Warm & Cheesy Bacon Jalapeño Dip

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I never show up to a party without BACON! Come on, if my friends are gracious enough to invite me and/ my family to a party, I can at least bring the bacon! This is what I made and brought to a New Year Eve’s party that was a dessert theme. I figured there would be enough sweets to eat that a savory dish might cut the cheese. Hahahaha I amuse only myself. I asked the hostess ahead of time if this was okay with her. Thanks, Michelle! I’m sure you didn’t mind.;) We brought store-bought tortilla chips to eat with the dip.

Ingredients

  • 8 oz. of softened cream cheese
  • 16 oz. of sour cream (large container)
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4-6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled/chopped into small pieces
  • 1 stalk of scallions, chopped
  • 2 jalapeños, chopped, no seeds (Tip: Wear gloves, my eyes learned this from experience!)

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook bacon and crumble. Set aside.
  3. Chop green onion.
  4. Combine all of the ingredients into a large bowl and mix until well combined. Remember to save some of the bacon, cheese, green onions and jalapeños to garnish on top. I like to do this so people can see what’s in the dip. Transfer mixture into a serving dish that is oven safe. I used a square glass baking dish that’s 8 x 8″.
  5. Bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly.
  6. Serve immediately with sliced French baguette, tortilla chips, crackers or veggies sticks.

Photo of the dip before I put it in the oven.

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Thai-Vietnamese Curry Chicken Noodle Soup

Serves: 6 to 8               Prep Time: 30 minutes              Cook Time: 15 to 20 minutes

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I’ve never done this before but I made this dish on a Friday night and then three days later I made it AGAIN! That’s how much we liked it. Except, I can’t leave well enough alone and had to put my Vietnamese spin on it. I first found the recipe on Pinterest for 15 Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup and since I already had most of the ingredients I thought I’d try it. I love to take simple recipes that are easy to make and then add more depth and flavor to them by adding more spices and ingredients such as veggies.

This photo below was my 10 year old daughter’s bowl and yes, she actually ate it!

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The photos that have more of a red sauce are from the original recipe and the photos that have less red in them are the ones from when I added my additional spices to it. I’ve also added in links to products that I use if you would like to see brand suggestions. Most of my links are to websites where you can purchase the items if you do not have an Asian grocery store near you, like Amazon for instance since they seem to carry most items.

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(I forgot to include the coconut milk cans in this photo.)

Here’s the original recipe with my changes and additions below in blue.

Ingredients – 

Soup Base

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh lemongrass, grated OR 1 tablespoon of lemongrass paste OR 1 tablespoon of lemongrass powder (fresh is always best)

Here’s a photo of the kind I have in my pantry that I picked up at our Asian grocery store.

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  • 3 tablespoons Thai red curry paste
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons of madras curry powder (This is what gives it the Vietnamese/Indian curry flavor. You could use curry powder for convenience but it just won’t have all of the same spices in it.) 

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  • 1-2 tablespoons of light brown sugar (to counteract the savory spices, add to-taste)
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to-taste

Other Ingredients

  • 8 oz. boneless chicken breast or thighs, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 4 cups chicken broth (=32 oz. box of chicken broth)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 cans of coconut milk OR 1 can of coconut milk + 1 can of light cow’s milk for less fat
  • 16 oz. dried rice vermicelli noodles OR flat rice noodles

Vegetables (and other optional ingredients) – sautéed in a separate pan before adding to the broth

  • 1 tablespoon of coconut oil
  • 1 carrot, shaved with a peeler so they are thinly sliced
  • 1 red and 1 orange bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, thick slices
  • 8 oz. of shrimp, de-shelled, deveined with tail on

Garnish

  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Sliced red onion, cilantro, green scallions to garnish
  • Thai basil
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Red chili peppers, chopped

Preparation – 

  • Chop all of the ingredients and set them aside.

(I had chopped all my vegetables for the week earlier in the day and this is a photo of them.)

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  • Thinly slice the chicken breasts on a diagonal and set aside.
  • In a large pot over high heat, prepare the noodles per the package instructions. If you don’t have or can’t find flat rice noodles you can use 4 Ramen noodles packages, leaving out the spice packets.
  • While the noodles are being prepared, in a large frying pan over medium heat, add the oil, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms and add salt and pepper. Sauté until browned. Set aside.

