Monday, April 22, 2013

Breakfast Enchiladas

I'm a little competitive when it comes to, oh, I don't know, EVERYTHING, so when I heard a friend was bringing potato pancakes to a brunch  I decided to up my game and bring something more interesting than the quiche I was planning.  (Don't get me wrong-quiche is delicious!)  This plus a surplus of tortillas inspired me to see if breakfast enchiladas existed.  Lo and behold- they do!  And they're delicious and relatively easy.  I think I put this together in 30 minutes, including bake time.

Thank you to ValSoCal and Ashley Covelli of "Big Flavors from a Tiny Kitchen"!  I also made the homemade taco seasoning that Ashley found on Allrecipes.  The taco seasoning recipe is easy to put together and much cheaper than buying pre-made seasoning.  Thanks, Bill Echols!

Taco Seasoning

Original recipe yield: 1 ounce
1 tablespoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon onion powder
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon paprika
1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1. In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

Breakfast Enchiladas

7 flour tortillas
9 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons of taco seasoning
2 teaspoons canned green chiles
3 green onions, sliced
salt and pepper ( to taste )
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 cup of monterey cheese
1 can enchilada sauce
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 avocado, diced
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile in a skillet heat 2 tablespoons of butter.
2) In a large bowl whisk eggs, milk, taco seasoning, green chilies, onions, pepper and salt.
3) Place egg mixture in the skillet with melted butter. When eggs are almost – cooked through add half a cup of cheese.
4) When eggs are cooked through place eggs into the tortillas and roll them and place in a baking dish. Pour sauce over the rolled tortillas, add cheese and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. Place tomatoes and avocados on top.
*Note – you can add sour cream and cilantro as toppings.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Nian Gao (Stir-fried Rice Cakes)

We get this dish a lot when we go out to eat so I thought I'd try to make it.  The verdict?  Super easy.  It does take some advance prep work (you need to soak the rice cakes for at least two hours) but it was quick to put together.

I had ground pork so I used that instead.  I also used baby bok choy in addition to the napa and omitted the bamboo shoots because I don't really care for them.  The rice cakes were in the refrigerated section in our local "Korean" supermarket (quotation marks because it's more of a fresh produce/seafood place that happens to have a Korean section.  I'm not complaining.)  I also used hondashi broth because I didn't have any other broth.

Thank you, Jaden of Steamy Kitchen!

Nian Gao


One 24-ounce package rice cake nian goh noodles (see notes above)4 dried Chinese black mushrooms (or 8 fresh shiitake mushrooms)2 teaspoons soy saucefreshly ground black pepperpinch of sugar1 teaspoon Chinese rice wine (or dry sherry)1 teaspoon cornstarch8 ounces pork, cut into very thin strips2 tablespoons cooking oil6 ounces Chinese Napa Cabbage, shreddedOne 6-ounce can julienne cut bamboo shoots, drained2 tablespoons soy sauce1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth


1. In a large bowl, soak the rice cakes according to the instructions in the headnotes. If you are using dried Chinese black mushrooms, in a small bowl, soak the dried Chinese mushrooms for 2 hours or up to overnight until softened. If you are using fresh shiitake mushrooms, skip this step.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the 2 tsp soy sauce, black pepper, sugar, rice wine, cornstarch together. Mix in the pork and marinate for 20 minutes or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
3. When you are ready to cook, have all of your ingredients ready. Drain the rice cakes. Drain the mushrooms and slice into very thin slices.
4. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in the cooking oil. Add the pork and cook until browned and almost cooked through.
5. Add in the mushrooms and the bamboo shoots, stir fry for 1 minute. Add in the cabbage and stir fry for 2 minutes. Mix in the soy sauce.
6. Add in the rice cakes and toss very well. Pour in the broth, cover and lower the heat to medium-low. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the rice cakes have browned a little and are softened. The sticky rice cakes will be just slightly chewy (but not hard to chew) similar to pasta cooked al-dente. Taste and add in additional soy sauce if needed. Serve immediately.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Tropical White Sangria

For my 30th we had a wine and cheese party at our house (mostly so V could hang out and then sleep while we had people over.)  I'm a lightweight when it comes to alcohol so sangria is usually my drink of choice.  A friend of ours can't drink sangria if it has apples or peaches in it so I went with this tropical sangria instead.  We made it with regular oranges instead of blood oranges and omitted the grapes.  I'd definitely make it again, especially over the summer.

