Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Kids and Cooking...what a novel idea!

So what's up with Food Network not having any kid's cooking shows? I really think they haven't even touched on something that could potentially be HUGE!!! My daughter loves to cook...always has. She always wants to help me and recently started doing her own things, like her guacamole. She asked me if she could have a kids cooking blog so that kids everywhere could learn how to cook and try new and fun things. So here's her debut:

Just click on "Sydney's Cafe" and it will take you to her blog.

She's a pretty cute chef...what do you think?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oyster Stew/Soup

Growing up, my father would make oyster soup and us three girls would fight over a bite! Of course, not everyone likes oysters but if you do, you must try this soup. In North Carolina, this dish a huge hit and they call it, "Oyster Stew". Soup or Stew, if your a fan of the oyster, you must try this easy, flavorful soup.
1 8 oz can of oysters, broth and all
1 cup of milk
1 tablespoon of butter
salt and pepper

I start off by putting the milk in a small pot and add the butter, cook until the butter is melted and then add the oysters. Remember, you get a lot of the base flavor from the liquids found in the can of canned oysters...don't drain, ADD TO YOUR SOUP!

Add pepper and a pinch of salt...serve with crackers and enjoy!


Saturday, February 21, 2009

Onions Rings

Hmmm, onions rings. This is not so much a recipe but more of a great dinner idea when you make for your favorite burgers. It's awesome even in your burger with pepper jack cheese and your favorite toppings. Easy and simple and I'm sure everyone in your family would truly love this!

Whenever I made onions rings, I get a sweet yellow onion and tempura mix not to be confused with planko.

Follow box instructions for the tempura.

Slice your onions into rings.

Add to batter.

Once coated, carefully add the battered onions into hot veggie oil.

Cook until golden brown. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Grilled Steak with Mustard Sauce

This was so easy and so tasty. Very simple sauce you can make in less than 5 minutes and you will feel like you are eating at a 5 star restaurant. It tastes that fancy. And trust me, it's delish!

Grilled Steaks
(check my previous post on how
to make the perfect simple grilled steak)
1/2 cup beef broth or water
2 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 tablespoon coarse-grain Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon butter

Pour broth into skillet or small saucepan. (I used the same pan I cooked the bacon in and just discarded the grease...it left a small residual amount of grease which I'm sure was great for flavor). Add bacon and mustard, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil. Whisk in butter until blended. Serve sauce over steak.
This sauce was just enough for me, Scott and Sydney. You might have to double or triple the recipe if making for several people.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Roy's Grilled Steak

The steak in this picture had a little too much marbling of fat for me (I'm trying to lose weight) and it's not near as moo-ing as I like (I like really really red)...so this particular steak went to one of the kiddies.

My father in law Roy is known for his famous grilled steaks. What he does is so easy yet so yummy! I really do feel like grilling is an art that takes years to perfect. Roy has definitely perfected this fine art of grilling. My hubby Scott is second best by far...(well as far as I have tasted).

Now I know there are several ways to marinate or grill a steak, but I have to say there is no steak like a "ROY" steak. We have been following Roy's lead ever since he came up with this concoction. Try it out...you will not be disappointed.

The two ingredients involved are Lawry's Meat Tenderizer and Kikkoman Teriyaki Marinade and Sauce.

We usually buy New York Strip but Scott's favorite is Ribeye. We pretty much stick to Ribeye, Top Sirloin or New York Strip. Place steaks in a dish or pan. Sprinkle the tenderizer lightly over the steaks.

Using a fork, poke several holes all over the top.

Then pour a generous amount of the Teriyaki Marinade over the steaks.

Let the steaks sit for at least 30 minutes or up to several hours. Either way, you're going to come out with a pretty darn good steak. They are moist and tender and have a ton of flavor.

Make sure your grill is nice and hot when you put the steaks down. That will give them a good sear. Depending on thickness, the time will vary. We like our steaks practically mooing so we only leave ours on for about 3 1/2 minutes on each side. I like the criss cross grill marks so I will quickly toss it back on each side and turn it a quarter turn just enough to sear the marks into the steak. That's how you gets those pretty grill marks.

We always serve grilled veggies with our steaks. I will be posting about those soon. Stay tuned!

Easy Sweet and Sour Chicken

We love Chinese food, me in particular as I was raised eating some pretty authentic dishes as my mom is from the Philippine Islands. This dish is great, easy, fast and most importantly, made at home. I love making dinners from scratch but sometimes, I cheat. This is a great dinner that everyone will certainly love. Awesome sauce (store bought) and the chicken is crispy and moist.


1 1/2 pound of chicken breast in bite sized peices
1 bottle of La Choy Sweat and Sour Sauce
1 green pepper
2 eggs
2-3 cups of flour
Add 2 eggs into the bite sized chicken peices.

Stir egg in and make sure all peices of chicken are drenched in the egg.

I let the chicken sit in the egg for about 10 minutes before I put into the flour.

Carefully add your chicken into VERY hot veggie oil.

While your first batch of chicken is cooking, cut up your green peppers and add into your wok. If you don't have a wok, just use a big pan. Put 1 teaspoon of oil with the green peppers to help with the cooking process.

Once you are done cooking all the chicken, it's time to put the dish together.

Add the cooked chicken into the wok/pan with the green peppers.

