooked rice

2 cups of cooked diced potatoes (2 small potatoes)

1/2 cup of chopped onion

Half a can of corn

3 eggs

2 1/2 tbsp soy sauce (as always I recommend Green Mountain or Maggi)

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic salt

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Brown your ground meat until no longer pink, drain & place aside. Peel & cube the potatoes, throw in the microwave for about 3-4 minutes until cooked in the center and set aside. In a large skillet set to 350 or high heat, add the oil & onion. Cook the onion until tender & toss in rice & potatoes. Add 1 1/2 tbsp of soy sauce over the top & stir until rice & potatoes are browned. Pour in half the can of corn & stir for a couple of more minutes. Add the ground meat, the seasonings & the last tbsp of soy sauce. Stir for a few minutes more & then transfer to a serving dish. Keep the skillet on. In a small bowl beat the eggs. Add to the hot skillet & toss around quickly until the egg is just barely firm & cooked . Remove from heat & throw in the the rice mixture.

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Stay tuned for more fun with leftovers.

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Our Sunday Menu – Toddler Victories & Failures

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There are some things in parenthood that do not make sense to me. The most recent in a long line of things that puzzle me is this, you have all heard me cry & whine over what a difficult eater our daughter is, then how do you explain this…

Mai's daily reports from daycare. As you can see the daycare provider has no problem getting our picky girl to eat.
Mai’s daily reports from daycare… As you can see the daycare provider has no problem getting our picky girl to eat.

If the daily battle with my daughter at mealtime wasn’t frustrating enough, I now find out that she is capable of eating at each meal, just not for us. Siiiiggh! There are a few foods that I can count on that she will eat, pancakes, French toast & spaghetti. As you can see she likes her carbs. When possible we try to sneak in meat and our fruits & veggies, but it does not always work. Today’s menu had a couple of wins and a definite loss.

Breakfast: Banana & Nutella Pancakes

I had a couple of over-ripened bananas that needed to be used, so pancakes were a great place to use them.

Smash the bananas with a fork in a small mixing bowl. Add the egg & beat together & set aside. In a medium sized mixing bowl add 1 cup of all purpose flour, 1 tbsp of brown sugar, 2 tsp of baking powder, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1/4 tsp salt, 3/4 cup of milk & 2 tbsp vegetable oil & stir. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture & stir well. Stir in 1/3 cup of Nutella. Pour about 1/8 of a cup of batter into a griddle or in a frying pan set on medium heat. Cook until the pancake is bubbly & the edges are cooked. Flip the pancake & cook on the other side until cooked all the way through.

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Breakfast was a success. She ate 4 pancakes of her own & a few bites of mine too. Score one for mommy.

Lunch: Monte Cristo Roll Ups:

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the crusts off of 6 slices of bread. With a rolling pin, roll out each slice off bread. Beat an egg in a medium sized bowl. Brush one side of each slice with the egg. Cut a slice of ham so that it fits inside the slice. Cut a slice of Swiss cheese so that it only covers half of the slice. Roll the bread started at the cheese end. Dip the whole roll into the egg mixture covering the entire roll-up. Place on a greased cookie sheet & dust with confectioner’s sugar. Bake for about 7-8 minutes until golden brown.

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While this was a big hit with mommy & daddy, Mai refused to try it. I tried bribery & pleading. “Just take one little bite.” Negative. This was a lunch time fail. The score now is 1-1.

Mexican Chicken Rice Bake

Ingredients:

1 cup of uncooked white rice

1 pound of chicken cut into strips

1 cup of water

1 cup of milk

1 can of regular tomato soup (10.75 oz)

1 can of corn drained (8.75 oz)

1/4 cup of diced red peppers

1/4 cup of diced orange peppers

1/4 cup of diced yellow peppers

1 packet of taco seasoning

1 cup of shredded Mexican cheese

Ingredients:

Preheat oven to 375. Dice your vegetables & cut your chicken into strips & set aside in a casserole dish (I used a 9×12) add the rice, water & taco seasoning, stir well until seasoning is broken up & evenly distributed. Stir in the tomato soup & milk. Pour the corn & peppers over the top. Place the chicken strips over the top. Cover with foil & bake for about 45 minutes (cook times may vary). Remove foil, add the cheese & bake for 5 more minutes. Remove & let sit for a few minutes to cool. The top may appear slightly watery. The sauce will thicken upon standing. Scoop & serve.

