Monday, September 27, 2010

Spicy Cajun Jambalaya

I have been craving Jambalaya from Disneyland and since we no longer have our Disneyland passes, I decided to have a go at it. It turned out delicious and it is perfect because this meal cooks while you are at work and because it includes all of my most favorite meats; chicken, sausage, and shrimp. Yummmm.


2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup corn
2 tsp minced or pressed garlic
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 pound spicy Italian sausage or andouille sausage
1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
1 tsp hot sauce
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes with jalapenos
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
2 tbsp corn starch
1tbsp hot water

1 pound shrimp, peeled and cleaned
2 cups cooked rice

1. In a large skillet, add oil. Saute corn, garlic, onion, bell peppers, and celery for about 10 minutes.
2. Add Cajun seasoning, dried thyme, and dried oregano to vegetable saute to season. Mix well and then set aside in slow cooker.
3. In same skillet, brown sausage on all sides over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover and cook through.
4. Slice sausage into 1 inch pieces and add to slow cooker.
5. Add chicken broth, hot sauce, Worcestershire Sauce, tomatoes, and chicken to slow cooker. Combine well, make sure ingredients are spread out evenly.
6. In a small bowl, add water to corn starch and stir until it forms a paste like liquid, add it to the slow cooker, mix well.
7. Cover slow cooker and cook on LOW for 7 hours or on HIGH for 3 hours.
8. About 15 minutes before serving, stir in the shrimp. Make sure shrimp is heated through before serving.
9. Spoon over rice and serve, Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from:

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Honey Dijon Salmon

My friend Danna introduced me to this honey dijon salmon recipe. It was good the first time I tried it, the first time I made it and now the second time. I highly recommend it, it is easy, simple and super delicious.


3 tablespoons honey
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 (6 ounce) salmon steaks
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3 cups egg noodles, cooked


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2. In a small bowl, mix honey, mustard, and lemon juice.
3. Place salmon in a medium baking dish, season salmon with pepper.
4. Spread the dijon mixture over the salmon steaks. Bake for 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until fish easily flakes with a fork.
5. Serve the salmon on top of the egg noodles. Spoon out the extra sauce onto the salmon and the noodles. Sprinkle both with fresh squeezed lemon juice. Enjoy!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Vegetable Fried Rice

I made some fried rice to accompany our egg rolls and orange chicken. This was my first attempt and I was very pleased. I used lots of veggies since I had a ton of them at my disposal.

½ cup oil
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
¼ cup of soy sauce, divided
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 stalks of celery, washed and chopped fine
1 can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped
1 cup of fresh corn
1 cup of broccoli, chopped into 1 inch pieces
½ cup bean sprouts
½ cup shredded carrots or coleslaw mix
½ cup snow peas
4 cups of cooked rice

1. Heat the oil in a wok. Add the ginger and garlic powder. Add the onion, celery, water chestnuts, and corn. Saute for 10 minutes.
2. Add the remaining vegetables; broccoli, bean sprouts, carrots, snow peas and 1/8 cup soy sauce. Stir everything together and saute for another 10 minutes.
3. Once all the vegetables are cooked, add the rice. One cup at a time. Mix all the ingredients together until rice and vegetables are well blended. Add remaining soy sauce to give rice more flavor and color.
4. Saute rice and vegetable mix in the wok until rice seems fried. Feel free to add more soy sauce or oil if rice is either too bland or too dry, use in moderation.
5. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Egg Rolls

The other night for girls night I prepared a Chinese feast. I made Egg rolls and fried rice from scratch and orange chicken from Trader Joe's. I learned how to make these egg rolls from my father in law, Rick, who is Japanese, but has a firm grasp on this Chinese favorite. This time Nick prepared them since I was concentrating on the fried rice. They turned out perfect.

½ pound ground pork(optional)
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 pack of egg roll paper
2 cups coleslaw mix
½ cups bean sprouts, broken into smaller sizes
1/3 cup of green onions, chopped
1 pack of egg roll wraps
Sweet and Sour sauce, for dipping (optional)

1. Heat up a frying pan, once warm place ground pork in the pan and begin to cook. Add the ginger and garlic powders for seasoning to the meat. Once meat is fully cooked, no red, remove meat from oil and set aside in a large bowl.
2. Add vegetable ingredients to the bowl with the meat: Coleslaw, bean sprouts, and green onions. Combine together so that ingredients are evenly spread throughout.
3. Grab one egg roll paper at a time and begin to fill and fold.