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  • In another large soup pot over medium heat, add the coconut oil, garlic, ginger, lemongrass and Thai red curry paste and sauté for about 5 minutes.

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  • Then add the chicken and cook for a few minutes until the chicken is cooked.

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  • Add the chicken broth, water, fish sauce and coconut milk. Bring to a boil and add the vegetables and the rest of the spices (madras curry powder, brown sugar and bay leaf). Taste and add salt and pepper as needed.
  • Then pour the boiling soup over noodles prepared and set into a bowl.
  • Garnish with your favorite toppings. I have diced scallions, red onions and basil below. You can use cilantro as well.

Enjoy!

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“PANCETT-I”

Prep Time: 2-3 minutes (boil pasta)         Cook Time: 5 minutes                Serves: 4

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My daughter asked me where I got the recipe from and I said, “my head”. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to come up with a pasta dish that has butter, olive oil, garlic, pasta, a veggie and a meat/protein. It’s something filling, savory with the pancetta and has something green in it! You can mix and match whatever veggies or pasta or protein you want as long as you understand the basis of the dish.

So we were trying to come up with a name for this dish over dinner and my daughter said it was like a spaghetti but with pancetta so we combined the two names and called it “Pancett-i”. My husband called it “Chau-ghetti”, after my name.:) Whatever you call it it was “gone-i”.

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz of linguine (I used BUITONI)
  • 4 oz of diced pancetta (I used Boar’s Head brand)
  • 5 oz package of baby spinach (I used Organic Simple Truth)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon of butter
  • 2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil (My favorite is Colavita), 1 to sauté and 1 to boil the linguine
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • chili pepper flakes (optional)

The linguine only takes 2-3 minutes to boil so timing was of the essence. Boil the pasta according to the package instructions and add sea salt and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil into the pan. Meanwhile heat a sauté pan on medium low heat with 1 tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil. Then add the pancetta and sauté for a minute or two before adding in the garlic. You just want the garlic to brown for the aroma but you don’t want to burn it. If this is done cooking before the pasta, set the pan aside. When the noodles are ready, add them into the sauté pan with the pancetta and garlic. Then add in the baby spinach.

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Combine everything thoroughly and add about a small ladle of the pasta water into the mixture. This helps with flavoring and keeps the pasta tender. Add salt and pepper to the pan. If you like you can add some red chili pepper flakes. I just added them to my plate though.

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Another winner in this house. I know that may sound like a very small target audience but trust me, that’s like a a miracle over here!

 

Christmas Day 2015

We started out opening presents on Christmas day so we planned on having a light, late lunch. Here’s what we planned.

Brunch:

Charcuterie Board

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Isn’t a picture worth a thousand words? Then I’d say this was worth more than that to my mouth. My mouth did a happy dance that day. It was Christmas day for us and we were planning a heavy dinner, surf and turf so I wanted to have a late, light lunch while sipping on spirits. What easier better way then with a charcuterie of our favorite meats, fruits, breads, olives and cheese? It was scrumptious and easy to make. The only thing I actually made was the baked pastry puff with brie cheese and pomegranate jam inside. So hot and gooey. As for the bread, I sliced a French baguette into thin slices for dipping into the extra virgin olive oil with shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese, red chili pepper flakes and salt and pepper.

This is the recipe I used to make the Baked Brie – http://dashofsavory.com/savory/sweet-savory-baked-brie/

Christmas cocktails – we sipped on sparkling wine, a splash of Simply Mixed Berry Juice Drink and fresh pomegranate.

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Fruit Flavored Water – Sliced oranges, strawberries and pomegranate seeds and water. I know it sounds so simple but yet my kids BEGGED me to make this again. We drank it all day long. Last time I used sliced lemons and kiwi but some said it was too tangy so I didn’t use the lemons this time.

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Christmas Dinner:

Herb Roasted Potato and Arugula Salad – with shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese with a home-MAD lemon vinaigrette, http://www.veggieinspiredjourney.com/2015/07/15/herb-roasted-potato-and-arugula-salad/. It was to-die for!

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Lemon Vinaigrette – 

  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
  • 1/2 cup good extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon of honey if too tart from the lemon
  • chopped thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons Red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of Dijon mustard
  • 4 tablespoon of minced cilantro
  • 1/4 lb. chunk very good Parmesan, grated

Seared Shrimp with Bacon in Lemon Butter Sauce – My family doesn’t like scallops so I changed this recipe to shrimp instead, http://juliasalbum.com/2015/10/seared-scallops-with-bacon-in-lemon-butter-sauce/.

I tried to use common ingredients in the different dishes so that I would have them, lemons, parsley, thyme, etc. I guess you could substitute chicken if you’re not a seafood lover. I bet with the bacon and the lemon butter sauce it would still be delicious!

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Filet Mignon with Fresh Herb and Garlic Rub – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/filet-mignon-with-fresh-herb-garlic-rub

While our Christmas Day dinner was not the usual gluttony of dishes, all three of these paired so well with each other that we were all happy with it. It was definitely enough!

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Fried Rice with Vietnamese Sausage (Lạp Xưởng)

Prep Time: 30 minutes                    Cook Time: 15 minutes                     Serves: 6-8

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Another heavy rotation meal for us is fried rice. I make it every so often when I have leftover rice but it’s good comfort food and I like it because it’s another one pan meal and you can change it up to add whatever you like or have on hand. Most of the work is done upfront in prepping to make the meal. I had gone to the grocery store this morning for the week and prepped all of my veggies when I got home and made my rice in advance in a rice cooker while I was eating my lunch. Therefore, when we got home from practices today, all I had to do was sauté everything together in a pan. Fried rice is best made from leftover rice or refrigerated rice. It’s basically a catch-all meal with whatever you have in your fridge and I like to sneak in veggies without the family knowing so I chop everything very small. Here’s what I used in my fried rice today but you can use whatever vegetables you have in your fridge.

Ingredients:

  • 6 cups of cooked white rice, refrigerated is best
  • 6 0z. of Chinese Sausage or Vietnamese Lạp Xưởng (1/2 bag), chopped into bite-size pieces (You can substitute with bacon, chicken, shrimp, tofu…whatever you like)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 shallots, finely minced
  • 1/4 red onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 scallion, chopped for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup of shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
  • salt and pepper (for veggies)
  • 1-2 eggs

Sauce:

  • 2 Tablespoons of light soy sauce
  • 2 Tablespoons of Vietnamese fish sauce (If you don’t have fish sauce then you can add more soy sauce)
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
  • 4-5 dashes of sesame oil
  • pinch of red chili pepper flakes

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I started by pre-mixing my sauce ingredients in a small bowl and set it aside.

Then I sprayed my cooking pan with PAM cooking spray and that’s all the oil I used and turned the stove on to Medium Low heat. I added in all of the chopped vegetables and sautéed them for 2-3 minutes before adding in the garlic. Then I sprinkled some salt and pepper on top.

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I had already browned the sausage in a separate pan and added them into the vegetable mixture.

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Then I added in the cold rice.

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After the rice was added I added in my sauce mixture and mixed it in until it was thoroughly combined. I then created a little pocket in the center and cracked 1 egg onto the bottom of the pan. I just used my spatula to mix it around like scrambled eggs and when it was close to being done I mixed the egg into the rest of the rice mixture.

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Then I sprinkled some chopped scallions on top to serve.

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I usually don’t have Vietnamese Lạp Xưởng on hand so I typically make my fried rice with leftover chicken and/or bacon. Everything’s better with bacon! I’ve even made it with shrimp before. You can add whatever protein you have left from another meal. Some people add chopped carrots or frozen peas to their fried rice although that’s not very typical of Vietnamese fried rice. I’ve added links to Amazon for the Asian products because they seem to sell everything these days, in case you are not near an Asian super market. Hopefully it will give you an idea of the brands that I tend to use also. If you’re still not feeling adventurous enough to try Vietnamese fish sauce yet you can just use more soy sauce but there is NO substitute as good as the fish sauce! Trust me, my husband has learned this the hard way.

I hope you can take away the method of making fried rice from me and make it your own.

 

 

One Pan Kielbasa and Pasta Dinner

Serves: 4-5            Prep Time: 10-15 minutes             Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

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On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being the easiest to make I’d rank this about a 3 or 4. You just cut up all the ingredients, boil the pasta and then sauté them all together. I love easy recipes but I also love simple and delicious recipes and this is just one of them. It’s truly an all family favorite and that is so hard to achieve to get everyone on the same page for meals. Also, if there’s any ingredients that you don’t like you can always substitute them with your favorite meat or veggie but use the same cooking methods.

