Saturday, May 16, 2020

hawaiian bbq beef and mac salad

A big thanks to Micah and Brittney for this entire meal. We learned how to make perfect sticky rice from them as newlyweds, and the meat marinade and mac salad are Micah and Brittney staples. I cannot count the times we ate this with them at parties or family get togethers (we aren’t actually family but were close enough friends to be adopted as such). Missing them today and so grateful for their friendship throughout the years. Love you, friends. And hey, thanks for the good eats. Xx

Recipe: Hawaiian BBQ (Teriyaki) Beef

1.5-2 c soy sauce
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
Oil, a splash
Vinegar, a splash
2 lb. (ish) Thinly sliced beef (sirloin tip etc)

Mix all ingredients well then combine with beef. Marinate for 3+ hours. Then grill. Enjoy.

Recipe: Hawaiian Mac Salad

16 oz large macaroni noodles, cooked & chilled
6 boiled eggs, chilled & diced
8 mini dill pickles, diced
4 Tbsp dill pickle juice
1/3 - 1/2 c mayonnaise
2 tsp mustard
Garlic powder, to taste
Salt, to taste

Cook pasta and eggs. Chill. Dice all you need. Toss together and mix well. Serve cold.

Serve with CalRose rice. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

instant pot meatless butter “chicken”

This recipe is not my own. It is closely based on an AMAZING Butter Chicken recipe by “the Butter Chicken Lady” Urvashi Pitre (found both online and in her book, Instant Pot Cookbook). This is simply my meatless tweak of that recipe. It’s my faaaavvvv and so easy to make - using mostly pantry staples! Perfect comfort food. Mmm. Try it. And enjoy!

Recipe: Instant Pot Meatless Butter “Chicken” 

Serves: 10
Calories: 125

2 c Chana Dal
4 c Water
1 Tbsp Chicken Bullion
1 14-oz Canned Tomatoes
1 Tbsp Minced Garlic
1 tsp Minced Ginger
1 tsp Turmeric
1/2 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp Kosher Salt
1 tsp Garam Masala
1 tsp Ground Cumin

To Finish
4 oz Butter, cubed
4 oz Heavy Cream
1 tsp Garam Masala
1/3 c chopped Cilantro (opt)

Place all ingredients into an Instant Pot, EXCEPT for the butter, cream and 1 teaspoon of the garam masala.

Close the cooker and set for 10 mins on high, and let it release pressure naturally for 10 minutes. After that, release all remaining pressure.

Open up the pot. Blend together all the ingredients, preferably using an immersion blender. Add the cut up butter, cream, cilantro, and garam masala and stir until well incorporated.

Serve over basmati rice.

Note: I like to cook the basmati rice at the same time as the chana dal. I just do the pot-in-pot method and leave the time as is. It works out perfectly!

Monday, December 31, 2018

peppermint meringues

This is one of my absolute favorite Christmas treats. I found the recipe in a book called Low-Fat Meals when I was nannying at nineteen and composing my first online recipe collection (when my dad had to make the website for me, ha). Ah, memories... This treat is now something I try to make every Christmastime, and my kids (especially my son) adore them as much as I do.

RECIPE: Peppermint Meringues

2 egg whites *
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2/3 c sugar
1/4 cup candy canes, finely crushed

Place egg whites in a medium mixing bowl and *let stand at room temperature for 1 hour. Add vanilla and cream of tartar to egg whites. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Add sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating on high speed until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight) and sugar is almost dissolved.

Grease cookie sheet; set aside. Gently fold crushed candies into beaten egg whites. Drop from a rounded teaspoon 1 1/2 inches apart on a prepared cookie sheet. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until set and lightly browned on the edges. Turn off oven. Let dry ion oven with door closed for 20 minutes. Remove from sheet. Store in an airtight container.

** Also try Chocolate Peppermint Meringues {I never have}. Simply prepare Peppermint Meringues as above. Sift cocoa powder and stir into crushed candies. Fold into beaten egg whites. Continue as above.

Friday, February 23, 2018

school lunch ideas 22-28

School Lunch #22

PB&J sandwich !! (He finally let me send him with one!)
Tortilla chips
Peach yogurt

School Lunch #23

Pizza Cups
Cucumber with ranch
Fresh blueberries
and a teensy treat :)

School Lunch #24

Mini bagel with cream cheese
Celery with peanut butter and fishy crackers (for "going fishing")
Boiled egg
and a little treat

School Lunch #25

Bacon Pancake Dippers
Homemade syrup
Greek yogurt

School Lunch #26

Cheese quesadilla
Boiled egg

School Lunch #27

This lunch isn't super pretty (Cling Wrap, while handy, is not the most delicious-looking stuff), but it was yum.