Take about 2 tbsp worth of filling and place in the middle of the paper
Fold up bottom corner

Tighten to form

Fold over right corner

Fold over left corner

Form a type of elongated envelope looking thing

Roll the filling part forward, like a burrito

Dip your finger in water, use your finger to dampen the top corner so that the paper will seal

Seal top corner

Voila you have a rolled up egg roll

Repeat process and set egg rolls aside. Do not let the egg rolls touch each other. When papers are raw, the papers will stick to each other and will rip when they are pulled apart.
4. Heat up about 1/4 cup of oil to medium heat in a frying pan. Gently and carefully place egg rolls into oil to fry. Fry for about two minutes on each side until they are slightly browned as seen below. Continue process until all egg rolls are cooked.

5. Let egg rolls cool down a bit, insides are surprisingly hot. Serve with dipping sauces and enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Steak Corn Salad


1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup of fresh corn
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 tsp garlic salt
½ pound of sirloin steak
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 tbsp basil leaves, chopped
4 cups total of lettuce and/or spinach and/or mixed greens
Dressing of your choice, we had creamy basil from Old Spaghetti Factory


1. Heat the grill to medium heat.

2. Heat up a small frying pan, heat up the oil and add the corn, onions, and garlic salt. Sauté them until tender, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

3. Meanwhile, slightly season the steak with garlic salt and pepper. Begin grilling the steak. Time varies depending on steaks thickness and/or one’s preference in how cooked the meat is. It should take about five minutes on each side. Once steak is cooked, slice thinly.

4. Add corn mixture, tomatoes, basil, and lettuces in a large salad bowl, mix up, then serve with steak on top. Enjoy!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Apple Pie, Attempt #1

My co-worker, Shannon and I got together this weekend in hopes of creating 4 different apple pies. A honey apple pie, an old fashioned apple pie, a caramel apple pie, and a apple crumb pie. What we ended up with was far from tasty. To keep it short, it all began with our, well my, method for making the dough because trying to wing it while baking is rarely a success. Next was our apple sauteing method, which in theory seemed like a great idea, but only if you saute all the apples to the same consistency and season them appropriately, but we did not. Then there was the fact that we did not make a dough for the top of the pie, instead we pieced together a type of crumb type top. In theory these pies should've come out pretty decent but due to our inconsistencies and mainly my lack of following the directions, after 4 hours of baking we ended with only two not-so-good honey crumb apple pies. And so for those reasons, I will not be including a recipe because we did not use one and because these pies just weren't good enough, after consuming one piece you did not want another. Either way it was still an entertaining pastime and Shannon and I still have to try and make some decent apple pies, maybe next time we will make sure to follow the recipe as precisely as possible. Lesson learned.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Banana Bread

I am on a roll this weekend with baking. I'm still trying to use up those bananas in my freezer and so here is a banana bread recipe. This recipe was shared with me by my friend Megan, she is a baking queen.

Cornbread a la Megan

My friend Megan served this cornbread at her house the other night for our weekly girls night. It was absolutely delicious and even better she made a few adjustments to the original recipe so that it would be a healthier version. It was great and so I couldn't resist making it again later that week.

1 cup wheat flour
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce


1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Spray or lightly grease a 9 inch round cake pan.

2. In a large bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, salt and baking powder. Stir in egg, milk and apple sauce until well combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Serve warm, buttered, and with your favorite honey. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from

Friday, September 17, 2010

Quick Curry Chicken and Vegetables

So I have been craving yellow curry for soooo long. I never got to looking for a recipe or buying the necessary ingredients to make it from scratch and so when I found this lovely bottle of yellow curry sauce at Trader Joe's, I knew I had to buy it. It made making curry so easy and it was equally as delicious. I highly recommend this meal for an easy fix.