Ingredients

  • 1 whole link of kielbasa sausage, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1/2 lb (8 oz) of pasta, choose your favorite (I used whatever I had in my pantry but bowtie is usually our favorite)
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • salt
  • ground black pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil for pasta boil
  • chili pepper flakes

I started a pot to boil the pasta in and added salt and drizzled some EVOO into the pot. Later we’ll use some of this pasta water for flavoring into the pan so save it. Boil the pasta according to the package instructions.

Then, sauté the kielbasa until it is browned and set aside in another plate.

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Then I used PAM cooking spray to coat the pan and turned the stove to medium heat and added the vegetables in and sprinkled the mixture with salt and pepper.

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After about 2-3 minutes and before they were done cooking I added the minced garlic. This was all done before my pasta was done cooking so I set the pan aside. Once the pasta was done cooking I put the sauté pan back on the stove and added back in the kielbasa. I spooned in the cooked pasta into the vegetable and kielbasa pan and used a ladle to spoon in some pasta water. I then added in the butter and some chili pepper flakes and let everything cook for about another 2-3 minutes until everything was well mixed. I don’t add too much chili pepper flakes because my kids can’t eat spicy yet but just a very small amount is enough to enhance the flavor without making it too spicy.

I served this with Pillsbury baked croissants, this is my secret weapon to help make my kids eat pasta with veggies! We also use it as bribery to get them to eat it before we give them the croissant. I had turned on the oven when I started the pot to boil the pasta and then put them in the oven for 12 minutes and so they were baking while I was cooking.

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Needless to say, everyone happily ate their dinner without complaining, except for the fact that they wanted more croissants!

Notes: By the way, I saved the other half of the bell peppers and chopped them into small pieces for another dish, fried rice dinner for the next night.

 

Easy Weeknight Dinner with Chicken, Broccolini and Roasted Potatoes

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Noticed I used the word “easy” again.:) I’m trying my hardest to listen and to make some simple recipes that aren’t labor-intensive and require back-breaking work to make for dinner. I actually found this recipe on Pinterest and of course the pictures looked so yummy and the recipe sounded so easy that I had to try it, http://juliasalbum.com/2015/11/best-baked-maple-dijon-chicken-thighs/ I thought I’d test out this food blogger’s recipe. Her blog is amazing and full of helpful weeknight dinners.

Best Baked Chicken Thighs: (I’ve added my adjustments to Jula’s recipe below in parenthasis.)

Sauce:

  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard (I used the entire bottle of a 7.5 oz jar)
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (Confession, I could NOT find our maple syrup in our fridge for the life of me so I used pancake syrup. Ssshhh)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (I didn’t have any so I substituted with apple cider vinegar)

Chicken:

  • 5-6 chicken thighs, with skin and bones
  • salt and pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450º F.
  2. Mix together the Dijon mustard, maple syrup and rice vinegar. (I used a 2-cup measuring cup and mixed all the ingredients in it so I could pour it over the chicken.)
  3. Salt and pepper the thighs, then place them in the baking dish – I used 2.5 quart oval casserole dish [13 inches * 9 inches *4 inches deep]. (I just put the chicken in the baking pan and salted them in there and turned them over so I wouldn’t have to dirty up another dish.)
  4. Pour the maple-mustard mixture over the thighs, turning them a couple times to fully coat them.
  5. Place the baking dish with chicken thighs, uncovered, into the oven, and bake for 40 minutes or until a meat thermometer reads 165ºF. Baste the chicken thighs with the sauce 2 or 3 times during the last 20 minutes of baking. (I set the timer on 20 minutes before I took them out of the oven. Instead of basting them with the sauce from the baking pan I just flipped the chicken thighs over because there was enough sauce on the bottom to coat them. I then set the timer for another 7 minutes and flipping them again. I did this 3 times. The last time, I added another 5 minutes of cooking time so that the tops would get browner.)
  6. Serve the chicken thighs immediately, on plates, topped with the remaining sauce from the baking dish.

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First I seasoned the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides, generously. Then I used a spoon to spread some of the sauce on one side of the chicken. Then I flipped them over and did the same thing on the other side.

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I turned them over again to thoroughly soak the chicken in the sauce and poured the rest of the remaining sauce on top.

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I normally try to be healthy and don’t buy chicken with skin and bones on them but I knew for this recipe to turn out moist and tender that it needed to have it. Boy am I glad I did because the chicken was super moist and there was enough sauce on the bottom of the baking pan that my daughter said it was like a gravy. As in a sweet and tangy gravy! It was so good.