Saltine crackers
Tuna sandwich spread
Yogurt + berry delight

School Lunch #28

Nutella sandwich
Cheddar cheese

Easy peasy.

school lunch ideas 15-21

School Lunch #15: HALLOWEEEEEN Edition!

Meat and cheese sandwich transformed into a pumpkin, bat and several moons
Mandarin oranges turned jack-o-lantern
Key lime Greek yogurt transformed into scary goo with eyeballs and sprinkles
Roasted pumpkin seeds

With a side of apple juice... in a mummy costume, of course! :)

Happy Halloween!

School Lunch #16

Blueberry muffins
Lunch meat
String cheese
Baby tomatoes

School Lunch #17

Plain bagel lightly toasted, with cream cheese
Baby tomatoes with s&p
Fresh blueberries

School Lunch #18

German Pancakes, cut into bite-size pieces
Homemade maple syrup
Yogurt with granola

School Lunch #19

Leftover $5 pizza, cut into strips
Yogurt with granola

School Lunch #20

Hot dog - on a bun with condiments
Fresh fruit x2
Potato chips

School Lunch #21

From Scratch Pancakes - made using whole wheat flour and added flax seed meal, etc.
Homemade syrup
Fresh strawberries

school lunch ideas 8-14

School Lunch #8

Today's school lunch is brought to you by the color BLUE! ;)

Blueberry bagel with cream cheese
Blue Jello
Fresh blueberries

I miss the color variation, but he's gonna love it!

School Lunch #9

BLT kabobs
Oreos (a Friday treat)

School Lunch #10


Quesadilla Roll-Ups
Veggies with Humus

School Lunch #11

Apple Ring Sandwiches* (filled with pb & granola)
String cheese
Fresh blueberries
Oreos (a Friday treat)

*See tip.

School Lunch #12

Meat and cheese sandwich
Yogurt with sprinkles
Fresh blueberries
Bit of brownie

School Lunch #13

Cheese Quesadilla
Cherry Tomatoes
Treat - random Halloween candies + mallows

School Lunch #14

Sandwich (meat and cheese)
Yogurt with {Halloween} sprinkles
Mandarin oranges -- made spoooky using a permanent marker ;)

school lunch ideas 1-7

I had all these school lunches posted individually, but they started taking over my blog (and my life, if we're honest). So I've put them together into a few MEGA posts so things are easier to navigate. We'll see if this was better... 

School Lunch #1 / Trial Run

James starts school next week, and I'm going to have to start packing his lunches. I've stressed a ton about this, but thanks to friends and Pinterest, I'm feeling a lot more prepared. Today I decided to do a trial run. It took me 10ish minutes max to get everything gathered and prepared, and I set the timer for 30 minutes to see if he could comfortably eat in that amount of time. I also wanted to see if x amount of food would be enough to fill him up. The trial run was a success! We did change a couple of things, though. Here's the "recipe" for future reference.

Note: the above photo is of the actual first-day-of-school lunch.

     12 Ritz crackers (Low Sodium preferred)
     3 slices (with our slicer), cut in half
     2 (1 1/2, really, as I made them for Jolie too) pieces lunch meat, cut with spice lid to get 4 circles out of each
1/3 c ish yogurt
1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
(Opt) Treat: 2 Oreos


This was plenty of food and very much enjoyed. I had to add to the original number of crackers as he wanted two for each little sandwich. He also wished for more fruit, so I made it a whole piece. Besides that, it went really well! He was full in the end, and he was able to eat start to finish in less than 20 minutes! Trial run success! Yay! I'll be much less anxious about my boy eating big kid lunch without me now. Yeesh, growing up is hard for mom!

School Lunch #2

This lunch was made on the fly, as the meal I'd intended didn't work out at the last minute (who runs out of tuna?!). I'm nervous there isn't enough there to keep my kiddo full throughout the day. I sure hope there is! 

This meal is best prepared the night before-- what with the egg boiling and such. Just keep eggs and crackers separate and put the rest in the lunch box (in the fridge). Put them all together in the morning. 

Boiled egg(s)
Ants on a log
Dried fruit
Yogurt with sprinkles
Saltine crackers


School Lunch #3

Nice and filling and "very delicious!" :) The crackers and celery were ignored, as they apparently got tuna on them. Everything else, though, was absolutely gobbled up!

Tuna sandwich, Dino-shaped
     Sweet relish
     Whole-wheat bread
Yogurt - with sprinkles


School Lunch #4

Pizza Rollups 
     Flour tortilla (1)
     Pizza sauce
          Tomato sauce
          Garlic powder
          Italian seasoning
     Shredded mozzarella cheese
Yogurt with sprinkles


*Note: I made this the night before and in the morning, worried the pizza rollups were too dry (had absorbed the sauce). So I spooned a little dollop of extra sauce on each.

