R.I.P. Beloved Saucepan

A few days ago we lost our favorite saucepan. We were cooking up some basmati rice for a chicken tikka masala dish and we don’t know what happened, but we went to lift it off the stovetop, the lid wobbled some and then the saucepan just broke pretty much in half ! Rice and glass were scattered over the stovetop and there was just no saving any of it. We’d had that saucepan for a little over 28 years ! It was the perfect size for cooking rice, sauces, etc. If you have a cherished piece of kitchen equipment that you’ve had for quite a while, you know how hard it is to even think about losing it. There’s no guarantee that you’ll ever find something just as good to take its place. With all that being said, the looks on our face must’ve been hilarious to see.It felt like some kind of Carrie-crap, just breaking in half as it was being held. It truly was a WTF moment !

Take care everybody !

Chipotle-Cilantro Slaw

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. sour cream
  • 1 tsp. lime zest
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 tsp. red wine vinegar
  • ½ tsp. salt (we used Kosher salt)
  • ½ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 2 canned chipotle chile peppers in adobe sauce, finely chopped (since the peppers were so small we used 4 of them)
  • 1 (16 oz.) pkg. shredded coleslaw mix
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • ½ cup minced fresh cilantro

Directions

  1. Take a large mixing bowl out and mix the first 9 ingredients together in it until combined. Add in the remaining ingredients, stirring until all components are coated in the dressing. Serve the slaw right away or cover and let chill for at least 1 hour.

This is one of our favorite coleslaw recipes ! It’s got an awesome blend of heat and acidity and it’s just a great, fresh tasting dish. There’s also plenty of crunch from the coleslaw mix. You can eat this right away but it’s better in our opinion when it’s chilled. We hope you’ll try this dish and love it as much as we did.

Recipe source unknown.

Take care everybody !

Slow-Cooker Smoky Chipotle Beef Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 onions, chopped (we finely chopped our yellow onions)
  • 1/3 cup chili powder
  • 3 Tbsp. minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 jalapeño chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced (we left the seeds in)
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 (15-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 tsp. packed light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. liquid smoke (we used mesquite)
  • 1 (3-lb.) boneless beef chuck-eye roast, trimmed and halved
  • Salt and pepper (we used Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper)
  • 12-18 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
  • Toppings (optional): sour cream, chopped onion, chopped cilantro, thinly sliced radishes and/or lime wedges (we tried it with radish slices, radish slices and pico de gallo, and tried a few tacos that only had avocado slices as a topping)

Directions

  1. Take a large microwavable container and add the onions, chili powder, chipotle, oil, garlic, jalapeño, tomato paste and cumin to it (the directions don’t say to but we mixed everything together once it was all in the container). Microwave for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally or until the onions have softened*. Once the onions have softened, place the mixture into the bottom of a 5 ½- to 7-quart slow cooker. Season the beef with salt and pepper (we did so on both sides) and put it in the slow cooker afterwards.
  2. Put the lid on the slow cooker and let it cook until the beef is tender, either 9 to 10 hours on LOW or 6 to 7 hours on high (we cooked ours on low heat).
  3. Once the beef is tender, take it out of the slow cooker and put it in a large container, letting it cool a little. Using two forks, shred the beef into bite-size pieces, tossing out any excess fat pieces (we did try a piece of fat before throwing the rest away and it was so tender, it melted like butter in  your mouth). Skim any excess fat from the surface of the sauce left in the slow cooker (we didn’t do that).
  4. Stir 1 cup of the sauce in with the beef, adding in more if the beef starts to look dried out (honestly we just added our shredded beef back into the slow cooker with all of the sauce, stirring to combine). Season with salt and pepper if you think it needs it (we didn’t think it needed any more salt and pepper). Serve with the warmed tortillas and leftover sauce (and the optional toppings if you’re using any of them).

*After 7 minutes in the microwave, our onions were still crunchy but we decided to move on.

