Thursday, January 31, 2013

Pepper Steak Soup

I made a new soup last night. I found this recipe on the back of a box of Beef Kitchen Basics Stock. I did prepare the recipe in one pot starting with browning the beef and setting it aside, then adding the veggies to the pot. When the veggies were almost soft I set them aside and then prepared the broth. I returned everything to the pot to warm. The only addition I made was red pepper flakes to season the beef. It was a "fine" soup, but I feel it has the potential to be great. It does have big beef flavor, definitely like oriental pepper steak or a Philly steak with peppers and onions. I look forward to experimenting with this recipe in the future. It would be great with the addition of soy sauce and maybe cornstarch to thicken the broth. Or maybe a broiled topping of crusty bread and provolone cheese.  Just needs a little finesse. Very glad I found the recipe.

Pepper Steak Soup
Source: Kitchen Basics
Makes 4 Servings 


1 quart (4 cups) Unsalted Beef Stock
12 oz trimmed lean boneless beef top round
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 cup dry red wine (optional)
1/2 cup tomato sauce
1/4 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium sweet white onion, thinly sliced
2 green bell peppers, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tbsp water (or stock)
1-1/2 cups halved cherry tomatoes


Thinly slice the beef on the diagonal. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp of the salt and the black pepper. Set aside. In a large saucepan, stir together stock, wine (if using), tomato sauce, and thyme. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, warm the oil over medium-high heat until hot but not smoking. Add half the beef slices and cook, turning once, for 2 minutes, or until browned. Transfer to clean bowl. Cook the remaining beef.

Add the onion, bell peppers, garlic, and the remaining 1/4 tsp salt to the skillet. Toss to mix well and add 2 Tbsp of the water or stock. Lower the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are tender. If the pan gets dry, add the remaining 1 Tbsp water or stock. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring often for 5 minutes, or until softened. Add the beef and any juices and the vegetables to the broth mixture. Warm through but don’t boil.

Linking to:
Miz Helen's Country Cottage: Full Plate Thursday
My Turn For Us: Freedom Fridays

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry with Weekend Review

I just had a wonderful weekend surprise. My favorite person in the world (FPITW) was able to ride into town Friday with a friend and hang out with me all weekend. Not much cooking went on. Instead we had a great po-boy, our first crawfish of the year, and just lots of fun. 

We went to Kim's Seafood in Bossier City, LA. There, it is all about the bread. It has to be the best french bread in the area. We shared a Roast Beef Po-boy and a Catfish Po-boy. Both were delicious, but I think any Po-boy made on that bread is going to be great. 

We also went to Shaver's for crawfish. They were very good. It is early in the season and they are a little small and have a soft shell. But that makes them easy to peel. Shaver's does a great job with the seasoning and everyone is so friendly there. We always go back. 

So what did I cook this week? I did make a stir-fry mid week that I have not shared with you yet. So I will tell you all about it below. I also made a Thai meal for Mom, Dad and Sister Sunday night. I made Pork Noodle Salad and Chicken Basil Cashew again. That Pork Noodle Salad is addictive. I could make it again right now.

This Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry is also a great recipe. I borrowed the sauce from a Weight Watchers recipe for Kung Pao Shrimp. The original recipe called for rice wine. I did not have rice wine so I substituted marsala. In my opinion dry sherry, marsala and rice wine smell similar. It went together so fast and has a great balance of spicy, sweet and salty. I love the ginger too. If you are not a huge ginger fan you may want to use less. It makes a lot of sauce so you may want to make some rice to absorb the yummy sauce. Will definitely make this one again, after I do the Pork Noodle Salad yet again. LOL!!!

Chicken and Broccoli Stir-fry
Makes: 4 servings


3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup marsala wine
2 Tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp canola oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, sliced
3 scallions, sliced
2 Tbsp fresh ginger, minced or grated
2 garlic cloves, minced or grated
2 broccoli crowns, broken into florets
1 (8 oz) can bamboo shoots, drained


Combine the broth, marsala, soy sauce, honey, chili-garlic sauce, cornstarch and sesame oil in a bowl and set aside.

