Archive for the ‘Recipe Collection’ Category

In an effort to make my mornings easier, save money and eat better, I am back to making a soup on Sunday night that I can have for lunch throughout the week. Last week, it was a hungarian mushroom with smoked paprika (and mushrooms were on sale) and this week, its a split pea soup.  I’ve been also trying to utilize what goods I have in my pantry/cupboards. And so, this pea soup came together easily using ingredients that I already had on hand.

Smokey Split Pea Soup

  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 1 celery stock
  • 2 strips of bacon
  • bacon fat or olive oil (I have rendered bacon fat from my local pork)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 4 cups of stock
  • 1 cup split peas

Heat pot to medium and melt bacon fat.  Cook the aromatics and bacon for 10 minutes. Add cumin and cook for an additional  minute. Add stock and peas. Cook over a simmer for 90 minutes. 

It’s up to your own preference, but I used my immersion blender to puree the soup.  And now, I’ve a wonderful soup for this short, 4-day work week.


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The inspiration for this pizza came by way of my roommate eating at Otto’s pizzeria in Portland, Maine.  She noticed a squash pizza on the menu and thought it would be interesting.  However, she didn’t sample it that evening, as there were other items on the menu that caught her eye. 

What did end up happening was an at-home gourmet pizza night.  Using whole wheat crust from Portland Pie, we assembled our version of a butternut squash pizza.  It was amazing.

Butternut Squash Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough
  • 1 cup butternut squash
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
  • fresh rosemary
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella

Assemble pizza to your liking. Cook at 450F for 10ish minutes.

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It still amazes me that I can *cook* a dish in 5 minutes. Yes, I know… the prep time is 3 times as long but it somehow still feels manageable for a weeknight. With practice and familiarity with recipes, asian cooking can become a speedy, mid-week meal.

This recipe is the first one that I am to try from the Steamy Kitchen Cookbook.  I usually have most of these ingredients on hand, which is one of the reasons why this dish appealed to me.  I began by prepping the chicken and getting it into its slurry bath. Then I prepped veggies and the sauce.

Thai-style sweet chilli chicken:

  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 lb chicken, sliced
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 3 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 red bell pepper
  • 1/2 yellow bell pepper
  • 2 tsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup sweet chilli sauce
  • handful of basil leaves (Thai or Italian)

Marinate the chicken in the slurry for 10 mins.  If you begin the chicken first, by the time you make the sauce and slice up the veggies, you’ll be ready to cook.  Heat wok to medium high, add oil and swirl.  Add chicken in one layer, cook 2 mins, flipping halfway. Remove chicken, leave oil.

Lower heat to medium, add shallots and garlic, 30 seconds. Add peppers and (and mushrooms if you are so inclined). Cook 1 minute.  Add sauce and stir well.  Add chicken. Simmer for 2 minutes.  Remove from heat, add basil.  Serve with rice.

P.S. Or.. serve with fresh spring rolls!

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Ms. Ray has nothing on me with this recipe. I can seriously have it tucked in my bowl with chopsticks in hand in 15 minutes or less. This is the ultimate “I need to eat now!” noodle dish.

There really isn’t any ‘recipe’ that you need to follow for this noodle bowl supper.  And, to be honest, I probably wouldn’t make it the same way twice.  This dish is about what you have on hand and how to best use ingredients that are already in your fridge.

What I had available was: red, green and yellow peppers, grated carrots and mushrooms.  I already had a bottle of peanut sauce and one serving of udon noodles left.  But wait. Where’s the tuna?  Ah… my secret weapon!

Say hello to spicy tuna in a can.  Currently, I can only find these gems in Canada now.. so I usually stock up whenever I go home to visit.

Peanut Satay Tuna with Udon

  • 2 cups of veggies (peppers, carrots, onions, mushrooms, broccoli… etc)
  • one can of spicy peanut tuna
  • 2 tbsp peanut satay sauce
  • 1 serving udon noodle (small or large, your choice – its what you have on hand!)

Bring a pot of water to boil, salt and cook udon according to package directions.

Meanwhile, prep veggies.  Heat wok, add 1 tbsp of cooking oil (I’m currently using canola). Stir-fry your veggies until al dente. Yes, like pasta.  I like my veggies to retain a bit of crunch.  Next, toss in tuna and sauce.  Heat through.  Add drained udon and mix up.

That’s all there is to it!  Happy wokking and see you on another Wednesday!

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There are certain dishes that you always reach for when you are at the Chinese buffet.  For me, sweet and sour pork is definitely one of those.  The crunchy batter, the tender pork all coated sweet sauce that tingles with heat.  *sigh*.  I’m wanting to make it again, just thinking about it.  Especially when you toss in some peppers and pineapple. Yum yum yum.

sweet n sour pork

As I learned while making the Orange Zest Chicken , it really is all about the prep work.  This experience with a ‘busy’ recipe went much quicker once I knew the game. Prep EVERYTHING first.  And then its mere minutes til chopsticks are in hand.  I started my rice in the cooker just before I started cooking the pork.

Sweet and Sour Sauce –  { Adapted from Rasa Malaysia}

  • 1 1/2 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp plum sauce
  • 1/8 tsp Chinese rice vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp Worchestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp water


  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp rice wine

Frying Batter

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 oz. flour
  • 1 oz. corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 egg
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 pinch salt


  • 1/2 lb pork tenderloin (bite size pieces)
  • 1/2 green pepper
  • 1/2 red pepper
  • 2 stalks scallions (white parts only, 2″ pieces)
  • 1/2 cup pineapple (bite size pieces)
  • 1 clove garlic (minced)
  • oil for frying

I began by cubing my pork and letting it sit in the marinade for 20-30 minutes.  This gave me time to assemble the sweet and sour sauce and dice my veggies.  Next, I mixed together the batter. 

