Easy and Delicious Fruit Tart (Fruit Pie)

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Fresh fruits always sound so good during the warmest Summer days. One great and easy way to dress up fresh fruits is by turning them into fruit tart (or fruit pie - whatever you want to call it). You can make your own homemade crust if you like, but if pressed on time, you can use Keebler's ReadyCrust like I did. This fruit tart takes very little time to make, looks very pretty and colorful, and tastes so good!



PREP TIME: 10-15 minutes
COOKING TIME: none

INGREDIENTS:

- 1 Keebler's Ready Crust
- 1 can Peach slices, drained and tap dry slightly with paper towel (You can also use mandarin oranges if preferred to get the same color effect)
- 2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
- fresh blueberries and raspberries (you can also use strawberries instead of raspberries), rinsed and drained on paper towel
- 1 (8oz) tub frozen whipped topping, slightly thawed
- 1 (8oz) cream cheese
- 1/3 cup powdered sugar

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a mixing bowl, blend cream cheese and sugar. Pour into the crust.
2. Layer with whipped topping.
3. Arrange fruit slices as shown in picture and keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

That's it! Did I mention it was easy?

Grilled Chicken Salad with Corn, Bacons, and Bananas

1 comments
This grilled chicken salad served with grilled corn on the cob, bacon bits, and grilled bananas, is so easy to make and make a fresh addition to your Summer menu.



SERVINGS: 4

4 boneless chicken breasts
4 ears of corns
1 cup bacon bits
4 ripe bananas
2 lbs bag salad mix (Dole's Classic Iceberg or Greener Selection is great!), rinsed and drained
salt and pepper to taste
vegetable oil, for brushing
butter, for brushing

For the dressing:
5 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp vinegar
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp mustard

DIRECTIONS:
1. Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, brush with oil, and grill for 15 minutes, turning once. Cut into strips.
2. Peel the corns and brush the sides with butter, (season with salt if desired), and brown on the grill.
3. Brush the bananas with butter and grill for 5 minutes.
4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a screw-top jar and shake well.
5. Place the rinsed salad mix in a large bowl. Pour dressing over it and toss well.
6. Distribute the salad mix into 4 salad plates. Place chicken strips, grilled bananas, and corn over the leaves and top with bacon bits.

Pork Satay

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This "meat on a stick" dish never fails to please anyone of any age whenever it is served at a BBQ or gathering. The sweet soy sauce is the single most important ingredient. You can get it at your local Asian grocery or here at Amazon.



INGREDIENTS:

2 lbs pork tenderloin, cut into bite-size strips
6 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 ziplock bag
bamboo/wooden skewers
1 tsp vegetable oil, for brushing

DIRECTIONS:

1. Place meat pieces into a large ziplock bag.
2. In a small bowl, mix the soy sauce, brown sugar, garlic pwd, salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into the ziplock bag and mix well with the meats.
3. Let it marinate in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours (or overnight for best results)
4. Immerse skewers in water for 15 minutes.
5. Slide the meat pieces into the skewers and grill for 10-15 minutes (until meat is fully cooked). Keep a close eye on them and rotate the sides frequently. Brush the sides with oil occasionaly to prevent sticking.
6. Serve over warm rice with more soy sauce on the side for dipping.

Strawberry Banana Crepes

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Last week I went to an international buffet-style restaurant where they had a crepes station, and saw the entire process of making crepes, from pouring the dough to putting all the good stuff on it. It didn't look too difficult so I decided to give it a try. I was right! Homemade crepes are easy to make and taste just as delicious as the ones served at the restaurant. I used only strawberries and bananas but you can also add peach slices if you like.



COOKING TIME: about 5-10 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

INGREDIENTS:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, melted
8-10 fresh strawberries, sliced
2-3 bananas, sliced
peach slices (optional)
spray can whipped topping
chocolate syrup
powdered sugar (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Mix flour and egg in a mixing bowl. Gradually add milk and water, mix well.
2. Add salt and butter. Beat until smooth.
3. Heat griddle to 400F.
4. Pour about 1/4 cup of dough onto the preheated griddle, and using a wooden spatula, spread the dough to cover a large circle (about 6-7 inches diameter)
5. Cook about 2 minutes until the bottom is light brown
6. Loosen the sides with a spatula and flip over. Cook for another 2 minutes.
7. Place the crepe on a dessert plate.
8. Add slices of strawberries and bananas (and peach, if desired) onto the crepe, and fold the sides to cover the fruits.
9. Spray whipped topping on top, and drizzle with chocolate syrup. (Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired, optional)
10. Serve hot.


Easy Lasagna

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My days have been so hectic this week I haven't found myself in the kitchen much. After five straight days of takeouts and eating out, I wanted to eat in last night and fix something easy. This lasagna recipe is made with Prego sauce (Again, Prego sauce has made my life a little easier...) and the rest is very easy to put together.