The chili powder flavor really comes through in this dish. The beef and onions were so tender by the end of the cook time. You really can’t go wrong with any of the toppings. The various toppings we tried all worked harmoniously together flavor-wise with the beef and most of the toppings added some nice contrasting textures to the dish.

We got this recipe from America’s Test Kitchen.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote America’s Test Kitchen.

Take care everybody !

Mexican Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (we used a yellow onion)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups long-grain rice (we used Uncle Ben’s Original Long Grain Rice)
  • 1 (10-oz.) can Original Rotel Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
  • 1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 to 3 cups low-sodium chicken broth (we used 2 cups)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish (we didn’t use it)

Directions

  1. Pour the oil into a large skillet and set the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, toss the the onion and garlic in and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring continuously. Turn the heat down to low and add the rice to the skillet. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly so that the rice doesn’t burn. Add in the Rotel, cumin, diced tomatoes, cayenne, and salt, stirring to combine. Add 2 cups of broth in, stirring to combine and wait for the dish to come to a boil. Turn the heat down to low and put a lid on the skillet. Let the rice simmer for 10 to 15 minutes (we went with 15 minutes) or until the rice is fully cooked. If the rice looks sticky, pour some or all of the remaining 1 cup of broth in. Right before serving, add the cilantro to the dish if you’re going to use it.

This was actually the first rice recipe we ever tried, before this we had just been using microwavable rice. Once we made this though, we could never go back to the pre-packaged Mexican rice. There’s a pleasant level of heat to it and there’s an al dente quality to the rice. There’s spiciness, the tomatoes provide a nice pop of juiciness when you have some in your bite as well as a contrasting texture to the rice. The heat will make your lips tingle but it doesn’t overpower the flavor from the spices. A little softness from the onion also contrasts nicely against the other textures.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Uncle Ben’s or Rotel.

Take care everybody !

Fiery Asian Slaw

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil (we used extra-virgin olive oil)
  • 2 tsp. Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
  • 1 tsp. bottled ground fresh ginger (we used ground ginger)
  • ½ tsp. honey
  • ½ tsp. salt (we used Kosher salt)
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 (16-ounce) package cabbage-and-carrot coleslaw (we used Fresh Express 3 Color Deli Cole Slaw)
  • 1 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (we forgot to use them)

Directions

  1. Take a large mixing bowl out and whisk together the following ingredients in it: rice vinegar, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Sriracha, ground fresh ginger and honey. Add in the Kosher salt, cilantro and coleslaw, tossing well to ensure everything’s coated in the vinegar dressing. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve.

The title’s a little misleading, it wasn’t “fiery” but it was delicious ! There wasn’t one particular flavor that made us enjoy this, it was just an overall nice blend of flavors that made us want to keep coming back for more !

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Fresh Express.

Take care everybody !

Southern Pulled-Pork Sandwiches

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup packed light-brown sugar
  • ½ to 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (we used 1 tsp.)
  • 1 Tbsp. coarse salt (we used Kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
  • 3 pounds boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), cut into 4 equal pieces (we used a boneless pork shoulder picnic roast)
  • 1 ½ cups cider vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 soft sandwich rolls, split (we used Cobblestone White Sub)
  • Store-bought barbecue sauce for serving (optional)

Directions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees with racks in the lower and upper portions (we put our racks on the highest and lowest positions). In a small mixing bowl, mix the sugar, cayenne, salt and pepper together until thoroughly combined.
  2. Take a 5-quart Dutch oven or large heavy-bottomed pot out (we went with the Dutch oven) and place the pork in it. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.
  3. In a bowl with at least a 4-cup capacity, mix the vinegar, water, and garlic together, pouring it over the pork afterwards. Put a lid on the Dutch oven and stick it in the oven on the lower rack. Cook the pork for 2 to 2 ½ hours or until it’s really tender and is easy to pull apart with a fork (we cooked our for roughly 2 hours and 15 minutes).
  4. Take the pork out of the Dutch oven, making sure not to throw away the juice that’s left in the Dutch oven. Using 2 forks, shred the meat and place it in a large container afterwards. Add enough juice from the Dutch oven to moisten the pork, tossing the pork so it all gets moistened (we didn’t need all the juice but we poured it all in anyways because it would’ve been a sin to let any of it go to waste). Add the shredded pork to the rolls, topping with barbecue sauce if you’d like (we didn’t use any barbecue sauce).