Serves 4

1 lb. of chicken breasts, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander to taste (around 1/2 tsp each)
6 cremini mushrooms, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 small yellow onion, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 bottle of Trader Joe's Yellow Curry Sauce
3 potatoes, cleaned and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 14oz can of french style sliced green beans
1 small red bell pepper, chopped into 1 inch pieces
1 small broccoli, chopped into 1 inch pieces
3 cups cooked rice
1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped finely

1. Take the chicken pieces and coat the chicken, onions, and mushrooms in oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and coriander. Make sure each piece is evenly coated. Heat a large deep frying pan to medium and add the chicken mixture.
2. Let the chicken brown a little on each side. While chicken is browning, place the chopped potatoes in a microwave safe bowl and microwave them on high for about 5 minutes until a fork can easily enter the potato. Once potatoes are ready, set aside.
3. Once chicken seems 75 % cooked, pour the yellow curry sauce into the pan. Fully coat all of the chicken mixture in the sauce. Then add the remaining vegetables, the broccoli, red bell pepper, potatoes and green beans. Bring the sauce to a boil, then cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4. Once everything seems all cooked, evenly distribute chicken mixture and rice on 4 plates. Top with some freshly cut cilantro and enjoy!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shrimp Po' Boy

Nick, my amazing husband, made dinner for me the other night. He decided to make a shrimp po'boy. It was absolutely delicious.

4 tbsp flour
1 tbsp cayenne pepper

1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 egg
1 tbsp of water
1 tbsp of Whiskey

4 tbsp cornmeal

one dozen medium sized shrimp, de-shelled and de-veined

1 large french bread roll, cut in half
spicy brown mustard
2 cups of coleslaw
1 tomato, sliced
1 small red onion, sliced

Directions: I don't know precisely how he made it, so I am kinda just winging it off of what he mentioned to me, you may have to adjust measurements etc.

1. Combine the flour and cayenne pepper in a bowl, blend well and set aside
2. Combine the yellow mustard, egg, water, and whiskey in a bowl, blend well and set aside
3. Place the cornmeal in a bowl, set aside
4. Heat up some oil in a pan to medium heat.
5. Take a shrimp, one at a time and dip it in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture, then the cornmeal and place in the oil. Repeat with all shrimp. Cook the shrimp about 2 minutes on each side.
6. Once shrimp is cooked, place on a french roll with the mayo, mustard, tomatoes, onions and coleslaw. Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spinach Bacon Pierogies

Nick doesn't like sauerkraut and so we came up with this recipe for spinach pierogies. This is our second time making them; but this time, to add some extra flavor, we used some bacon as well. They turned out great and they were a hit with my family along with the other pierogies.


4 slices of bacon
1 bag of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained
1 tbsp milk
1 tbsp garlic salt
4 cups mashed potatoes, prepared to your liking
1 cup of shredded cheese of your liking, I used Colby Jack and Cheddar Mix
1 package of wonton wraps, about 60 squares, dimensions are about 4" by 4"

1. Cook the bacon in a frying pan, once cooked, remove bacon from grease and chop up finely. Do not discard grease.
2. Add the spinach to the bacon grease and saute together until spinach seems slightly cooked. Mix in the milk and garlic salt so as to give the spinach some flavor.
2. Once spinach is prepared, mix in a bowl with the mashed potatoes, so that the mashed potatoes and spinach are well combined.
3. Now start stuffing and preparing your pierogies. I use a type of assembly line, where I have my spinach potatoes in a bowl, my cheese in a bowl, and a cup of water for sealing the dough. You might want to use some flour on your surfaces you are working with so that the wonton wrapper doesn't stick.
4. You take one wonton wrapper and gently place the fillings in the middle of the square. Use about 1 teaspoon of spinach potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon of the shredded cheese.
5. Next, fold the wonton paper corner to corner to create a triangle. In order for it to seal, dip your finger in the water and dampen the corners of the wrapper. Once closed, dampen the outside corners as well and squeeze the corners together to make sure it truly is sealed. Repeat until you are out of ingredients. Do not place raw pierogies on top of one another because the wonton wrappers stick to each other.
6. When you are ready to cook them, heat up enough oil to cook the pierogies, but you do not want to fully immerse them. For 10 pierogies in a pan, I would use about 2 tbsp of oil. Heat the large frying pan to about medium heat and gently place the pierogies in the pan for about 2 minutes on each side or until slightly browned. Do not walk away because they can burn easily.
7. Once pierogies are cooked, serve with sour cream and grilled onions. Enjoy!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Hoisin-Glazed Scallops

This is just a recipe I found in a magazine that included ingredients I already had. The scallop sauce was very easy to create, but it wasn't my favorite.