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After a little coaxing and bribery, I finally got her to take a bite & guess what she liked it.

It was a pretty good eating day other than lunch, but you win some & you lose some.

Macaroni & Cheese With Bacon Bread Crumbs

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Bacon-breadedmacandcheese.jpgThey say “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” This could very well be true & the fastest way to get there is with a strip of bacon. I don’t know what is about guys & bacon, but I don’t think I have ever met a man yet that didn’t love it, My husband would literally put it on everything if he could. One of his favorite phrases that he mutters during dinner is “I bet this would be good with bacon on it.” Tonight’s meal is all about the hubby.

Ingredients:

1/2 of a package of bacon

1/2 cut of seasoned breadcrumbs

1 1 lb box of shells

2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar

1/2 cup of margarine or butter

2 cups of milk

1 tsp worcestershire

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp ground mustard

1/8 tsp pepper

Directions:

Bacon bread crumbs
Prepare bacon. Cook it on the crispy side. Drain well & blot to get the excess grease off. Cool and crumble into a food processor. Pulse until all of the bacon is in crumbs. Blot more if needed. Mix with the bread crumbs & set aside.

Cook pasta according to package directions & drain. Pour drained pasta into a large pot.

Preheat oven to 400. In a saucepan over low heat melt the margarine or butter. Add the flour, salt, ground mustard & pepper. Stir well until smooth. Stir in the milk & add worcestershire sauce. Increase the heat and stir continuously until the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Stir until smooth & then pour over the pasta. Mix well until shells are evenly coated & transfer to a baking dish. Top with your bread crumb mixture. I used about 3/4 of a cup. Use how ever little or a lot that you prefer. Bake for about 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

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Tomato Curry Turkey Meatballs

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tomatocurryturkeymeatballs.jpgI am a big fan of curry. My mother cooked with it a lot when I was little. Curried chicken with potatoes and carrots were one of my favorite dishes. I know it is either a love/hate spice with many people. For the curry lovers out there, you will probably be interested to know that curry powder holds a lot of health benefits. It is said that it may help prevent cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol. It helps in aiding with digestion and also improves brain function. This makes me love it even more.

It is a bit too spicy for my daughter so I don’t often cook with it, but tonight mommy flew solo & was feeling dangerous.
I chose to make porcupine meatballs in a tomato curry sauce for my dinner alone tonight.

Ingredients:
20 oz of ground turkey
1/2 cup of uncooked rice
1 egg
1 tsp crushed garlic
1/2 tsp of Kosher salt

1 8oz can of tomato sauce
1 6oz can of tomato paste
3/4 cup water
2 tbsp of curry powder
2 tsp of brown sugar
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp of pepper

Directions:
In a mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce, tomato paste, 1/2 cup of water. curry powder, cumin, ground ginger, pepper & sugar & stir well. In a separate bowl combine turkey, rice, garlic, egg, salt. Add a 1/4 cup of the tomato sauce mixture to the meat. Form 1 1/2 inch meatballs & place in a large frying pan. Add another 1/4 cup of water to your sauce and stir well. Pour the sauce over meatballs. Heat until bubbling. Reduce heat to a simmer & cover. Cook for about 45 minutes. Cook times may vary.

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Related Topics:

http://adaytobethankfulfor.wordpress.com/2014/05/22/curried-squash-and-carrots/

 

Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken

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1171I love fried foods. The problem is they don’t feel the same way about me. With all my tummy issues, it is impossible for me to eat anything deep fried. I miss french fries, chicken wings & fried chicken. Luckily, all of these naughty foods can also be baked in lieu of frying.

Oven Baked “Fried” Chicken

Ingredients:

A family size package of drumsticks (about 12 drumsticks)

2 cups of Panko bread crumbs

1 cup of parmesan cheese

1 cup of flour

2 eggs beaten

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp paprika

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425. Combine the bread crumbs, parmesan, oregano, garlic salt, paprika & pepper in a large bowl. Pat the chicken dry. Dip the chicken in flour & then dip into the egg. Put a 1/4 of the breadcrumb mixture into a large Ziplock bag. Put 3 chicken legs in the bag & shake until well coated. Dispose of the leftover contents of the Ziplock bag. Do this 3 more times until you have coated all of the chicken legs and have used all of the breaded mixture. Place the breaded drumsticks on a foil lined baking sheet & bake for 45 minutes.