Oh my god, this was so f*$@ing delicious ! Fights could break out over someone getting more than their share. The inner parts of the meat are tasty but the outer crust portion is even more flavorful. You got the tang from the vinegar and got heat from the peppers. We also love this recipe because it was so easy to make ! We tried some barbecue sauce with the pulled pork but it didn’t taste nearly as good together as the pulled pork on its own. It’s best to let the pork and juices shine brightly all on their own. The recipe serves 8 but if you love it as much as we do, you can hide half of it for yourself and just lie and tell your family it only serves 4 ! The recipe mentions sandwich rolls but use whatever you want to.

Recipe source unknown.

We weren’t paid in any form to mention Cobblestone.

Take care everybody !

Tofu Curry With Lemongrass And Chile

Ingredients

  • 1 (14-oz.) block extra-firm tofu, drained (we drained and pressed our tofu)
  • 2 ½ Tbsp. canola oil, divided
  • 1 tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 to 2 Thai chiles, finely chopped (we used 3 Thai chiles)
  • 1 lemongrass stalk, trimmed and finely chopped
  • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
  • 12 green beans, cut diagonally into 2-in. pieces
  • ½ red bell pepper, cut into ¼-in. pieces (After seeding & trimming the bell pepper, we decided to use the whole bell pepper. It was a smaller one so we didn’t mind using the whole bell pepper.)
  • 2 tsp. Madras curry powder (we used Hot Madras curry powder)
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. fish sauce
  • 3 to 4 fresh cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped (we just used the leaves and left them whole)

Directions

  1. Take the drained tofu and halve it lengthwise, cutting each half crosswise into 4 pieces afterwards.
  2. Pour 1 tablespoon of canola oil into a large nonstick skillet, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add in the tofu and don’t move it at all for 4 to 5 minutes or until it looks light browned (ours looked browned at 4 minutes). Flip the tofu over and let it cook for 2 minutes (we cooked ours for 1 minute). Carefully pour the soy sauce into the skillet, letting it cook for 2 minutes (we moved on earlier than that because the soy sauce had almost all been cooked off). Flip the tofu and cook it for one more minute. Take the tofu out of the skillet to let it cool down. Cut each piece diagonally so you yield triangular pieces.
  3. Mix the water and milk together in a mixing bowl, leaving off the side for now. Pour the remaining canola oil into the skillet, setting the heat to high. Once the oil’s hot but not smoking, toss in the shallots, chiles, and lemongrass, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add the salt, green beans, and bell peppers in, continuing to stir for 2 minutes or until the vegetables have softened a little. Add the tofu back into the skillet as well as pouring in the coconut milk mixture and the fish sauce, cooking for 2 minutes (we tossed everything together so that all components were coated in the sauce) or until everything is heated through. Take the tofu mixture out of the skillet and top with cilantro, serving immediately.

Serves 4.

 First of all, this does not serve 4 ! Maybe if you were serving it as an appetizer, but not as an entree. It was just enough to serve mommy and me as an entree. We thought the tofu was going to be so tiny getting cut into triangles but it was actually a good size. When we tried a piece of the Thai chiles raw, it packed a lot of heat but by the end there wasn’t nearly as much heat as we thought there’d be. I was afraid that our tofu was a little too browned but we never tasted anything burnt. The vegetables add a nice contrasting texture to the dish. The cilantro also added a nice complementary flavor to the dish. Overall we really enjoyed eating this dish !

We got this recipe from Cooking Light.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Cooking Light.

Take care everybody !