Heat a nonstick wok or a large deep skillet over medium-heat heat. Swirl in canola oil, then add chicken. Stir-fry until chicken in cooked on all sides; transfer to a plate. Add the scallions, ginger, and garlic; stir-fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broccoli florets and bamboo shoots; stir-fry until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Add the broth mixture and the chicken. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture boils and thickens, about 1 minute.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Carole's Chatter: Food on Fridays Stir-Fry

Monday, January 28, 2013

Liebster Blog Award

Liebster Blog Award Nomination

I was nominated for the Liebster Blog Award by Lynn @ Turnips 2 Tangerines. I was flattered that Lynn nominated me, and that she thought about my blog when she was nominated. I am happy to be able to nominate others for the Liebster Blog Award. I hope they will be as excited about the nomination as I am. What a great way to recognize new blogs and learn about our new blogging friends. Thank you Lynn!

I am rather new to blogging and just started following other bloggers. Many I follow are lucky to have more than 200 followers. So I am nominating three of my new blog friends. I hope to nominate more after I have been doing this longer.

The Liebster Award is given to up and coming bloggers (with less than 200 followers) in order to recognize them and let them know that they are appreciated and to spread the word about new blogs. It is a wonderful way of recognizing blogs and being recognized.

The Rules Are:

1. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
2. Answer the questions that the nominator set for you
3. Create 11 questions for the people you nominate
4. Choose 11 blogs with less than 200 followers and link them in your post.

Here Are The 11 Random Facts About Myself:

1. I collect Fiestaware.
2. I don't wear heels, very often.
3. I was in 4-H in grade school.
4. Almost all the books I read are cookbooks.
5. I can't whistle.
6. I like Sushi.
7. My wardrobe contains a lot of red, black and hot pink.
8. I was a camp counselor.
9. If I did not have onions, salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes; I would not be able to cook a thing.
10. Diet Coke is my coffee, well unless it is really cold.
11. I laugh everyday. 

The 11 Questions asked by Lynn:

1. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Greece

2. What food do you dislike? Not a fan of Bananas, I will eat them but not a go to food for me.

3. What is your favorite movie? A Walk in the Clouds. I would love to spend a month at a vineyard.

4. What is your favorite thing to eat? Soups of all kinds.

5. Do you have any tattoo's? No, but it is definitely art in my book.

6. Do you speak a foreign language? I took french, but I would not say I can speak it. I can recognize it.

7. Do you grow your own herbs or vegetables? Herbs. I have Rosemary and Oregano right now.

8. Who is/was the most influential person in your life? My mother, she is a very special person.

9. What can you do best? Sing or Dance? Right now I would say Sing. I took dance as a child but I do not dance often. I sing more often with family and friends.

10. What is your favorite smell? My spice cabinet.

11. Any regrets? Yes or No? Surprisingly...No? Maybe I am not thinking long enough?

Here Are the 11 Questions for My Nominees:

1. Where have you been? Your favorite travel destination?
2. What is your favorite herb?
3. What is your can't miss TV show?
4. What is your favorite vegetable?
5. Do you have any pets?
6. Sweet or Unsweet Tea?
7. What is your favorite Holiday?
8. Who is the person(famous, dead or living) you would most like to have over for dinner?
9. What kind of music do you enjoy?
10. What is your favorite taste? Sweet or Savory?
11. What is your favorite Season?