Drizzle over your La Choy Sweet and Sour sauce. Carefully toss or fold the ingredients together to make sure all of the chicken and green peppers are coated well. Serve with white rice.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Peach Dump Cake

I love peach cobbler every which way and plan on making several peach cobblers while the weather is cool. I'm going to try several different recipes that I have found on the internet and I also have one that I'm going to make that was Scott's grandma's recipe. I can't wait for that one. Of course none of this helps right now since I'm dieting. In fact, this is pure torture...I have no idea why I'm doing this to myself. This Peach Dump cake is very similar to the Ooey Gooey Pineapple Upside Down cake that my sister Denise makes. I will post about that later but for now, here is the latest and greatest and easiest and closest thing you'll get to cobbler in a hurry.

Peach Dump Cake

2 (16 ounce) cans peaches in heavy syrup
1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1/2 cup butter
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or to taste.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Empty peaches into the bottom of one 9x13 inch pan. Cover with the dry cake mix and press down firmly. Cut butter into small pieces and place on top of cake mix. Sprinkle top with cinnamon and sugar.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 45 minutes.

Let cool slightly and serve warm with ice cream.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Chik-Fil-A Chicken Sandwich

Whenever we can, my husband, son and I (and I'm pretty sure Gillian will too when she gets teeth) love to stop by to get a chicken sandwich at Chik-Fil-A. It was my favorite when I was pregnant with Gillian...I wanted one so often that I decided to do a little research and I found this recipe that is really yummy, taste just like C-F-A and the best part is, it's made at home with lots of mommy love.

I was able to make this sandwich before meeting on Sunday, from start to finish it was a simple 20 minutes and it was a great, home cooked meal for my boys and I.

Try it at least once, it's great!

  • 2 chicken breasts halves
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar (trust me, it makes a difference)
  • hamburger buns
  • pickle slices
  • cooking oil

Combine the milk and egg in a bowl and whisk until mixed well. Take flour and powdered sugar and mix in another bowl.
I take half of a chicken breast and cut it in half to make these sandwiches. Take a peice of chicken and dip it into the milk and egg mix. Then place the dipped chicken into the flour and sugar mix. Repeat the steps for an extra crispy chicken filet.

Above is a chicken filet that has been double dipped for an extra crispy texture. Once coated well, place into a hot fryer or pan filled with hot oil. Oil should be hot and bubble as soon as you put chicken into it. Cook until brown and crispy and there is no pink in the center.

Add pickle slices on top of the chicken and use good hamburger buns, it does make a difference.


Sunday, February 8, 2009

Cheesy Spinach & Wild Rice Side Dish

Because I'm only 49 days into being a new mommy again, I'm still all about easy and quick meals. I made this dish to accompany our chicken and we fell in love....so in love, I made it again the next day, it's yummy. This is a perfect addition to chicken, steak or fish. It's creamy, light and fresh. This recipe comes from Hingham, MA - another east coast dish that I love!


1 package of Uncle Bens Ready Rice - Long Grain and Wild Rice

4 oz. mushroom stems and pieces (drained)

1 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach

8 oz. cream cheese (cube the cream cheese)

3/4 cup of chopped onions

butter - 1 T

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

2 tsp of mustard

Add the spinach (you don't have to thaw or drain - just add frozen into pan), onions, nutmeg, butter and mustard in a large pan over medium to high heat.

Stir and cook until well mixed.

Add small chunks of the cream cheese to the pan now.

Stir until well blended.

In an 8 x 8 layer the rice and the mushrooms over it.

Now add the mix from the stove over the rice and mushrooms.

This is what it looks like before going into the oven for 20 minutes at 375 degrees.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Eggplant Parmesan Lasagna Style

We love eggplant, period. We also love Eggplant Parmesan as well as lasagna, so one day I combined the two for a delish meal, Eggplant Parmesan, lasagna style.

It's worth the time making this dish, it's very good. I always make two, one for that night and one for the freeze for a day I'm not in the mood to cook.

My family enjoys it, it's filling and goes great with a side salad.




2 eggplants

bread crumbs



mozzarella cheese

Italian blend cheese

ricotta cheese

pasta sauce

dried oregano

dried parsley

chopped garlic

salt/pepper to taste

First thing first, mix the ricotta cheese with a couple eggs, salt and dried parsley.

I also put Italian blend cheese in the Ricotta mix as well. Once mixed, put in refrigerator.

Slice the eggplant, not too thin, not too thick.

Look how pretty these eggplant slices are.

Dip each slice into an egg wash.

Once dipped, add into your breadcrumbs and get it nice and coated.

Once your done coating them, it's time to cook.

Place in hot oil and cook until tender and super golden brown.

Here is the eggplant all cooked up and ready to be assembled.

(Becareful, they are good and little hands likes to take one or two to eat).

Coat your pan with sauce. (I use throw-aways to avoid lots of dishes)

After adding the sauce, add a layer of eggplant.

Now add your ricotta cheese mixture evenly.

Add mozzarella cheese.

Add sauce now.

Continue the pattern. Add more eggplants, ricotta, sauce and cheese until your pan is full.

Looking good!

Final product. Cook at 350 for 45 minutes. Of course, this always taste BETTER the next day once all the flavors are incorporated.