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For side dishes I also made roasted potatoes and sautéed broccolini with garlic. I used a bag of small golden brown potatoes and cut them in half and mixed them with roasted potato seasoning mix and put them in the same oven as the chicken. They were done after 27 minutes in the oven so I lightly covered them with tin foil while the chicken finished cooking.

In the meantime I minced 2 cloves of garlic, added it to a medium heat pan with some liquid coconut oil and then added the broccolini with a splash of water to help steam the broccolini a little bit. I added salt and pepper while they were cooking. They were done after about 5-7 minutes in low to medium-low heat.

You can make whatever sides you like with the main dish, the baked chicken, but like I’ve said, I try to cook healthy during the week. You could serve it with rice, pasta, steamed veggies, whatever your heart desires. As for me, if my picky 6 year old can eat everything on her plate then it was a success!

Cheers!

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This is what’s for dinner! Look, it’s even made on my stove top.:) Are you surprised??? See, even the MAD Goddess doesn’t make dinner every single night.

Very Dirty Martini With A Kick

Servings: 1 1/2 martini glasses

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Some like blue cheese stuffed olives but I happened to have these olives stuffed with jalapeños and since I love all things spicy, this was a no-brainer. Pour the mixture into a cocktail shaker 3/4 way filled with ice and as Taylor Swift sings, Shake It Up! Pour it through the strainer into a martini glass with the olives already inside. You can use a toothpick to fish the olives out. This makes about 1 1/2 martini glasses. By the way, I used a tall shot glass to measure the parts. You can use a measuring cup that has fluid ounces but I kind of just eyeball it. That’s why I gave you the recipe in “parts” instead of specific metrics.

It was so yummy that I made another batch but who are we kidding, I still made dinner while half toasty! After all, I am the MAD Goddess and I suppose that the husband and kids were still expecting dinner. Ugh

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So I’ve been listening to my friends or should I say my one friend that has been reading my blog and I hear you. You don’t have enough time to make dinner or spend all day in the kitchen. I thought I had simplified my recipes enough but I guess they may still be too time-consuming for those of you who don’t get home until late and still have to make dinner for your families. Let’s face it, we’re all in a hurry to get somewhere or do something these days. Trust me, I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen either. I try to plan my meals, grocery shop for my ingredients and then prep my veggies for the week. I learned that from experience and from watching Rachel Ray’s “30 Minute Meals”, whom I think is totally adorable but her recipes taste like crap every time I try to make them. Her recipes are TOO simplified if that is possible and don’t have the depth of flavor I’m after but I hear you, you want it quick and easy too.

I too have a family and a life so I don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen but if I’m going to put something in my mouth and feed my family also, I want it to taste good and be semi-healthy. This is what I made after I made myself the happy cocktails. Peanut noodles with sautéed shrimp. I’m not sure if it can get much simpler than this. I didn’t even add any veggies like I normally do.

Easy Pad Thai Noodles with Shrimp

Servings: 4        Total Cook Time: 15-20 minutes

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Sautéed Shrimp:

  • 1/2 lb shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. of liquid coconut oil (or you can use whatever cooking oil you prefer)
  • sprinkle of salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of Vietnamese fish sauce
  • 1 or 2 chopped scallions (green and white parts)

Peanut Noodles:

Pour the coconut oil in a medium low heated pan. Add the minced garlic for about 30 seconds and then add the shrimp in and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side until the shrimp is completely white and pink. While the shrimp is still cooking sprinkle with salt and fresh ground black pepper and a dash of Vietnamese fish sauce (this is totally optional as I realize not everyone is going to have Vietnamese fish sauce on hand like I do). When finished cooking set aside. Save the scallions for later when you add in the noodles.

I cooked the 2 packages of peanut noodles (that I bought at the grocery store & have also found at Trader Joe’s) in the microwave according to the instructions. Then in a medium high heat sauce pan, added back in the shrimp and the green scallions. Sautéed them together for a minute before I added the peanut noodles until everything has been thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes) and voila, dinner is done! I sprinkled the peanuts that came with the noodles and squeezed some lime juice on top and that was dinner. Of course I always add some Sriracha hot sauce but that’s a given.