EASY LASAGNA

PREP TIME: 15-20 minutes
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
SERVINGS: 8

12 pieces lasagna noodles
1 lb lean ground beef
1 1/2 cup chopped onions
8 oz mushroom (optional)
16 oz Italian Sauce
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook lasagna noodle according to package directions, drain, set aside. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a large skillet, brown beef with onion and mushroom. Drain well.
3. Stir in Italian sauce, garlic powder, oregano, basil, and salt. Simmer for 5minutes
4. Spray lasagna baking dish with nonstick cooking spray
5. Layer 1/3 of noodles, 1/3 of meat mixture, 1/3 of ricotta, Monterey Jack, and Parmesan cheeses
6. Repeat layer (step 5) twice
7. Bake at 350F for 30 mins or until thoroughly heated and bubbly
8. Let stand for 8-10 minutes before serving

Best Grilled Corns Ever

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Sometimes the easiest recipe simply makes the best thing. These grilled corns, in my opinion, is the best thing of a Summer cookout, and only three ingredients are needed: corns on the cobs, margarine, and hot sauce. I like them spicy, so I always use a lot of hot sauce, but you can adjust the spiciness by reducing the amount of hot sauce to your taste. You can use any hot sauce, but my absolute favorite is this ABC Extra Hot Chili Sauce

Umm, a little warning: Have some dental floss ready when making these! :P



DIRECTIONS:

1. Rub margarine and hot sauce on the surface of the corns (that have been peeled and rinsed) and coat evenly.
2. Grill for a total cooking time of 30 minutes, rotating it every 10 minutes to allow for even heating.
3. Let stand for a few minutes before serving.

Graduation Cupcakes

4 comments
My husband finished his Master's degree this Spring. He's worked really hard, juggling his school, work, and family, and I cannot be prouder of him. Bakerella's candy cup caps inspired me to make these cupcakes to celebrate his achievement.



See my Chocolate Cupcakes recipe

DECORATING

WHAT YOU'LL NEED (see pic below):

- Ghirardelli dark chocolate squares
- Dark chocolate w/ peppermint center (or Reese's peanut butter cups)
- Xtremes sweetly sour belts
- Smarties
- White frosting
- Blue sugar crystals (optional)



DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS:
1. Cut each the sweet sour belts candy into long strips of each color
2. Frost the baked cupcakes with white frosting
3. Sprinkle with blue sugar crystals
4. Place chocolate cups, topped with chocolate squares (using a little bit of frosting to "glue" them together)
5. Place the candy strip and a smarty on top (again, using the frosting as the "glue")

Duck in Lettuce Wraps

2 comments
I bought a whole duckling to make the Duck with Beansprouts dish that I always loved at my favorite Chinese restaurant when I was in college (see previous post). Since I only used half a duckling for that recipe, I thought I'd use the rest to make a fun variety by serving it on lettuce leaves. The recipe is very similar to the Duck with Beansprouts recipe, only water chestnuts are added to this one and the beansprouts are not cooked this time. They're a little messy to eat but just like many messy finger foods, they're very good!



DUCK IN LETTUCE WRAPS RECIPE:

1/2 small duckling, remove the bones and cut the meat into bite-size strips
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch length
1 cup fresh beansprouts, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp ginger powder
1 can (4oz) water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 lettuce head or Romaine lettuce, to serve
2 small red chilles, sliced thinly (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat vegetable oil in a large wok over medium high heat
2. Stir fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the red chilles (optional)
3. Add the duck strips and ginger powder, and stir fry until the meat is almost fully cooked. Add hoisin sauce and coat evenly.
4. Add green onions and water chestnuts and cook for about 2 minutes
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp sesame oil
6. Serve with fresh beansprouts and wrap in lettuce leaves

Duck With Beansprouts

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There was a great Chinese restaurant close to my apartment back when I was still in college. I always ordered their Duck with Beansprouts dish, which was one of their specialties. I miss that place so much, especially since there's no Chinese restaurant where I live now that's even half as good. I decided to put together some ingredients to imitate this dish and it surprisingly turned out really well! It tastes close to the dish that I've always loved and have been thinking about so much lately. So yay!! It is easy too. I can't believe I never thought about making it myself before.

I bought a small whole duckling but only used half for this dish and used the rest to make a different variety: Duck in lettuce wraps. I'll post the recipe next.



DUCK WITH BEANSPROUTS RECIPE:

1/2 small duckling, remove the bones and cut the meat into bite-size strips
1 bunch green onions, cut into 1-inch length
2 cups fresh beansprouts
1/2 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp ginger powder
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small red chilles, sliced thinly (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat vegetable oil in a large wok over medium high heat
2. Stir fry the garlic until fragrant. Add the red chilles (optional)
3. Add the duck strips and ginger powder, and stir fry until the meat is almost fully cooked. Add hoisin sauce and coat evenly.
4. Add green onions and beansprouts and cook until the vegetables are soft
5. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1 tbsp sesame oil
6. Serve hot over rice

Pecel

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It's been a while since my last post. Between me getting sick and doing a lot of traveling lately, I have not had time to cook much lately. I was looking for something easy to fix and decided to make this Pecel dish last week. Pecel is a traditional Indonesian cuisine, which is similar to the famous Indonesian Gado-gado salad. It is basically cooked vegetables served with rice and spicy peanut sauce. I chose to take a shortcut and use a store-bought instant peanut sauce. Not bad!



Pecel Sauce - Instant Peanut Salad Dressing


Sizzling Steak or Chicken Fajitas

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I love fajitas! When I stumbled across this recipe, I thought it looked easy enough I decided to give it a try. It really was easy! I don't have a fajita skillet so I just used a regular skillet, and it still turned out delicious! Serve with Spanish rice, refried beans, and a glass of margarita and you are fiesta-ready! (This recipe can also make Chicken Fajitas)



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 25 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

1 tbsp vegetable oil
2 small red or green bell peppers, cut into strips
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 lb extra lean beef sirloin steak or boneless skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-in strips
1 1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup bottled chunky salsa
4 (6 in) flour tortillas, warmed
Light sourcream, chopped fresh cilantro, and lime wedges (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat
2. Add bell peppers, onion, and garlic. Cook, stirring occassionally for 5-6 mins or until onions are slightly golden and peppers are tender
3. Stir in beef or chicken, cumin, chili powder, and salt. Cook, stirring occassionally for 7-8 minutes or until meat is no longer pink.
4. Stir in salsa, heat through
5. Serve in tortillas, top with sourcream, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime juice.

Lamb Cupcakes

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I can't get enough of cupcakes lately. I guess I'm just having too much fun decorating them. What do you think of this lamb on the grass cupcake? She's so cute I could just eat her up! Wait, I already did!



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 1 baked cupcake, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- 2 chocolate chip for the eyes
- Pink star confetti/sprinkles for the tiny nose
- large marshmallows (cut into thin slices using kitchen scissors) for the ears
- mini marshmallows for the hair
- coconut flakes
- green food coloring

MAKING THE GRASS:
Place coconut flakes in a small zip lock bag and add a drop of green food coloring. Mix well.

Spring Cupcakes

2 comments
Nothing says Spring like blooming flowers and beautiful butterflies. These flower cupcake and butterfly cupcake are simply decorated with cut-up marshmallows, star confetti, and pretzel sticks.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
- 2 baked cupcakes, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- pink food coloring
- 1 chocolate chip
- star confetti/sprinkles
- large marshmallows
- 2 pretzel sticks

DIRECTIONS:
Using kitchen scissors, cut marshmallows into thin slices. Assemble as shown in picture.

Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls

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I love spring rolls and am glad to have found this step-by-step-video recipe at videojug.com (find the video embedded at the bottom of this post). They turned out to be really tasty and crispy! They go very well with my favorite Thai sweet chili dipping sauce and make a perfect afternoon snack or appetizer.



In case, you cannot view the video, you can find the text version of the recipe here.

Here's the video instructions:


Starters & Appetizers: How To Make Crispy Vegetable Spring Rolls

Blackforest Cupcakes

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Inspired by my previous Blackforest Cake, I decided to create its mini version and make these blackforest cupcakes. It was super easy to decorate and so yum!



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:
Baked chocolate cupcakes (see my chocolate cupcake recipe)
White frosting
Chocolate shavings (simply made using a chocolate bar and a vegetable peeler)
Cherries with stems, drained

DECORATING INSTRUCTIONS:
Frost the cupcakes with the white frosting. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and add a cherry on top.

It's that simple, I told you! :D

Easy Black Forest Cake

0 comments
First of all, please pardon the sloppiness of this cake. I was too impatient waiting for the cake to cool before decorating it and I did not completely drain the cherries before using them. So as you can see in the picture, I had to pay the price! Sloppiness aside, the cake was very yummy and was very easy to make as I used chocolate cake mix, cherry pie filling, and canned frostings. I made it for my husband's birthday and everybody raved. The only tricky part, to me, is making the chocolate curls, which I had never done before. But it was worth it, the curls made the cake instantly fancier, don't they?



1 pkg (18oz) German chocolate cake mix
1 cup strong brewed coffee, (cooled to room temperature)
1/2 can cherry pie filling
2 tbsp Kirch liquor
1 can (12 oz) fluffy white frosting
1 can (12 oz) chocolate frosting
1 jar cherries with stems, drain and tap dry with paper towels
1 dark chocolate bar
chocolate curls to garnish, optional (see video instructions at the bottom of this post)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Bake the chocolate cake according to the box instructions, replacing the water with strong brewed coffee, to make two 9-inch round cakes. Cool thoroughly!
2. Using a vegetable peeler, start shaving the chocolate bar to make the chocolate shavings. Set aside in a small bowl to be used later.
3. Place one cake layer on a cake plate and brush the top with Kirsch liquor.
4. Top with a layer of chocolate frosting, then with the cherry pie filling
5. Top with the second cake layer. Brush the top with Kirsch liquor.
6. Spread the side of the cake with chocolate frosting and the top of the cake with white frosting.
7. Sprinkle chocolate shavings around the side of the cake and on the top of the cake
8. Using the star tip, pipe white frosting around the edge of the cake and place the cherries on top.
9. Garnish with chocolate curls.

HOW TO MAKE CHOCOLATE CURLS:


Chocolate Chip Cookies

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I love making chocolate chip cookies from scratch, but I stock refrigerated cookie dough in my fridge in case I have a sweet emergency and don't feel like baking. I love the Nestle brand refrigerated cookie dough. It only takes 10 minutes to bake, and they always turn out well! My husband and I are big fans of walnuts so I always add extra chunks of walnuts to it.



I bought the jumbo tub of this dough at Costco the other day and now I can't stop making them.

Burger Cupcakes

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This burger cupcake looks like the real thing, doesn't it? They make a great dessert to any cookout or outdoor party. Scroll down to see the decorating instructions.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED: (to make 1 cupcake)

- 2 Vanilla cookies
- 1 chocolate covered cookie (I used a thin mint cookie)
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- 1 baked cupcake, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- red food coloring (or red icing)
- yellow food coloring (or yellow icing)
- green food coloring
- coconut flakes
- a zip lock bag
- dash of maple syrup or light colored decorating gel
- sesame seeds

DIRECTIONS:

1. Frost the cupcake with white frosting
2. Place a small amount of frosting in a small bowl and add red food coloring to make a red frosting mix (you can also use store-bought-red icing and skip this step). Repeat this step to make the yellow frosting (or you can use yellow icing)
3. Place some coconut flakes in a small zip lock bag and add a drop of green food coloring. Close the bag and shake well to mix and green-up the flakes.

ASSEMBLING THE CUPCAKE:

1. Place a vanilla cookie on the cupcake, top with a chocolate-covered-cookie (using a little bit of frosting to glue them together)
2. Place the green coconut flakes on top to resemble the lettuce
3. Place a small amount of red and yellow icing/frosting to resemble the ketchup and mustard
4. Place the second vanilla cookie on top
5. Brush the top of the vanilla cookie with the syrup or decorating gel and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Corn On The Cob Cupcakes

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Grilled corn on the cobs are delicious! But these corn-on-the-cob cupcakes are even sweeter! Scroll down to see how easy it is to make them.



WHAT YOU'LL NEED:

- Yellow and white jelly beans (I used the pina colada flavor for the yellows, and coconut flavor for the whites, which makes a great tropical-flavor combination!)
- White frosting (I used Betty Crocker's fluffy white frosting)
- 3 baked cupcakes, see my chocolate cupcake recipe
- 1 pretzel stick, cut in halves
- Optional: you can also add a yellow starburst candy and place it on the top of the corn to represent a piece of butter (I unfortunately didn't have one in my pantry or I would have done it)

DIRECTIONS:

1. Frost the cupcakes with white frosting
2. Arrange yellow and white jelly beans as shown in the picture
3. Arrange the 3 cupcakes as shown and attach 2 pretzel stick halves on the side of the third cupcake

Summer Cookout Cupcakes

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After a long, cold winter, I was so excited about the first 80-degree-Saturday of the year! I wanted to celebrate with a cookout-themed-cupcakes. These corn-on-the-cob-cupcakes and burger-cupcakes are so fun and easy to do. And the best thing is: No grilling necessary! I'll tell you how to make these in the next couple of posts. Stay tuned!



Thanks for the mention!

0 comments
Special thanks to Bakerella for featuring my Easter bunnies cupcake pops photo in her Wowzers post. Thank you Bakerella!

Find Me On Facebook!

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MommyIsNotAChef is now on Facebook. Please feel free to befriend me there!

If you're on Facebook, come visit my new page and say hello: MommyIsNotAChef Facebook Page. I would love to know more about you. Feel free to message me or share your recipes with me! You know how much I love food, :D



Easy Chicken Pot Pie

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I have two toddlers in the house. Need I emphasize how much I love semi-homemade cooking? This chicken pot pie is made with Betty Crocker's Bisquick mix. I actually got this recipe straight from the back side of the box. It's very easy and tasty! My kids love it and even eat all the vegetables.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 30 minutes
SERVINGS: 6

1 lb frozen mixed vegetables, thawed and drained
1 cup diced cooked chicken
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup
1 cup Original Bisquick mix
1/2 cup milk
1 egg

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat oven to 400F.
2. In ungreased 2-qt casserole dish, mix vegetables, chicken, and soup until blended.
3. Stir the remaining ingredients in a medium bowl with wire whisk or fork until blended. Pour over chicken mixture
4. Bake uncovered about 30 mins or until the crust is golden brown

Banana Walnut Bread

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I love it when I have these extra ripe bananas on my kitchen counter that look too hideous too eat. That just means I have an excuse to make or bake something out of them. I think the extra ripe bananas have just the perfect amount of sweetness to make banana bread, banana muffins, or banana fritters. This time I chose to make banana bread with extra chunks of walnuts (which is my husband's favorite).



PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 1 hour 15 minutes
SERVINGS: 1 loaf

3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cream sugar and butter
2. Add eggs, flour, baking soda, and bananas. Combine well
3. Stir in the walnuts
4. Grease or spray a loaf pan and pour batter into it
5. Bake at 325F for 1 hour 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean.



Delicious Ham and Potato Soup

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This ham and potato soup is so tasty and is one of my favorite comfort food on a cold rainy day like today. A friend of mine came over for lunch today and I served this soup with my favorite tuna melt sandwich. It made a simple and delicious lunch.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes

4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1/3 cup celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onions
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp flour
2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine potatoes, celery, onion, ham, and water in a stock pot
2. Bring to boil, and cook at medium heat until potatoes are tender (10-15 mins)
3. Add salt, chicken bouillon, and pepper
4. In a separate sauce pan, melt butter over medium low heat. Whisk in flour. Cook and stir constantly for about 1 minute. Slowly stir in the milk to prevent lumps. Continue stirring until it thickens (about 10 minutes).
5. Stir in the milk mixture into the stockpot and cook the soup until heated through (about 20 minutes).
6. Serve hot.

Simple Tuna Melt Sandwich

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Need a simple lunch idea? Try this simple tuna melt sandwich recipe. I had a friend came over for lunch today and served this tuna melt sandwich with this delicious ham and potato soup.



PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 3 minutes
SERVINGS: makes 4 sandwich

12 oz can solid white tuna in water, drained
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup finely chopped celery
1 tbsp finely chopped onions
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
1 tbsp finely chopped parsley
8 slices tomatoes
4 slices Swiss/Cheddar cheese
4 slices rye bread (or your favorite bread)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl, mix tuna, mayo, celery, onion, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper.
2. Preheat the oven broiler
3. Place bread on a baking sheet, and broil for 1 minute until lightly toasted
4. Remove bread from oven and spread with the tuna salad
5. Place 2 tomato slices on each piece of bread and top with a slice of cheese
6. Return sandwiches to the preheated oven and broil for 1-2 minutes until the cheese is melted (watch closely to avoid overheating)

Barbecued Roast Pork

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This barbecued roast pork is my husband's specialty. Yes, my husband cooks. That's what made me fall in love with him actually. I find men who can cook very attractive, and... the best thing is: they can back me up when I don't feel like cooking, :D.

This is another semi-homemade cooking that never fails! The cooking time is a little long (about 1 hour) but the only ingredients you need are pork shoulders (or boneless pork tenderloins) and this Lee Kum Kee brand Chinese barbecue sauce. Keep reading for his secret technique on keeping this dish very tasty and moist.



DIRECTIONS:
1. Cut the pork into long strips (about 1x2x5 in.)
2. In a large bowl, marinate the meat generously with the Chinese bbq sauce
3. Transfer the meat mixture into a ziplock bag and refrigerate for at least 2 hours to allow for flavor absorption
4. Preheat oven to 350F
5. Arrange the pork slices on a roasting pan and pour the remainder of the marinating liquid on top of the pork
6. Bake for 15 minutes
7. Take the meat out of the oven and brush the surface with more sauce then return to oven
8. Repeat step 6 and 7 three more times until the meat is fully cooked
9. Slice thinly and serve immediately over steam rice or fried noodle

*Do not skip step 6 to 8, it is the secret that prevent the meat from drying out in the oven.

Chocolate Brownies With Walnuts

0 comments
It was raining outside and we were stuck inside the house. Watching the food channel on TV, my husband and I suddenly had a craving for something sweet. I saw a box of Duncan Hines brownie mix in my pantry and decided to make it. I love the Duncan Hines brand because it's not overly sweet. It literally only took me 5 minutes to prepare before throwing it in the oven. And less than an hour later, voila! It was ready to serve with chocolate fudge and our favorite Haagen Daaz coffee ice cream. Yummm!!!





Easter Bunnies and Chicken Cupcake Pops

2 comments
I am a big fan of the Bakerella blog, especially of her brilliant cupcake pops creations. After seeing the irresistable Spring cupcake pops featured on her blog recently, I decided to give them a try for this year's Easter treats while modifying her instructions slightly because I don't have the ingredients that she used, like the pastel color candy corns. So I just used a cookie cutter to make the bunny shapes then drew the faces with an edible pen and used a flower confetti for the nose. I also attempted to make the Spring Chicken pops but I realized at the last minute that I forgot to buy yellow candy melts and I had no yellow food coloring. Oh well, I made those chickens anyway, :D. They don't look nearly as pretty as the ones made by Bakerella but I had so much fun making them.





For complete instructions on how to make these cupcake pops, please visit the Bakerella blog and don't forget to check out her brilliant bunnies and spring chickens.

Indonesian Nasi Tumpeng

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Tumpeng is rice cooked with turmeric and coconut milk, presented in a shape of a cone, and surrounded with assorted Indonesian dishes. It is usually served in ceremonies and celebrations of special occassions. We had some friends over to celebrate my husband's birthday this year and I decided to make this dish that is always a crowd pleaser.



This tumpeng is served with beef rendang, barbecued spicy chicken, fried noodle, shredded omelets, beef perkedel (beef potato cakes), and garnished with cucumber slices.

See how I made the yellow rice and beef rendang.



TO MAKE THE BEEF PERKEDEL (BEEF POTATO CAKES):

5 medium potatoes, cut into wedges
1 lb ground beef
3 eggs, separate the yolk and egg whites into 2 different bowls
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tbsp sugar
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 shallots, minced

DIRECTIONS:
1. Fry the potato wedges in a large wok or using a deep fryer.
2. Once cooked, place on paper towels and tap dry.
3. Move potatoes into a large bowl and mash them with egg yolks
4. In a separate bowl, mix ground beef with nutmeg, garlic, shallot, sugar, salt, and pepper.
5. Pour the beef mixture into the potato mixture and combine well.
6. Shape into small patties
7. Fry until cooked and golden brown



TO MAKE THE BARBECUED SPICY CHICKEN:

6 leg quarters, cut into legs and thighs,
5 tbsp tamarind juice
3 tbsp hoisin sauce
1 tsp ginger powder
6 cloves garlic, minced
5 tbsp Indonesian sweet soy sauce
salt and sugar to taste
margarine

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine chicken pieces with tamarind, ginger, hoisin sauce, salt, sugar, soy sauce, and garlic. Mix well. Marinate for at least 2 hours in the refrigerator.
2. Arrange marinated chicken pieces on a baking dish, making sure the dish is large enough to place the pieces in 1 layer. Pour the remainder of marinating liquid on top.
3. Brush the chicken with margarine and bake at 350F for 40 minutes.
4. Take the dish out from the oven, flip the chicken pieces over, brush with margarine and bake for an additional 40 minutes.
5. Serve hot

Steamed Pork With Egg

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This dish is made with very strong spices, you'll either love it or can't stand it. Everyone in our house loves it though. I especially love it because it is so easy to make. A little warning: it is a salty dish.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 40-45 minutes
SERVES: 6

1 lb ground pork
4 eggs, beaten
3 tbsp chinese five spice powder
1 tbsp salt
4 tbsp preserved cabbage

DIRECTIONS:
1. Combine pork, five spice powder, salt, and preserved cabbage in a bowl
2. Add the beaten eggs and mix well
3. Steam for 40-45 minutes, or until cooked

Korean Spicy Cabbage Soup (Kimchi Chigae)

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We can't get enough of spicy food in this house. This Korean spicy cabbage soup is a perfect spicy food fix, especially on a cold winter day. And, just like everything else posted on this blog, is so easy to make.



PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: 45 minutes
SERVINGS: 6

1 tsp peanut oil
1/2 lb pork shoulder, cut into small cubes
4 medium scallions, cut into 1 inch lengths
4 cups water
1/2 lb. hot cabbage kimchi, coarsely chopped
2 tsp sesame oil
salt to taste
cut up tofu (optional)
2 tbsp korean hot sauce (or to taste)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat peanut oil in a sauce pan. Brown the pork cubes in it
2. Add water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the pork is tender
3. Add scallions, kimchi, and tofu (if desired)
4. Raise heat to medium high and boil for 5 minutes
5. Add sesame oil, salt, and korean hot sauce to taste
6. Serve hot with steam rice

Beef Rendang with Yellow Rice

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Rendang is a popular, authentic Indonesian cuisine, which has also been a big influence in Malaysian, Singapore, and Thai cuisines. It is often described as a curry but the authentic rendang is, in my opinion, much more flavorful than a curry. I think it is best served with Yellow rice (rice cooked with turmeric, coconut milk, coriander, and lemon grass). More things you can serve it with: shredded omelets, sliced cucumbers, fried onions, and hot sauce (optional).



I have trouble finding the ingredients to make rendang in the US, but I'm glad to see a packaged Rendang seasoning at the local Asian grocery. They also carry a package seasoning for Yellow rice, which makes it even more easier for me.

The key to making a good beef rendang is slow cooking or simmering, making the beef extra tender and more tasty. If you love spicy food, you can also add jalapeno peppers while cooking the rendang.

I once brought this Beef rendang with yellow rice to a potluck, where noone had ever had rendang before, and everyone raved!

Here are the package seasonings I got, may a photo will help you find them easier. I always spend too much time at the Asian grocery since not everything is labeled in English.


Banana Fritters

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These delicious banana fritters are always a hit when it comes to dessert. They are so easy to prepare and cook. The key thing is to use RIPE bananas for a natural and delightful sweet taste.



PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 10-15 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

1 1/4 cup flour
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1/4 tbsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk
1 egg
2 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp rum flavoring
4 ripe bananas, sliced
vegetable oil for frying
powdered sugar or chocolate fudge to garnish

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat the deep fryer to 375F (You can also use a deep-frying pan filled with vegetable oil)
2. Beat egg in a large bowl. Add flour, granulated sugar, vanilla, milk, melted butter, and rum. Combine well.
2. Fold in banana slices gently
3. Fry until golden brown and crispy (about 10-15 minutes)
4. Drain on paper towel
5. Garnish with powdered sugar or chocolate fudge. Serve hot.

Spanglish World's Greatest Sandwich

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I saw the movie "Spanglish" a few years ago, where Adam Sandler played a chef who makes this world's greatest sandwich (as he calls it) as a midnight snack. The sandwich was so mouthwatering I couldn't wait to get out of the movie theater and go to the nearest deli. I recently got to see it again on DVD and found the recipe in the 'extra features' and got so excited making it. It's a pretty heavy sandwich but it is indeed the world's greatest sandwich!



SPANGLISH "WORLD'S GREATEST SANDWICH"

SERVINGS: 2

6 to 8 slices of bacon
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese
4 slices rustic country loaf (or your favorite bread!), toasted
2 tbsp mayonnaise
8 slices tomatoes
4 leaves lettuce
2 tsp butter
2 eggs

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towel
2. Take two slices of bread that's already toasted, put two slices of cheese on each bread, and place in a toaster oven to melt the cheese
3. Spread the other slices of bread with mayo.
4. Top with cooked bacon, tomatoes, and lettuce
5. In a nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium heat
6. Fry the eggs, turn over briefly when the bottom is set (do not overcooked! the yolk should still be runny)
7. Slide the finished egg on top of the lettuce. Top with the other slice of bread with the melted cheese side down
8. Place sandwich on a plate. Slice in half, letting the yolk run down the sandwich

Egg Drop Soup With Chicken and Corn

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If you like the egg drop soup you get at a Chinese restaurant as a side to your lunch combo, you're going to go wild over this one. This is what Egg Drop Soup is supposed to be. Not just egg in water with a little cornstarch to thicken it up, but a soup with content that you can actually chew with your teeth. It's super easy to make and is very light and good!



EGG DROP SOUP WITH CHICKEN AND CORN

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 15-20 minutes
SERVINGS: 6-8

1 (14.75 oz can) Del Monte Whole Kernel Corn (do not drain!)
1 (14.75 oz can) Del Monte Cream Style Corn
1 large chicken breast fillet, cut into small cubes
2 large eggs
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp garlic powder
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp water (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Put water in a saucepan and bring to boil
2. Add cut up chicken and cook until no longer pink
3. Add whole kernel corn (do not drain!) and cream style corn. Combine well.
4. Bring back to boil and reduce heat to Medium High
5. Beat 2 eggs in a small bowl
6. Very slowly, pour egg into the soup while stirring constantly in one direction (this will help achieve the string egg drop effect)
7. Keep stirring in the same direction until the egg is cooked
8. Season with salt, pepper, garlic, and nutmeg
9. Thicken with corn starch (optional)

Easy Spaghetti With Meatballs

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This Spaghetti with Meatballs dish never fails to please and is the easiest thing to make! It's what I often turn to when deciding to eat in at the last minute.



PREP TIME: 0 minutes
COOKING TIME: 20 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

Frozen meatballs (about 30 pieces)
3 cups PREGO Italian Sauce
Spaghetti or Thin Spaghetti
Dried or fresh parsley to garnish

DIRECTIONS:
1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions
2. While spaghetti is cooking, cook frozen meatballs in a sauce pan over medium high heat (no need to defrost) until meatballs are completely defrosted in pan (about 5 minutes)
3. Add PREGO sauce and stir to coat meatballs evenly. Reduce heat, cover, and cook on LOW heat for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occassionally
4. Remove from heat and toss with pasta
5. Garnish with dried or fresh parsley

Deliciously Easy Blueberry Cheesecake

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This delicious cheesecake was literally prepared in 10 minutes! I used Graham Cracker Crust, which saved me from the tedious process of chopping up crackers and packing it up tightly at the bottom of the dish. Although it is ready to serve after 3 hours of refrigeration, I think it tastes better after being refrigerated overnight. So plan ahead when having company over for dinner.



BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE

PREP TIME: 10 minutes
COOKING TIME: OVERNIGHT
SERVINGS: 8-10

1 Graham cracker crust (with 2 extra servings)
2 (8 oz package) cream cheese, softened in microwave 15-20 seconds
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 tbsp lemon juice

DIRECTIONS:
1. Beat cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy
2. Add sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice. Combine
3. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just combined after each addition
4. Place crust on a baking sheet. Pour cheese mixture into crust
5. Bake at 350F for 30 minutes until the center is almost set
6. Cool on wire rack for 1 hour
7. Spread pie filling over cheesecake
8. Refrigerate at least 3 hours (or overnight for best results)

Less Greasy Baked Steak Fries

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Looking for a less greasy alternative to french fries? Try these Baked Steak Fries. I don't like deep-frying food in the winter because our house would end up smelling like frying oil all day (I usually fry stuff outside on my patio when the weather is nice). That's why I'm glad to learn from the newspaper that I could bake steak fries that are just as good (and healthier!) as a side dish.



BAKED STEAK FRIES

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 35-40 minutes
SERVINGS: 4

2 large potatoes
2 tbsp Mrs Dash Salt Free Seasoning Blend
1 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced

DIRECTIONS:
1. Wash and cut potatoes into wedges, do not peel skin. Dry on paper towels
2. Preheat oven to 425F
3. In a large bowl, toss potatoes with Mrs Dash Seasoning Blend, olive oil, and garlic
4. Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray and lay wedges on baking sheet
5. Bake potatoes for 20 mins. Turn the potatoes and bake another 15-20 minutes until they are browned and tender

Fun Animal Pancakes

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What do little kids love more than pancakes? FUN pancakes!!! There are lots of ways to make their breakfast a little cuter. I made these animal pancakes last Sunday, and even though my babies cannot speak full sentences yet, I could see the excitement in their eyes. I'll show you how to do them below, they're very easy and fun! You can also use cookie cutters to easily cut pancakes into fun shapes (hearts, stars, butterflies, and so on)



See how I made the Pancake Dough using the Bisquick mix.