2 pounds fresh or frozen extra-large sea scallop, thawed if frozen
salt and pepper
3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp prepared hoisin sauce
juice from 1 lime

1. Rinse the scallops and pat dry with a paper towel; season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Heat 3 tsp of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add scallops and cook 1 to 2 minutes per side or until golden brown.
3. Brush tops and sides of scallops with the hoisin sauce and drizzle the lime juice over top. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more until scallops are opaque and cooked through.
4. Using a slotted spoon, remove scallops from pan and transfer them to plate. Best served with rice and veggies. Enjoy!

Recipe adapted from Fitness magazine

Chocolate Banana Muffins

I have a plethora of old bananas in the freezer that I really need to use up. So I decided to make more muffins, just a little different this time since I had eggs at my disposal.

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium sized bananas)
2/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1 egg, beaten
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. In a large bowl combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder and baking powder
In another bowl, blend the bananas, apple sauce and egg together. Add to dry ingredients, mixing just until blended. Fold in the chocolate chips. Spoon the batter into a greased muffin pan, filling three-fourths full
Bake in a preheated 425 degree F(220 degrees C) for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

recipe adapted from:

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Babbi's Sauerkraut Pierogi

Saurkraut Pierogi
My Babbi, aka grandmother, taught me how to make these pierogies. Pierogi are considered a traditional Czechoslovakian dish and what I've learned after some research online is that every Czech family makes their pierogi differently, with a different dough and different fillings. The most common pierogi consists of a homemade dough, potatoes, and cheese. Babbi has edited her recipe over the years and this recipe is what I have come to know. Babbi taught me to consolidate the prep time by using wonton wrappers as the dough and mashed potatoes, cheese, and sauerkraut as the filling. Babbi used to prepare these as an appetizer for  our family's special occasion dinners and I have had the pleasure of helping her prepare these multiple times. Sadly, this year when it was time for Papa's (grandpa's) 90th Birthday, I had to make them by myself since Babbi is currently in Hospice care. Please keep her in your prayers and enjoy this wonderful traditional dish that she has brought into our lives.

Happy Birthday Papa!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Orange Pesto Sauce for Fish

My husband and I love all things basil and so when I saw this recipe for an orange pesto sauce in a Cooking Light Magazine, I knew I had to give it a try.


1 orange
2 cups basil leaves
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 pounds fish of your choice, I used salmon and mahi mahi


1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
2. Squeeze orange to extract 1/4 cup juice
3. Combine orange juice, basil leaves, olive oil, and garlic cloves in a mini food processor, add 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process basil leaf mixture until finely chopped.
4. Sprinkle salt and pepper evenly over fish; grill fish for 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork or until it reaches desired degree of doneness, turning occasionally.
5. Drizzle fish with sauce, or serve separately.
6. Serve with rice and/or veggies of your choice. Enjoy!

Adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, Swordfish Kebabs with Orange Pesto Sauce

Banana Muffins (with no eggs)

Once again I had the desire to make something but I was missing ingredients. This time it was banana bread but I had no eggs at my disposal. I found this vegan recipe for moist banana muffins that included 1 cup of mayonnaise. I did not have enough mayonnaise either, so I opted for 1 cup of vanilla yogurt, which I find to be a much better ingredient and it doesn't matter since I am not a vegan. These muffins bake to be quite dense, but they are still yummy and that is all that matters.


2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup white sugar
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (optional)


1.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners.

2. Stir the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar together in a bowl. Add the bananas, vanilla yogurt, and chocolate chips; stir until well combined. Pour into prepared muffin cups to about 3/4 full.

3. Bake in the preheated oven until golden and the tops spring back when lightly pressed, about 20 minutes.

Recipe adapted from: