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Monday, September 20, 2010

Stir Fried Cashew Pork

Source- Above an Italian Restaurant

I love cooking Asian recipes at home.  I've tried some really diverse stuff, more than what I've tried at restaurants.  This recipe didn't fail.  It comes together really quick, and has great flavor. 

  • 1/2 cup hoisin sauce
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 Tbs. soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 Tbs. vegetable oil
  • 1 pork tenderloin (3/4 - 1 lb.), cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 cup snow pea pods (used frozen sugar snap peas)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbs. grated fresh ginger (used 3/4tsp ground ginger)
  • 1/2 cup roasted, unsalted cashews, coarsely chopped
  • Combine hoisin sauce, water, soy sauce, and red pepper flakes in a small bowl.
  • In a large non-stick skillet, heat about 2 tsp. of oil over medium-high heat until just smoking.
  • Add half of the pork and cook until no longer pink (about 2 minutes); transfer to a plate.
  • Repeat with another 2 tsp. of oil and remaining pork.
  • Add remaining oil to skillet and heat until shimmering.
  • Cook peas until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes.
  • Add garlic and ginger, and cook for an additional 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  • Add the sauce, cashews, and pork to the pan and cook until thickened, about 1 minute.
  • Serve over rice.
Next Time- This could use a couple small changes.  The heat from the red pepper flakes was a little much, so I'd cut the amount to 1/4 tsp.  I also think adding some green onions would taste good. Nothing major, just small stuff.  This is a great recipe.

Beef Stew

Source: Kelly Cooks via Joelen's Culinary Adventures

I saw that beef chuckeye roast was on sale.  So I started searching my Google Reader for a recipe that used that meat.  I found this, and boy am I glad I made it.  This recipe is awesome.  The flavor from the soup amazed me.  I thought it might be "tomatoey" but it wasn't at all.  The meat was so tender, but the potatoes and carrots still had a bite to them.  I really appreciated that since I hate soggy vegetables.  This also made great leftovers.

This is an easy recipe to throw together and would be awesome on a cold day.

  • 2 pounds beef roast, cubed
  • 1/2 large onion, roughly chopped (used 1 1/2 onions)
  • 4 carrots, cut into rounds
  • 4 celery stalks, cut into pieces
  • 4-5 Idaho (or whatever you prefer) potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes (didn't peel)
  • 2 beef bullion cubes
  • 2 cans of tomato soup (condensed, with no additional milk added)
  • 1 can french onion soup
  • Spray crockpot with cooking spray to make cleanup easier
  • Layer ingredients as follows: beef cubes in the bottom of the crockpot, onions on top of the beef cubes, carrots, celery, and potatoes next.
  • Place two bullion cubes on top of potatoes (I put one on each “side” of the crockpot)
  • Next, take the two cans of tomato soup and “plop” them on top of the layers (again, I put one on each “side” of the crockpot) and then empty the can of french onion soup over the whole mess.
  • Place the lid on top, and set the crockpot for 8 hours on low.
  • As with the oven instructions — DO NOT STIR, TOUCH, OR REMOVE THE LID WHILE COOKING.
  • Once the crockpot is done, remove the lid, stir to combine the ingredients, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve!
Next Time- This recipe is definitely getting saved so that I can make it again.  Nothing needs to be changed.  Trust me, make this!

Friday, September 17, 2010


Source- Adapted from Robin Miller

I've never cooked ribs before, at all.  While I enjoy eating them in a restaurant I've been kind of intimidated to cook them myself.  I saw in the weekly ad that Spareribs were on sale.  I asked H if he was interested in having them, and he said yes.  He gets ribs quite frequently when we go out, so having them at home would be a treat.

I had recently saw an episode on Food Network that cooked the ribs in a slow cooker, and I figured that would be the best way for us to make them since we don't have a grill, and wouldn't be too hard for me.

  • pork spareribs, about 5lbs
  • 16oz bottle of BBQ Sauce, whichever kind you prefer
  • Place meat in the slow cooker
  • Pour BBQ sauce over ribs
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours
Next Time- This recipe was so easy, I loved it!  The meat was so tender and juicy and had just the right spice from the sauce.  H was fine using the juice in the slow cooker on the meat, but I prefer to use fresh sauce.  Do whatever you like.


New Everything!

I've decided to change things up a bit.  A new title, a new layout, a new background, and a new focus. 

Now don't worry the cooking and recipes won't be going anywhere.  I still love to try new recipes, and between my magazines and Google Reader, I have a ton to try still!  I've just decided that since I no longer have a "bun in the oven" my previous title wasn't really applicable anymore.  And since I'd still love to share things about my little man, and life in general I decided to change things up.

Plus I'm not able to cook quite as many new recipes with a demanding (almost) 3 month old this way I can still blog without having to have a new recipe every time. 

Let's hope this works!

Garden Pasta Salad

Every year my family on my mom's side gets together and has a huge weekend long reunion.  We always have an afternoon meal that everyone has to bring a dish-to-pass and we all eat together.  Last year I brought Pepperoni and Parmesan Salad

I first saw this recipe on the back of a can of tomatoes I bought.  I made sure to cut the label off before throwing away the can.  I knew I wanted to make it eventually, and my family reunion presented the perfect time. 

  • 12oz box tri-color spiral pasta (used 16oz)
  • 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 stalks celery
  • 1/2 cup each green and red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 2- 14.5oz can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 8oz bottle Italian dressing (used almost full 16oz bottle)
  • In a large pan cook pasta according to package directions.
  • Rinse under cold water and drain.
  • In large bowl combine carrots, celery, peppers, cucumber, onion and tomatoes.  
  • Add pasta to vegetables.
  • Pour dressing over mixture.
  • Toss until evenly coated
  • Chill until ready to serve.

Next Time- This made an awesome dish-to-pass at my family reunion.  Quick to put together and nice and healthy will all those veggies.  I was happy with the additional dressing.  Nothing else needs to be changed.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Life with a baby

I've been a Mommy for over 2 months.  Wow how time flies.  The little man is such a social smiler.  He wakes up with a smile on his face.  He must get his early morning cheeriness from my mom, cuz neither H or I are morning people.  :)

My days are pretty simple.  He wakes up around 9am, so that's when we start our day.  He'll eat shortly after he wakes up, then he'll spend some time just playing.  He catnaps and eats when he wants during the day.  When he's awake I try to interact with him.  We run errands when we have to, but I prefer to wait for H to go with us.  Just much easier to have 2 people.

Back before I got pregnant I was working with the No Worker Left Behind Program here in Michigan.  I was all set to start a pharmacy technician program at the local community college.  Then I found out I was pregnant and due the same time the class (and final tests) would be ending.  So I postponed the class till after Baby Rebel was born.  About 6 weeks after he was born I contacted my case worker to see what I had to do to get back in the program.  I updated my paperwork, and now I'm just waiting to be approved so that I can start in the class that starts October 19th.  The class finishes the beginning of June next year, and then I would be a certified pharmacy technician and could get a job!

Enchilada Casserole

Source- Kraft Website, I made a few changes and used some of their alternate changes along with some of my own. :)

This recipe was included in an email I get every month or so from Kraft.  It looked easy enough, so I added it to this week's menu. 

  • 1 lb. Ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce
  • 1 can (16 oz.) fat free refried beans
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • 2 tsp. Chili powder
  • 6 Corn tortillas
  • 1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes 
  • 1/4 cup Sour Cream
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Cook meat and onions in large skillet on medium-high heat 3 to 5 min. or until meat is no longer pink; drain.
  • Stir in tomato sauce, refried beans, water and chili powder; cook until heated through.
  • Place 2 tortillas in bottom of oven safe dish (used corning ware 2 qt. dish); top with layers of 1/3 each meat sauce and cheese.
  • Repeat layers 3 times.
  • Put in oven until cheese is melted.
  • Let stand 5 min.
  • Top with tomatoes and sour cream.

Next Time- This recipe turned out really good.  I actually made more than the original called for, so we have leftovers.  This was great warmed up the next day.