PIGGY PANCAKES:

1. Onto a preheated griddle (375F), drop 1/4 cup of dough for the face, 1/8 cup for the snout, and 1/8 cup for the ears (the last will be halved to make two ears)
2. Cook for 1 minute or until edges are dry and turn until golden
3. Place the face on the bottom of plate
4. For the snout, poke 2 holes to make the nostrils using the end handle of a wooden spoon
5. Cut the ear piece into two parts for the piggy ears
6. Use chocolate chips or fresh blueberries for the eyes

LADYBUG PANCAKES:

1. Onto a preheated griddle (375F), drop slightly less than 1/4 cup of dough for the body, 1/8 cup for the head, and slightly less than 1/4 cup for the wings (the last will be halved to make two wings)
2. Cook for 1 minute or until edges are dry and turn until golden
3. Place the body piece on the bottom of plate
4. Halve the head piece for the head (we'll only use one half) and place two chocolate chips or fresh blueberries as the eyes
5. Cut the wing piece into two parts to make the wings and assemble as shown in the picture
6. Use chocolate chips or fresh blueberries to dot the wings
7. Use pink decorating gel to paint the antennas on the plate

SCORPION PANCAKES:
(My husband actually made this one)

1. Onto a preheated griddle (375F), drop about 1/2 tbsp of dough into an oval shape to make the legs (repeat to make 8 legs), 1/8 cup into an oval shape for the body, and less than 1/8 cup into a "J" shape for the tail
2. Cook for 1 minute or until edges are dry and turn until golden
3. Place the body piece on the bottom of plate and place two chocolate chips or fresh blueberries as the eyes
4. Assemble the legs and tail as shown in the picture

BUTTERFLY PANCAKES:

1. Onto a preheated griddle (375F), drop slightly less than 1/4 cup of dough (repeat to make 4 circles for the wings), drop 1/8 cup into an oval shape for the body (mine wasn't long enough in the picture so I used two pieces to lengthen it), and drop about 1 tbsp of dough to make the head
2. Cook for 1 minute or until edges are dry and turn until golden
3. Assemble the pieces as shown in the picture and use two chocolate chips for the eyes
4.Use pink decorating gel to paint the antennas on the plate and to decorate the body with stripes

Blueberry Pancakes

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I used Betty Crocker Bisquick Mix to make these pancakes. It cannot be easier!



2 cups Original Bisquick® mix
1 cup milk
2 eggs
Fresh blueberries (I used Blueberry pie filling in the photo because I didn't have fresh blueberries in the fridge, it worked!)
syrup (optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. Heat griddle or skillet over medium-high heat or to 375°F.
2. In medium bowl, stir Bisquick mix, milk and eggs until blended.
3. Oil the griddle slightly. Pour slightly less than 1/4 cup batter onto hot oiled griddle.
4. Cook until edges are dry. Turn and cook until golden
5. Serve with blueberries or syrup (optional)

Grapes Cupcakes

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See my Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

DECORATING:
- Purple spice drops (to make the clusters)
- Green gummy bears (for the leaves)

DIRECTIONS:
Frost the cupcakes with purple frosting and decorate as shown in picture

More cupcake decorating ideas:
- Frogs Cupcakes
- Popcorn Cupcakes
- Christmas Cupcakes
- Classic Sprinkles Cupcakes

Christmas Cupcakes

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See my Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

DECORATING:

- Fruit Rollups (red, blue, or any color)
- Large marshmallows
- Pretzel sticks
- Blue crystal sugar
- 1 jar Fluffy White frosting
- Red and Green M&M's
- chocolate sprinkle

DIRECTIONS

To assemble the snowman:
1. Cut a large marshmallow in half
2. Take one whole large marshmallow and place the marshmallow half on top of it (use the sticky side from the cutting to attach the two marshmallows)
3. Cut a red fruit rollup into a small square piece and fold it to make a triangle (for the nose)
4. Take 5 pieces of chocolate sprinkles, use two for the eyes and three for the buttons
5. Cut colorful fruit rollups to make the scarves and place it around the snowman's neck
6. Break a pretzel stick in half and attach them on each side of the body to make the arms
7. Frost the cooked cupcakes with white frosting and sprinkle with blue crystal sugar
8. Place the snowmen on top of the cupcakes

For the wreath:
Simply arrange red and green M&Ms as shown in picture

More cupcake decorating ideas:
- Frogs Cupcakes
- Popcorn Cupcakes
- Grapes Cupcakes
- Classic Sprinkles Cupcakes

Frog Cupcakes

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VANILLA CUPCAKES WITH WHITE CHOCOLATE

PREP TIME: 15 minutes
COOKING TIME: 30 minutes
SERVINGS: makes about 30 cupcakes

1 pkg (18.25 oz) white cake mix
1 pkg (4 oz) choc vanilla pudding mix
8 oz sour cream
4 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups semi sweet white chocolate chips
2 containers (16 oz each) prepared frosting
green food coloring
orange gum drops

DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Paper line 30 muffin cups
2. In a large mixer bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, eggs, oil, and water. Beat on low speed until just combined. Then beat on high speed for +/-2 mins.
3. Stir in the chocolate chips
4. Pour mixture into muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full
5. Bake for 25 to 28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
6. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes then remove to wire racks to cool completely
7. Frost and decorate

Prefer chocolate cupcakes? See my Chocolate Cupcake Recipe

More cupcake decorating ideas:
- Popcorn Cupcakes
- Christmas Cupcakes
- Grapes Cupcakes
- Classic Sprinkles Cupcakes

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