Prep Work

Once the batter was finished, I tossed all my pork cubes into it and swirled them around to coat.  I used the wok for shallow frying and even used the oil from the previous frying event.   I only cook about 4-6 pieces of pork at a time, for roughly 1 minute per side.  I use a fork to flip.

Pork Fry

Once the pork pieces were all cooked and draining on paper towel, I drained the oil from the wok.  Then gave it a quick wipe with paper towel and drizzled 1 tbsp of canola.  Once hot, quickly cook garlic for 1 minute.  Then toss in peppers and pineapple, about 2 minutes. Next, pour in the sauce. It will thicken quickly. Once thick, stir pork into the sauce and veggies, add scallions.  Serve immediately.

Pork w veggies

I paired mine with long grain brown rice and it was amazing.  My only comment from making this recipe is that you could easily double the sauce.  I like sauce. I like my rice to mingle with the sauce.  So if you like sauce too – double the quantity!

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At the cocktail party hosted by Campbell’s/Swansons at BlogHer Food ’09, they served the most amazing butternut squash soup that I’ve ever encountered.  It was amazing. And, as my luck would have it (and I was quite lucky that weekend), I won a Campbell’s gift basket that contained a cookbook. And on page 71 of that cookbook, was my dearly beloved butternut squash soup.

Butternut Squash Soup

Now, I’m going to come right out and say it:  I didn’t like my soup. But, I’m not giving up on it.  For I made a few changes to the original recipe, because it was what I had available to me at the time. In the future, I will make certain that I have all the required ingredients on hand. Ok. End of disclaimer; on with the soup!

Butternut Squash Soup (with Sage Butter) – {adapted from Swanson Homemade Soups}

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-2.5 lb butternut squash: peeled, seeded and cubed (1″)
  • 2 md granny smith apples ( I had Mac’s in the house)
  • 1 lg onion, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander (I ground whole seeds; possibly too old)
  • 3 cups chicken broth

Squash cubes

Using a 6qt soup or stock pot, heat oil over medium heat.  Toss in squash, onion and apple; cook until the squash is almost fork tender. This took about 10 minutes or so.  Next, sprinkle in coriander; stir. Cook for 2 minutes.


 Add broth and heat to a boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until squash is tender.

*Recipe calls for removing squash with slotted spoon and processing in food processor until smooth. Then add liquid back into puree until desired consistency. I did not do this.  I used an immersion blender to puree the soup in situ. Then I wasn’t happy about the smoothness, so I then put it through the f/p anyhow.  So, this is me, telling you, to go ahead and listen to the recipe and not me. For next time,  I’ll do it the way I am told.

Finally, the recipe says to garnish with fresh sage leaves (which I didn’t have on hand). Also, in a side note, it recommends frying 12 sage leaves in 1 tbsp of butter until crisp. Then, drizzle each serving with fried sage leaves and sage butter. I’d really like to try this next time.

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I’m not too sure yet, but I’m tempted to change the title of this blog to “Adventures of a White Girl in Asian Fusion”.  Catchy, yes? Its so easy to be excited when you have the proper cooking utensils and I must say, the new wok is fast becoming a treasured piece in my collection.  On Monday night, I tried a new dish that I found on Rasa Malaysia that seemed a little challenging but a good step forward. I did make an addition, obviously, b/c I can’t leave well enough alone. In an attempt to promote a well-rounded meal, I added asparagus to the dish. Thus, Orange Zest Chicken with Asparagus was born in a wok on Monday night.Orange Chicken with Asparagus

The most important thing that I learned through making this dish is be prepared.   I had everything prep’d before I started the cooking procress. And while it seemed a little hectic in the beginning, the cooking phase was actually quite easy and quick.  I first started by making the orange sauce that would be added at the very end. Next I made the batter for the chicken and then I prep’d the ingredients that would be fried together at the end.

Orange Sauce

  • 1/4 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
  • 3 tbsp chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp rice vinegar
  • 4 tsp sugar
  • pinch white pepper powder
  • 1 tsp corn starch

Mix well and set aside.


  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup – 1 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 cup corn starch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 egg, beaten
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • salt

Mix batter well. Dunk chicken in batter to coat. Sit until time to cook chicken.

Orange Chicken Stir Fry

  • 1 chicken breast, cubed
  • 1 cup asparagus, blanched
  • 1 inch ginger, zested
  • 2 cloves garlic, zested
  • 4 dried chilis (soak in hot water, remove seeds)
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 tsp canola oil
  • Oil for deep drying

Prepped Ingredients

I used vegetable oil (about 1/2 cup) in the wok to shallow fry the chicken. I scooped out 5-6 pieces of chicken from the batter bath and dropped it into the wok. Once golden brown on one side, I turned the chicken pieces over.  Complete process until all chicken pieces are cooked.  Set aside on paper towel to drain.

Frying chicken

Clean wok of oil. I actually saved the frying oil for another occasion in a mason jar. Its your choice.

Next, heat 2 tsp canola in wok. Quickly cook minced (I use a zester to grate) ginger and garlic. Next toss in chilis and cook for 1 minute. Add orange zest and chicken. Stir for one minute. Next add orange sauce, continuing to stir until sauce thickens slightly.  Serve over steamed brown long grain rice.

Orange chicken with Asparagus

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