Here is a List of the 11 3 Blogs that I Nominated:

1. Sue @ House Pretty
2. Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile
3. Hilary @ Threaded Life

Alright Nominees! Don't forget to comment on this post with a link to your blog post!!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Gumbo Vert

Gumbo Vert (Verre) is the short name for this Gumbo. It should really be called "Lazy Cajun Daughter's Lowfat Gumbo Vert". Gumbo Vert is Green Gumbo in french. It has a traditional roux with lots of the trinity(celery, onion and bell pepper) then any and every dark leafy green you can think of. Our family always used turnip, collard, mustard, spinach and lettuce. If they had tops of beets or carrots then that would go in there too. My mom, and both Maw Maws; washed their greens, sliced the greens and par-boiled the greens for their Gumbo Vert. I cheat, I buy the frozen greens. Yes! That makes me the Lazy Cajun Daughter

In an effort to reduce the fat in the gumbo, I also use a dry fat free roux. You can buy this roux in jars at most grocery stores. It is an oven browned flour. You get that rich flavor without the fat. Now I can see you wrinkling your nose, thinking that is a lot of greens. But in this day and age when people put spinach in their fruit smoothies and eat kale as chips, in soup and salads don't you think you could give it a try. Greens are so good for you. This Gumbo Vert is savory and I think the flavors of the greens blend really well in the roux. I think I taste the spinach the most. Dad enjoys his over rice, Mom likes it as a soup, I think it is great any way you serve it.

I did buy a local andouille for this Gumbo. It came from Bergeron's. It was not the andouille I am use to from Jacob's in LaPlace, LA but it did have the same texture and great flavor. The best I have bought in Shreveport. It could have used a little less salt and more smoke. All that said, it was great in the Gumbo. I would buy it again if I didn't have Jacob's in the freezer.

Gumbo Vert (Lowfat)
Makes about 5 quarts

1 lb andouille sausage, sliced in quarters 

2 Tbsp olive oil 
2 large onions, diced 
1 green bell pepper, diced 
1 bunch celery, sliced 
1 cup dry fat free roux 
1 lb iceberg lettuce, shredded 
1 lb frozen turnip greens, semi defrosted 
1 lb frozen collard greens, semi defrosted 
1 lb frozen mustard greens, semi defrosted 
1 lb frozen spinach, semi defrosted 
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
Season to Taste* (Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and Cajun seasoning) 

Using a large pot. Cook andouille over medium heat until it starts to brown a bit. Remove from pot and set aside.

Add olive oil, pepper, celery, and onion to pot cook until veggies start to soften. Add roux and stir in well. You can add a little water if it begins to stick. Add lettuce to roux cook until it begins to wilt. Then add greens to pot one at a time
stirring to combine before you add the next bag. Add green onions and parsley, stir to combine. When all greens are in the pot add water to cover. Season to taste. Bring to a boil and simmer at least one hour. Puree with a stick blender or in batches in a blender. Add the andouille back to the pot. Simmer until the andouille is warm and flavors combine. Check once more for seasoning.

Serve over rice or as a puréed soup.

Makes about 20 - 1 cup servings 

* Season to your taste, the Greens will take a lot of seasoning I would say it depends on the andouille: I used about 2-1/4 tsp Salt, 1 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes, and 1 tsp Cajun seasoning. Add seasoning a little at a time. Taste after adding andouille and simmering a few minutes.

Roux with the first addition of greens
After adding water
Seasoning the Gumbo
Gumbo pureed adding the Andouille

Linking to:
Memories by the Mile: Tuesday Trivia - LOUISIANA and Link Party
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo

Friday, January 18, 2013

Refried Beans

Here is the way I jazz up can refried beans. They are just a little bit spicy from the additional Mexican spices and a little fresh from the addition of more onion. A great complement to the Chili Rellenos Tacos and White Mexican Rice.

Refried Beans
Servings: 8

1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 (15 oz) cans refried beans
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp oregano leaves
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot sauce
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 Tbsp pickled jalapeno slices, minced
Cilantro, for garnish

Spray a 1-1/2 quart round casserole with lid with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic, microwave on high covered for 1 minute. Add beans, jalapeno peppers, and seasonings and mix well. Microwave covered on high 1-1/2 minutes. Stir well and microwave another 1-1/2 minutes until heated through. Serve garnished with cilantro.