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Related Topics:

http://realisticcookingideas.com/2014/05/12/braised-balsamic-chicken-with-shallots/

http://morriseatstheworld.wordpress.com/2014/05/12/sweet-chilli-chicken-goujons-with-tescos-herby-potatoes/

http://myhoustonmajic.com/3139690/quick-meal-monday-chicken-francaise-recipe/

Maple & Swiss Turkey Meatballs

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0071As you all well know, my daughter is a picky eater. There are very few things that I put in front of her that she will eat. We have our old standbys that usually work. For breakfast french toast balls or nanna’s pancakes are a sure fire hit. For lunch a basic cheese sandwich with ranch dressing will usually do the trick and for supper meatballs or meatloaf are a safe bet. As of the past month our daughter has begun commenting that her food is “too spicy”. This is a strange comment as mommy never makes spicy food. She has developed a fear of her old favorite the meatball over the “too spicy” concern, Mommy thought she would squash this fear by making her some sweet meatballs & since one of her favorite things to eat is maple syrup it was the perfect combination.

Maple and Swiss Meatballs

Ingredients:
20oz of ground turkey
1 egg
1/2 cup of wheat bread crumbs
1/3 cup of real maple syrup
1 cup of shredded swiss cheese
1/4 tsp pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400. Combine all the ingredients except the cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese and mix in with your hands evenly distributing the cheese throughout. Shape mixture into small balls about 1″ round. Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil & spray with cooking spray. Bake for 20 minutes or until cooked fully through. Cook times may vary.

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In a stroke of pure genius from my husband, he made cocktail meatballs by sticking pretzel sticks in the middle of them. What a great idea instead of a toothpick. I will be trying this at our next party.

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Mai has been practicing with her chopsticks and getting pretty good at it. She gobbled up her meatballs and they were not too spicy.

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Related Topics:

http://trialanderrorkitchen.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/turkey-meatballs/

http://ktoonkooks.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/succulent-spaghetti-meatballs/

http://meggoesnomnom.com/2014/05/01/gingery-pork-meatballs-with-noodles/

Barbecue Ham Fried Rice

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friedrice1.jpgBeing Vietnamese, I grew up eating rice. I ate a lot of rice. As an adult not much has changed. It is one of my favorite side dishes to a meal, but rice doesn’t only have to be a side dish. Sometimes it can be the main course.

Ingredients:

Day old rice – 2 cups measured before cooking.

2 ham steaks, cubed

1/2 cup of chopped onion

1/2 cup of thinly chopped or shredded carrot

1/2 cup of chopped baby corn

1 can of chopped water chestnuts

1 cup of frozen peas

2 eggs

2 tbsp of olive oil

Sauce

1/4 cup of raspberry jam

1/4 cup of bbq sauce

1/2 tsp of minced garlic

2 tbsp of seasoned soy sauce ( Green mountain or Maggi are my favorites,) They have a completely different taste than Kikkoman or La Choy.

Pepper to taste 1 tbsp of water

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Stir well.

Directions:

Cook 2 cups of white rice. Refrigerate overnight. This is important. Fresh rice will make for mushy fried rice.

Cut the skin of the outside of the ham steaks & cube into 1/4 inch chunks. Chop and set aside all vegetables except the peas.

Scramble the eggs with a splash of water. Water makes for fluffier eggs. Spray a large frying pan or electric skillet with cooking spray. Turn the stove or skillet to medium- low heat. Add the egg. When the bottom of the egg firms, flip it quickly. Let cook briefly. You want them just firm and fluffy. Transfer to a bowl and set side.

Turn up the heat to medium – high heat. Add a tbsp of olive oil. Add the ham & stir, cooking until the edges brown slightly. Add all the vegetables. Stir until the peas have thawed and onions have tendered. Pour the sauce mixture over the vegetables. Stir until evenly coated. Pour vegetables into a bowl and set aside.

Add another tbsp of oil & add to the pan or skillet. Add the rice. The rice will be hard and need to be broken apart as you stir. Spread out in a flat layer & and fry until the edges brown slightly. Pour the vegetable and sauce mixture over the top and stir until the rice, vegetables and sauce are evenly distributed. Remove from the heat & toss in the egg. Serve hot.

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I love to eat with chopsticks when I can.

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Mai wanted to learn too.

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This was a huge hit. My husband ate 3 full plates worth. That is all the applause I need.