Thanks, Rachael Ray!

Tropical White Sangria

  • blood oranges, halved and thinly sliced
  • kiwis, peeled and cut into wedges
  • cup seedless red grapes, halved or whole
  • mango, cut into bite-size pieces
  • bottles  sauvignon blanc wine, chilled
  • ounces orange liqueur, such as Cointreau
  • ounces fresh strawberries, hulled and halved
  1. In a 1/2-gal. pitcher, combine the oranges, kiwis, grapes and mango. Stir in the wine and liqueur. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 6 hours.
  2. Just before serving, stir in the strawberries.

Martha Stewart's Banana Bread

I love my other banana bread recipe but this one made good use of what I had: two bananas and sour cream.  My sister-in-law liked it because it didn't taste too banana-y (she's a good sport for trying it even though she doesn't love bananas) and my mother-in-law even called to say how much she liked it.  

Thanks, Martha Stewart!

Martha Stewart's Banana Bread


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, at room temperature, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan; set aside. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, and beat to incorporate.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the butter mixture, and mix until just combined. Add bananas, sour cream, and vanilla; mix to combine. Stir in nuts, and pour into prepared pan.
  3. Bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let rest in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to cool.

Yogurt Cake

I had a lot of yogurt that needed to be consumed so I made this cake.  I brought it to work and it was devoured within an hour.  I negotiated a schedule switch with a coworker by promising her a yogurt cake (thanks again, KP!)  Magic cake!

I used vanilla extract and vanilla yogurt instead of lemon, but I think  any flavor of yogurt would work.  I used peach yogurt the first time and you couldn't taste the peach.  I used butter instead of margarine, too.  

Thanks, Ruthey and allrecipes!

Yogurt Cake


  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch bundt pan. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the lemon extract. Alternately beat in the flour mixture and the yogurt, mixing just until incorporated.
  3. Pour batter into a 10 inch Bundt pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.

Japanese Beef Stew

A friend of ours "made up" a Japanese beef stew one year and I haven't been able to find a recipe that captured his flavorful broth.


I prepped everything the night before and put it all together early the next morning.  I would have added more water to make more broth and made sure the beef was submerged (I had put the potatoes and carrots on the bottom).  I also added shiitake mushrooms and a couple pieces of ginger to add to the flavor.  Our guests enjoyed it over rice.

Thanks, Miss Diggy!

2 lbs beef stew meat
1 cup water
1/2 cup Japanese sake (dry white wine)  (I used Mirin instead)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon salt (I omitted this based on reader reviews)
1/2 lb baby carrots (I cut and peeled my own carrots cuz I was being paranoid about baby carrots)
3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 white onion, diced

1. Put all into crock pot and cook on low 10-12 hours or on high 4-6 hours.
2. Stir before serving.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Korean Slow Cooker Beef Short Ribs

Super long title for a ridiculously easy recipe!  I made these for W one night and he insisted that I make it for a fundraiser dinner we were having to introduce our friends to a fundraiser that we support (Our Piece of the Pie, in case you're curious.)  That sentence seemed unnecessarily long.

Anyway, everyone loved the short ribs and one friend even requested the leftovers (which I considered as a huge compliment since he's such a good cook himself!)

Thanks to Stephanie O'Dea, author of one my new favorite blogs: A Year of Slow Cooking.

Crockpot Korean Short Ribs

--package of beef short ribs
--1 cup soy sauce 
--1 cup brown sugar
--5 whole jalapeno peppers 
--1/2 cup water

The Directions.
Place solid beef ribs into the crockpot.
Add the soy sauce, water, and brown sugar.  
Add the whole jalapenos on top (Do not cut them!)
Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  Half way you might want to rotate the short ribs so any exposed meat gets saturated in juice.

We ate it with white rice and sauteed spinach the first time, white rice and baby bok choy the second time.

Buttermilk Cornbread

We needed a side dish for chili and ribs.  I decided on cornbread. I had buttermilk. had this recipe.  Thanks Bethany!  Your grandma makes delicious cornbread.

Grandmother's Buttermilk Cornbread



  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.