Also, when I picked James up he claimed I had forgotten to pack a spoon, which meant he couldn't eat his applesauce or yogurt and was consequently "so hungry." This crushed my heart, as it's one of the things I worry most about with him away from me all day. I felt so bad. But later, as I was cleaning out his lunch box, I found the spoon! It was there all along; he just hadn't noticed it somehow! I still felt bad, but less guilty for sure! Moral of this story: pack a spoon IN the bento container! He's sure to notice it then. Oy...

School Lunch #5

Meat and cheese kabobs
     Lunch meat (2 pieces)
     String cheese, cut (1)
     ^^ skewered on toothpicks (6)
Mandarin oranges
Celery with ranch dressing
Saltine crackers (8)

Root beer milk

Anything's funner on a stick, right?! :)

School Lunch #6

Peanut-butter 'sandwiches' on crackers
Yogurt with sprinkles

School Lunch #7

Zucchini bread muffins
Yogurt with sprinkles
Lunch meat
Dried blueberries

Saturday, February 25, 2017

cream puff pie

The amazing Christa of Orrin-and-Christa made this for us once, and I was absolutely blown away. So easy. So fancy. So good. Instead of needing to ask her for the recipe yet again, I decided to record it here. Try it; you'll be glad you did.

RECIPE: Cream Puff Pie

Yield: 24 servings
Calories: 193 ea

1 c. water
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. salt
1 c. flour
4 eggs

1 pkg. instant vanilla pudding (large)
2 1/2 c. cold milk
2 tubs cool whip
Toffee bits 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Bring to boil the water, butter and salt in a med saucepan. Remove from heat and add the flour all at once. Stir until a ball forms. **Let cool for 10 minutes.** Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well before adding another.

Spread dough on greased cookie sheet and bake for 30ish min at 350F. Allow to cool.

Meanwhile, mix together a large pkg of instant vanilla pudding and less milk than it calls for, about 2 1/2 cups. Chill. Layer on top of chilled cream puff. Then top with cool whip and toffee bits. Serve cool.

Note: For the "good stuff" on top, Christa says: "You can do any kind of pudding and top with nuts or candies or chocolate syrup. It's the best dessert because it can be whatever you want!" When we had it the first time, she had put vanilla pudding on one half and chocolate on the other. Pretty yummy! She also recommends adding toffee bits or chocolate syrup- or both! Yum. You're welcome. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

almond joy cookies

My friend Rose and I went out for a quick dinner the other night at Great Harvest, a local soup and sandwich kind of place. As part of our meals, we could pick a cookie. They were specialing a new cookie that they called an Almond Joy Cookie. We thought they were pretty scrumptious, and I thought I could easily duplicate the idea. So I did. And they were yummy. I took them to a work party, and they were quite a hit. Hooray! This recipe's a keeper.

It's basically just an oatmeal cookie with chocolate chips, almonds and coconut added in.  Any yummy oatmeal cookie recipe should work.  But for my own benefit and for future reference, this is the recipe I used. 

RECIPE: Almond Joy Cookies

3 dozen cookies

3/4 c. butter, soft
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. water
1 tsp vanilla
1 c. flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
3 c. uncooked oats
1 bag (2 c?) chocolate chips
1 c. slivered almonds
4 oz shredded coconut

Preheat oven to 375F. Beat together butter, sugars, egg, water and vanilla until creamy. Add flour, salt and soda. Mix well. Stir in oats, chocolate chips, almonds and coconut. Drop by spoonfuls onto cookie sheet/stone. Bake at 375F for 12-15 minutes. 

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

guava cake

I stole this recipe from my Hawaii-loving friend Aubrey, and I'm so glad I did. It's soooo scrumptious! Creamy and moist and cold and scrumptious. Mmm. I'd make this everyday if health weren't an issue. Ha. Try it; you'll like it. Promise.

RECIPE: Guava Cake

Yield: 18
Calories: 227

1 pkg yellow cake mix
1 c guava juice/nectar
1/3 c vegetable oil
3 eggs
3-5 drops red food coloring (opt)

1 8-oz cream cheese, softened
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 8-oz pkg Cool Whip

2 c guava juice/nectar
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c cornstarch
3-5 drops red food coloring

Cake: Preheat oven to 350F. Mix cake according to package directions substituting guava juice for water. Add a few drops of red food coloring to tint it a bit (opt). Pour into a 9x13 baking dish. Bake.

Cream: In a med. mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Add sugar and vanilla, beat in. Slowly fold in cool whip. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Glaze: In a med saucepan, bring guava juice and sugar to a boil. Make a paste out of cornstarch and a small amount of cold water. Remove guava/sugar from heat and stir in cornstarch mixture. Add some red food coloring. Return to heat and bring back to a boil for one minute. Cool in fridge.

Assemble: Ice the cake with cream cheese mixture. Then glaze the top with guava gel. Refrigerate until ready to serve.