Chili Rellenos Taco Plate

Mexican White Rice

Taco Mania makes the best rice. It is white, no peas, carrots or tomatoes. Just white and packed with flavor. Here is my attempt at Mexican White Rice. My family has been making rice in the microwave for years. This recipe adapts easily to the microwave. I hope you enjoy it.

Mexican White Rice (Microwave)
Serves 8


Olive oil cooking spray
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups long grain white rice
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1 celery stalk, cut in half
1 jalapeno, pierced with a knife twice
1 stem cilantro, plus more for garnish


Spray a 2 quart round casserole with lid with cooking spray. Add onion and garlic, microwave on high covered for 1 minute. Remove from microwave and add all other ingredients, stir to combine. Place two layers of paper towel between casserole and lid, microwave on high for 7-1/2 minutes. Microwave another 22 minutes at 50% power. Remove pepper, celery and cilantro. Fluff with a fork, serve garnished with chopped cilantro.

Chili Rellenos Taco Plate

Chili Rellenos Tacos

I think I have already mentioned how much I like Taco Mania in Shreveport, Louisiana. It is so good! I love their Ceviche, Enchilada Suiza and Chili Rellenos Tacos. Today I met my parents over at my sister's to take the new off her new Weber Gas Grill. She got it for Christmas and I got to put it to good use. We re-created a Chili Rellenos Taco Dinner like you would get at Taco Mania. I made the Tacos, Mexican White Rice and Refried Beans. So good! I cooked both chicken and beef, that is how sister orders her plate, one of each. I marinated 1 lb of chicken breast and 1 lb of ribeye steak. I did not use all of the meat in the tacos. I brought a doggie bag home to the pug. She was very happy.

Chili Rellenos Tacos
Serves 4


4 poblano peppers
1-1/2 lb chicken or beef, marinated
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
8 small flour tortillas


Marinate or season meat of choice 30 minutes before ready to cook. Rub poblano peppers with a little olive oil. Poblanos should be left whole. Place meat and poblanos on the grill. Grill for five minutes on each side on medium high heat. Remove poblanos and cover with plastic wrap. Check meat for doneness and remove from grill. Let meat rest for 10 minutes. Lower the grill temperature to medium low. Peel off the skin of poblanos. Cut poblanos in half from stem to tip, remove seeds,stem and veins being careful not to split open the sides of the pepper. Place a flour tortilla on a sheet of aluminum foil, place a poblano half on top. Fill poblano with meat and cheese, fold tortilla around poblano and wrap in foil. Place foil wrapped peppers back on the grill. Grill until cheese is melted about 5 minutes. Serve.

Tips:     Poblanos peppers with straight stems are “usually” (not always) less spicy than peppers with curved or bent stems. Be sure to remove all seeds and veins to have a milder pepper.

            I marinate the meat in the marinade given below.





Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp chipotle puree
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 tsp sugar


Combine all ingredients with a whisk. Pour over meat and marinate 30 minutes or 4 hours. Will make enough to marinate 1-1/2 to 2 lbs of meat.

Linking to:
Carole's Chatter - Food on Fridays: Mexican Food
Taste and Tell Blog: Taste and Tell Thursdays
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
The Chicken Chick: Clever Chicks Blog Hop
Mondays with Countrified Hicks Blog Hop 
Anyonita Nibbles: Tasty Tuesdays

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Moussaka Soup

The first time I heard about Moussaka was a scene in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Toula was getting teased as a young girl for bringing Moussaka for her lunch. I had to try it after hearing it mentioned in the movie. I love Moussaka! It is ... like a Greek lasagna? Without pasta and loaded with eggplant and at my Greek restaurant zucchini and potato too. It also has a fluffy, creamy, cheesy topping that is so different. Try it if you haven't, it is delicious.

