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

Slow Cooked Pot Roast

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SLOW COOKED POT ROAST

PREP TIME: 5 minutes
COOKING TIME: 4-8 hours
SERVINGS: 8

3 lbs pot roast
1 oz package dry onion soup mix
10.75 oz can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup water

DIRECTIONS:
1. In a slow cooker, mix cream of mushroom soup, dry onion soup mix, and water.
2. Place pot roast in slow cooker and coat with the soup mixture
3. Cook on HIGH setting for 4 hours or on LOW setting for 8 hours

(Serve with cooked carrots and potatoes)

Semi Homemade Cooking

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Cooking from scratch can be fun, but when I'm pushed on time, semi-homemade cooking(aka the ones using store-bought mixes) always save the day. From Bisquick, Ready Crusts, to cookie and brownie mixes, they save me time and more often than not, they taste just like if they were made from scratch. Here are some of my favorite dishes that are made from prepared mixes from the stores:


Desserts

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- Extra Moist Extra Chocolate Cupcakes
  Extra cheesy omelet with sausage prepared in minutes
- Grapes Cupcakes
  Cute and easy grapes cupcakes
- Popcorn Cupcakes
  Not made with real popcorn, don't worry about it getting soggy!
- Christmas Cupcakes / Snowman Cupcakes
  Snowman and wreath cupcakes make a perfect Christmas treat
- Tropical Beach Cupcakes
  This cupcake cakes with cute little bears in their swimsuits, towels, and beach balls will be a big hit at your luau/pool party
- Frog Cupcakes
  These little froggies are irresistable
- Easy Black Forest Cake
  See how you can easily add chocolate curls and make your cake instantly fancy
- Blueberry Cheesecake
  Delicious cheesecake has never been easier to make!
- Chocolate Fondue
  This chocolate fondue will keep you dipping more and more...
- Tropical Fruit Salad
  Fresh and yummy treat on a hot Summer day!
- Banana Fritters
  Deep fried bananas covered in powdered sugar, need I say more?
- Chocolate Rum Balls
  These little chocolate treats will keep you back for more
- Easter Bunnies Cupcake Pops / Little Tweets Cupcake Pops
  Cupcakes on a stick for a great Easter/Spring treat
- Chocolate Chip Cookies with Walnuts
  Don't tell anyone, but I made these with refrigerated cookie mix
- Banana Walnut Bread
  Moist, sweet, and delicious banana bread with chunks of walnuts
- Chocolate Brownie with Extra Chunks of Walnuts
  The best brownie from the box
- Blackforest Cupcakes
  Moist, sweet, and delicious banana bread with chunks of walnuts
- Summer Cookout Cupcakes
  Corn-on-the-cob and burger cupcakes, perfect for any cookout
- Lamb Cupcakes
  This lamb on the grass is too cute!
- Spring Cupcakes
  Welcome Spring with these easy cupcakes
- Cherry Cola Chocolate Cake
  Who knew a little bit of cola could make such a big difference?
- Strawberry Banana Crepes with Chocolate Fudge
  The name alone makes your mouth watery, doesn't it?

Mexican

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- Steak or Chicken Fajitas
  Extremely delicious fajitaa, can be made with steak or chicken
- Seven Layer Dip
  Has everything from spicy bean, sourcream, avocadoes, salsa, cheese, tomotoes, and black olives. Yum!
- Shrimp Enchilada Verde
  A Mexican-style shrimp lasagna
- Taco Salad
  The best taco salad recipe ever!

Asian

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- Moist Barbecue Roast Pork / Char Siu Pork
  Made with chinese bbq sauce, see my secret to keep it moist
- Indonesian Nasi Tumpeng
  Authentic Indonesian dish usually served on special occassions
- Beef Rendang with Yellow Rice
  Strong and authentic flavor you can't never have enough of
- Beef Perkedel/Beef Potato Cakes
  A perfect dish to complement Indonesian Nasi Tumpeng
- Blackened Barbecued Spicy Chicken
  Serve by itself or as a complement to Indonesian Nasi Tumpeng
- Stir Fried Sesame Beef
  Asian inspired stir fried beef with sesame seeds
- Pineapple Fried Rice
  Fried rice served on pineapple halves is sure to wow everyone
- Coca Cola Ribs
  Tender ribs with such strong flavors you won't stop licking your fingers, :D
- Steamed Pork with Egg
  Made with the powerful Chinese five spice powder
- Kimchi Chigae/Korean's Spicy Cabbage Soup
  Korean's signature kimchi soup you can make yourself at home
- Banana Fritters
  Deep fried bananas covered in powdered sugar, need I say more?
- Steamed Pork with Egg
  Made with the powerful Chinese five spice powder
- Chicken Corn Soup With Egg Drop
  Creamy, rich and delicious egg drop soup

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