Related Topics:

http://aimslicious.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/chicken-biryani/ http://angeladelight.wordpress.com/2014/04/27/risotto-broccoli-gruyere/

Chick Pea Burgers

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ChickPeaBurger.jpgI have a love/hate relationship with food. I love food, but it hates me. If I have one day of bad of eating, my body pays for it for days. I am in the throes of body payback right now. I don’t know when I will learn my lesson. The funny thing is I enjoy eating healthy, sometimes it is just too fun to be bad. Today,I am back to being a good girl. I am a big fan of veggie burgers & bean burgers. They are a staple in my diet. The same thing is the case with chick peas. I was craving falafel today, but as I am trying to stay away from fried food I wanted to make a baked version of one of my favorite meals ala a burger patty.

Chick Pea Burgers

1 can of chick peas (drained)
1/4 cup of diced onions
1/2 cup of diced water chestnuts
1/2 cup of diced red peppers
1 tsp minced garlic
1 egg
1/3 cup of wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp of baking powder
2 tbsp of grated parmesan
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
Additional wheat flour for dusting

Preheat oven at 350. In your food processor combine, chickpeas, onion, water chestnuts, red peppers, garlic, cumin, salt, pepper & egg. Blend ingredients leaving it somewhat slightly chunky. Add in the flour, parmesan & baking powder. Blend slightly on pulse. Dust your hands with some wheat flour to keep mixture from sticking to hands. Roll a plum sized ball between your palms. Place on a greased baking sheet & flatten the ball into a patty by pressing with your hand. Continue until all the mixture is gone. This will make about 6 patties. Bake for 10-15 minutes. Serve on a bun with lettuce & yogurt dressing or tzatziki sauce. http://thepinterestedparent.com/2013/11/06/greek-nachos/.

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These were wonderful. If you like chick peas, hummus and falafel, these are a must try. My husband even liked these.

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Pasta La Carbonara

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LaCarbonara.jpgYesterday was an emotional day for me. Not only was it the anniversary of my mother’s passing, but I received a phone call at work from my brother-in-law letting me know that my husband had been in a car accident while on duty. Luckily, my husband left the accident with only a few aches and pains and a dented cruiser. I was very happy to have my injured hubby home in one piece. It was definitely an occasion for comfort food & comfort for my husband start with bacon.

Pasta La Carbonara

While this is a fairly simple recipe to make, timing is very important in preparing this dish. The egg is added to the dish at the very end & is cooked by the heat of the pasta. It is very important that the past is hot, so the bacon must be ready before or at the same time as the pasta. Also, be sure to have your egg mixture ready before you finish your pasta.

Ingredients:

1/2 package of extra thick cut bacon (chopped into 1 1/2 – 2 inch pieces)

1 lb of pasta

3 eggs (room temperature)

1 cup of parmesan

1/2 tbsp of minced garlic

1 tbsp of olive oil

1/2 tbsp of garlic salt

Pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large skillet add olive oil & bacon. Cook over medium heat. Cook the bacon halfway through & add the minced garlic. Cook until just under crispy. Drain excess grease, leaving a little in the skillet to toss the pasta in & flavor. Cover & set aside until the pasta is ready. Make sure that the bacon is finished before the pasta. You need the pasta to be hot.

In a mixing bowl beat the egg. Add the parmesan, garlic salt & pepper. *Prepare this before the pasta is finished cooking. It must be added to the pasta while still hot as the heat of the pasta is what cooks the egg.*

While the bacon is cooking, cook the pasta. Drain the pasta & immediately add to the skillet & toss with the bacon. Remove from the heat and add the egg mixture and toss together. The egg will cook as you toss it & form a creamy sauce. Enjoy!

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My husband may have been in pain, but he had a happy belly & even had room for seconds.

Related Topics:

http://inmamastephskitchen.com/2014/03/18/dinner-in-10-one-pan-spicy-tomato-pasta/

http://cookingandmyfamily.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/ragu-and-pasta/

http://yourperfectburn.wordpress.com/2014/03/18/shrimp-curry-with-cream-sauce/

Here’s One For The Hubby – Bacon Cheeseburger Stuffed Shells

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It is difficult sometimes trying to cook for a family with so many different tastes & dietary needs. I try to eat healthy as often as I can. I cut out extra fat as much as possible, leaving out butters & oils, trading in regular bacon for turkey bacon and switching refined pastas & breads for whole wheat products. This works fine for me, but often leaves my husband missing his full fat options. One substitute he is not so keen on is turkey bacon in place of regular pork bacon. He loves his bacon. So this one is for you honey. Enjoy.

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