Well a few days ago I got the idea to adapt my Spicy Beef Vegetable Soup into a soup with Greek flavors. Moussaka has beef and vegetables and seemed the perfect candidate to turn into a soup. This soup is loaded with roasted veggies and Greek flavor. I substituted roasted eggplant, zucchini, squash and red bell pepper for the mixed veggies. I also for went the pasta sauce for can tomatoes I could spice with Greek flavors. The spices are what make this so different. Usually cinnamon, allspice and cloves are used for baking. Here they are what makes the soup reminiscent of Moussaka. Without them this soup would be more Italian than Greek. The topping is also a important touch; it is the perfect creamy, cheesy garnish for this soup. Maybe Toula could have avoided the teasing if she could have said she just had soup for lunch.

Again my dear sister is keeping my blog stylish.
Thanks for the new place mats Sis!

Moussaka Soup
Yield: 6 servings


1 eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 zucchini, chopped
1 yellow squash, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Olive oil cooking spray
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp basil
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 medium potato, chopped
4 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp brown sugar

1 Tbsp light butter
1 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1 cup skim milk
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese(plus more for garnish)
1/4 tsp salt
1/16 tsp nutmeg


Preheat oven to 425º. In a large bowl combine the eggplant, zucchini, squash, red bell pepper and olive oil. Toss to coat vegetables with oil. Transfer to a large baking pan coated with cooking spray. Season with salt, black pepper and a little red pepper flake. Bake for 20 minutes.

Heat a large pot(at least 3-1/2 quarts) over medium-high heat. Add beef and cook over medium high heat until brown. Add chopped onion and garlic; continue to cook until translucent. Season with salt, black and red pepper. Add other spices; ground allspice, through basil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in tomatoes, potato, roasted vegetables, beef broth and brown sugar; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until potatoes are tender, stirring occasionally.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese, salt and nutmeg. Remove from heat, and cool slightly.

Serve in individual soup bowls; top with a drizzle of topping and additional Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition Facts: Per Serving; Calories 335, Carbohydrates 32g, Fat 12g. Protein 27g, Calcium 17g, Fiber 7g. 8 WW Points +

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
Buns In My Oven: What's Cookin Wednesday
Mondays with Countrified Hicks Blog Hop 
My Mixing Spoon: Random Recipe Roundup Linkie Party
Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday - Eggplant
Love Bakes Good Cakes: The Ultimate Soup Recipe List Linky
The Tumbleweed Contessa: Cinnamon Saturday Dishes
Food of the World Greece
Kahakai Kitchen: Souper Sundays

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pork Noodle Salad

I already mentioned how sad I was that our Thai restaurant closed. We always ordered the same three dishes, not all at once. But we did not stray from our favorites, Spring Rolls, Chicken Basil Cashew and Pork Noodle Salad. I think I have finally mastered the Pork Noodle Salad. We would always ask the restaurant to make it medium spicy. Sometimes that was mild and sometimes it was blow your head off spicy. I guess it depended on the chef that day. My version is just right, don't get me wrong it is spicy but it will not hurt you.

Pork Noodle Salad
Yield: 4 servings


4 large shrimp, shell on and deveined
8 ounces uncooked rice vermicelli
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
3 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/2 cup red onion, sliced
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh cilantro
1 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tsp fish sauce
2 tsp garlic chili paste
1 lb lean ground pork (or chicken)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tbsp canola oil
1/4 cup peanuts, chopped


Bring a 2 qt pot of water to boil with a few black peppercorns, pinch red pepper flakes and a splash or two of vinegar. Boil the shrimp until they turn pink and are opaque. It will only take a minute or two. Set aside to let cool. When cool remove peel but leave tail on.

Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse under cold water; drain. Place noodles in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup vinegar and next 4 ingredients (through fish sauce); toss well. Top with some of the red onion, green onions and cilantro.