Tips: To make a more complete Pad Thai dish you can crack and egg and mix it right into the noodle mixture over the stove. The egg will cook while it’s in the hot pan and will cover the noodles. This is also how fried rice is made by the way, with the same egg mixture technique. In addition, you can also add sliced chicken sautéed in a separate pan. There are pre-packaged noodle boxes made specially for Pad Thai but I wanted a more nutty peanut taste so I used the peanut noodle box instead.

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If I wanted to get fancy I could’ve added some bean sprouts or sliced red bell peppers or mushrooms to the mixture but after 3 martini’s I was kinda lucky to have made it this far.

Before I forget…

These are a few of my favorite things. Here are some of the dishes I’ve made recently that were successes according to my family. Some were my own recipes and some were recipes that I found online. None-the-less I thought they were worth sharing. I’ll come back and post the recipes later.

This was my version of Mongolian chicken stir fry with green beans, carrots and shallots.

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This was S’mores made by using my oven on broil. It was a tasty, easy dessert.

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This was a family favorite for sure well except for the Brussel sprouts which they wouldn’t even touch. If they did they would’ve loved it as much as me. I’m still working on them. I had marinated the pork chops for several days and it made it so tender and flavorful.

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This was a crunchy Asian salad recipe that I found online. I would make some adjustments to it and I’ll add it to my revised recipe.

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This was the bowl of ingredients I used to make Cajun grilled shrimp skewers. It was absolutely delish! My nine year old kept asking for more.

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Chicken Ramen Noodles

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A twist on Chicken Yakisoba only because I didn’t have any yakisoba noodles so instead I used 2 packets of Chicken Ramen noodles. I wanted a quick, one-pot family meal that was familial enough for the kids (chicken), flavorful enough for my husband and me and healthy enough for all of us with the vegetables. This dish checked off all of those boxes.

I prepped all of my ingredients before we left for swim lessons after school. I started by thinly slicing half of a sweet onion, minced 2 cloves of garlic and set it aside in the refrigerator. Next I chopped long strips of a green and red bell pepper and a bag of broccoli into smaller bite-sized florets and set the vegetable mixture aside in the refrigerator. Then I took 1 chicken breast (de-boned) and cut it in half down the middle. I cut thin slices of chicken starting from the smallest point about 1/2 inch thickness so that all of the pieces will cook evenly. In a mixing bowl I added 1 tablespoon of soy sauce and 1 tablespoon of fish sauce to the chicken and mixed it up before setting it putting it into the refrigerator. That was it until we came home.

When I got home about 2 hours later I boiled water in a small pot and added 2 packets of Ramen Chicken Noodles. I kept the soup base packets for later because I didn’t need it for this dish. I cooked the noodles for about 3 minutes and then drained them. I didn’t want to overcook the noodles because I’ll be cooking them again with the rest of the ingredients.

While that was cooking I made the sauce ;

  • 2 Tablespoons of Oyster Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons of Soy Sauce
  • 2 Teaspoons of Sesame oil
  • Pinch of dried red chili pepper flakes
  • 1 Teaspoon of honey
  • 5 Dashes of Crystal Louisiana Hot Sauce
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 Tablespoons of water

When I tasted the sauce I felt like it needed some sweetness so I used some local honey to sweeten it up but then I like a kick in my food but didn’t want to make it too hot so I only added 5 dashes of hot sauce for the flavor and some red chili pepper flakes. The sweet and spicy flavors go well together.

Once the sauce and the noodles were done I could get started on the rest of the ingredients. In a large wok on Medium High heat I used 3 tablespoons of Smart Balance vegetable oil and sautéed the onion and garlic mixture. I left the garlic around the perimeter of the wok so it wouldn’t burn. After about 2 minutes I added the chicken and sautéed it with the onions and garlic until it was almost cooked and next came all of the vegetables. I turned the heat up to High and cooked the whole mixture for 1-2 minutes until the vegetables were slightly tender but still crunchy. Then I added the ramen noodles and the sauce and cooked it for another 1-2 minutes and let the sauce reduce a bit.

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Serve immediately while it’s hot. I used my Japanese cherry blossom bowls for this dish. It seemed to fit the theme.

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Since I used green vegetables and also red bell peppers the dish was colorful and didn’t need a garnish. Of course I always have to add some Sriracha to my life! As I mentioned, this was a quick dish to make after I had already prepped everything ahead of time. My family was so surprised when it was time to eat and everyone went for seconds.