Combine hoisin and next 5 ingredients (through garlic chili paste). Heat oil in a skillet, brown pork seasoning evenly with salt and black pepper. Add hoisin mixture; continue to cook until well combined. Divide noodles into four bowls and top with pork mixture. Garnish each bowl with more of the red onion, green onions, cilantro, peanuts and a shrimp.

UPDATE: I just found out that the Thai restaurant I have been rambling about is open again. Yeah!! See this post at 20x49; Goldenland Superior is Back.

Linking to:
Ms. enPlace: See Ya in the Gumbo
The Chicken Chick: Clever Chicks Blog Hop
This Gal Cooks: Marvelous Mondays
Frugal Foodie Mama: Marvelous Mondays
Buns In My Oven: What's Cookin Wednesday
Anyonita Nibbles: Tasty Tuesdays
The Tumbleweed Contessa: Spicy! Saturday Dishes Linky Party
The Crafty Side of Sarcasm: Retro Repin Party
Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday - Thai Food

Friday, January 11, 2013

Shrimp and Noodles in Brown Garlic Sauce

Months and months ago I watched an episode of Easy Chinese with FPITW on noodles. They made rice noodles in a steamer. We vowed to try making them next time we had time together. Well New Year's was the time. We searched for the recipe or at least a video of the show we watched, NOTHING! So then we started looking for other recipe options. We found this fellow on YouTube. His method was for Fresh Ho Fun and very similar to what we had seen before. We were in business.  All we needed was a sauce. Pinterest to the rescue! I had pinned this Brown Garlic Sauce sometime ago. We prepared everything ahead of time; chopped all the veggies, set the water to boil, and made the components of both the sauce and noodles. We started with the sauce, then the noodles and finally put it all together in the stir-fry. It was delicious! Definitely something to do again and again. The noodle and sauce recipes could be used in many other ways too.

Shown with ginger and garlic for
Brown Garlic Sauce in the background

Shrimp and Noodles in Brown Garlic Sauce
Serves: 2 to 3


1 Tbsp canola oil
1/2 red bell pepper, sliced into strips
1 medium zucchini, julienned
1 Poblano pepper, sliced into strips
1 medium carrotjulienned
4 green onions, sliced on the diagnal
6 mushrooms, sliced
20 medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
Homemade rice noodle(recipe below)
Brown garlic sauce(recipe below)
Pinch of red pepper flakes


Heat a large pan or wok on med to high heat, add oil and vegetables. Stir-fry until vegetables are tender crisp. Add shrimp, continue to stir-fry until shrimp begins to turn pink. Add noodles,1/2 of the sauce and red pepper stir to combine and heat thru. Serve!

To make the noodles we followed the video. The only thing we did differently was that we used a bamboo steamer and two Pyrex dishes. Because we used Pyrex we skipped the water bath to cool the noodles.

Rice Noodles


1-1/2 cups rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca starch
1 tsp salt
2 cups water
1 tsp sesame oil
vegetable oil


Place water to boil in a pan or pot that fits Bamboo Steamer. Place two layers of steamer on top. Fill a measuring cup with hot water and set aside. You may need to add hot water to pot occasionally.

Prepare two pryex or metal pans by brushing with vegetable oil. Be sure they will fit in the steamer.

Place first three ingredients in a bowl, whisk to combine. Add water and sesame oil, whisk to combine. 

Ladle just enough batter into pryex dishes to cover the bottom of the pan. Place both in the steamer and steam 4 minutes. Carefully remove dishes and let cool. Remove sheets of noodles with a spatula and brush the top with oil. Stack the noodle sheets on a cutting board. Continue filling dishes and steaming noodles until all batter is used. Slice the stack of noodles into 3/8 inch strips. Separate noodles into individual noodles and prepare to use in stir-fry.

As for the Brown Garlic Sauce; FPITW thought it had a little too much ginger. I thought it had a very familiar flavor like a restaurant dish, but admit the ginger was the one recognizable ingredient. So adjust the ginger to your taste.

Brown Garlic Sauce
Serves: 4; Yield: 1- 3/4 cups


2/3 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/3 cup rice wine
3 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 cup water


In a bowl, combine soy sauce, broth, rice wine, sugar, sesame oil and white pepper.

Dissolve the cornstarch in 1/4 cup water.

Heat a pan over high heat; add the cooking oil, swirling to coat; add the garlic and ginger; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 15 seconds.

Add the soy sauce mixture; bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 minute.

Add the cornstarch solution and cook, stirring, until the sauce boils and thickens.

Linking to:
Carole's Chatter: Food on Friday - Ginger

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Getting Social!

Let's Get Social Sunday 

Hop on over to My Turn (for us). Evelyn, Jamie and Tammy are hosting this party for bloggers who wish 
to make new friends and gain new followers. 
Lots of great blogs to explore there. So join us at:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

New Year's Recipes

Every New Year's Day my Mom get's busy cooking Black Eye Peas and smothered Cabbage. It is a Cajun tradition in my family. Dad or I act as sous chefs helping chop, stir, taste for seasoning or just watch the pot. This is how I learned to make these traditional dishes. Eating these dishes are suppose to bring you good luck and fortune in the year to come. My dad says the peas bring coins and the cabbage folding money. So you can imagine; a year never, ever, goes by without observing this Cajun tradition.

New Year's Black Eye Peas(Traditional)
Source: Mom

1 lb dry Black Eye Peas
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 lb Ham, chopped
Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste
Parsley, chopped

Soak peas overnight or use fast soak method. Bring peas to a boil and when boiling turn off the heat and let sit covered for one hour. Drain and return to the pot.

Add water to just cover the peas, the onion and ham. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer until tender and creamy. Season with salt and peppers to taste. Add parsley (optional). Serve over rice to bring coins in the New Year!

Note: You can use fresh or frozen peas, just omit the first step.

New Year's Cabbage(Traditional)
Source: Mom

2 lbs. Pork loin chops, sliced into large pieces
2 Onions, chopped
1 bunch Green Onions, sliced
3 heads of young Green Cabbage, chopped
Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste
Parsley, chopped

Heat olive oil in large pot. Season pork with salt and peppers, add to pot and cook until brown.

Add the onions, then green onions and finally the cabbage stirring until all cabbage it added. Add parsley (optional) if using. Cook until smothered well and cabbage is very soft. Serve over rice to bring folding money in the New Year!

My new tradition of spending New Year's with my favorite person in the world (FPITW) has giving way to a slight variation on Mom's Black Eye Peas.  We use bacon instead of ham and we skip the rice and eat with spoonfuls of cold Chow Chow. FPITW and his family have always served Chow Chow with their Black Eye Peas. This Chow Chow is not cabbage and green tomato, it is a savory, spicy, chunky, red tomato condiment. It is not hot or peppy it is just flavorful with warm spices like cinnamon and cloves. It is still a FPITW family canning secret, I will let you know if the secret gets out. I am just happy to have this new tradition, a blend of both families.

New Year's Black Eye Peas(New Tradition)

1 lb dry Black Eye Peas
1 Onion, chopped
1/2 package of Bacon, chopped
Salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes, to taste
Tony Chachere's creole seasoning, to taste

Soak peas overnight or use fast soak method. Bring peas to a boil and when boiling turn off the heat and let sit covered for one hour. Drain and set aside.

Add bacon to a dutch oven and brown on medium low. When bacon it almost brown remove and drain on a paper towel. The bacon will continue to brown and crisp. Add onion to the bacon dripping and saute until they begin to soften. Add peas and just enough water to cover, bring to a boil lower heat and simmer covered until tender. Season with salt, peppers and Tony's to taste. Garnish with bacon and serve with Chow Chow for good luck in the New Year!

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