Garlicky Beef-And-Bean Stir-Fry

Ingredients

  • 4 Tbsp. sugar
  • 6 Tbsp. soy sauce (we used reduced-sodium soy sauce)
  • 3 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 tsp. dried crushed red pepper
  • 8 tsp. minced garlic
  • 4 Tbsp. peanut oil, divided
  • 1 (10-oz.) sirloin steak, thinly sliced across the grain (we used 1 lb. of beef stir-fry meat)
  • 1 lb. fresh green beans, cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into ¼- to ½-wide strips
  • 2 tsp. cornstarch
  • 3 cups hot cooked rice

Directions

  1. Mix the first 5 ingredients together in a large resealable plastic bag, whisking in 3 tablespoons of the peanut oil afterwards. Add the steak into the plastic bag, sealing the bag afterwards. Let the beef marinate at room temp. for 15 minutes.
  2. Take the steak out of the marinade, reserving the marinade afterwards. Take a wok (we used a large skillet) and pour in the remaining peanut oil, setting the heat to medium-high. Once the oil’s hot, add the beef in, stirring occasionally for 1 ½ minutes or until the beef is browned. Take the beef out and transfer to a plate. Add the green beans and bell peppers to the wok, stirring constantly for 3 minutes.
  3. Whisk the cornstarch into the marinade, stirring until fully combined. Pour the cornstarch mixture into the wok with vegetables, stirring constantly for 30 seconds or until the sauce looks like it’s thickened. Add the steak back into the wok, continuing to stir for another 30 seconds, mixing everything together. Take the skillet off the heat and serve the beef mixture over rice.

We got this recipe from Southern Living.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Southern Living.

Take care everybody !

Gingery Meatball Soup with Bok Choy

Ingredients

  • Meatballs
    • 1 large egg
    • 2 Tbsp. water
    • ½ tsp. Kosher salt
    • ½ tsp. pepper (we used freshly ground black pepper)
    • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    • ½ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
    • ¼ cup bread crumbs (we used panko)
    • 1 lb. ground chicken
    • 2 scallions, finely chopped
    • 1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 red chili (we used a Fresno chile), thinly sliced (we left the seeds and ribs in)
  • 1 medium carrot, thinly sliced (we sliced ours on the bias)
  • 4 heads baby bok choy (about 12 oz.) (we used 12 oz. worth of baby bok choy), trimmed, washed and leaves separated

Directions

  1. Start by making the meatballs:
    1. Preheat the broiler. Take a rimmed baking sheet and line it with nonstick foil (we used aluminum foil and sprayed it with cooking spray).
    2. Take a large mixing bowl out and whisk the egg, water, salt and pepper together. Mix in the garlic and cilantro, followed by the bread crumbs. Let the bread crumb mixture rest for 2 minutes. Add in the chicken and mix everything together.
    3. Shape the chicken mixture into 1 ½-in. balls* (roughly 20 total) and place them on the lined baking sheet. Broil for 6 to 8 minutes or until the meatballs are fully cooked (we cooked ours for 8 minutes, flipping the meatballs over halfway through the cooking time).
  2. Take a large pout out and add the chicken broth, ginger, and red chili to it, turning the heat up high enough for boiling to occur. Add the sliced carrot to the pot, turning the heat down if necessary so that it’s simmering for 1 minute. Add the baby bok choy in, continuing to let it simmer for 2 minutes or until the bok choy just gets tender. Gently stir in the meatballs (so they don’t get broken up) and serve once the meatballs are heated through (only took us a minute or two).

*We filled an 1/8 cup with the meat mixture and got 19 meatballs.

This was a delicious soup. Having the chili boil in the beginning allowed you to get the heat from the pepper even if you didn’t get an actual slice of the pepper. The meatballs on their own are flavorful but with the rest of the soup, it’s a winning combo. The Fresno chili packed a lot more heat than we thought it would, we loved it ! If you don’t like things to be too spicy, then cut out the seeds and ribs before adding it into the broth. Overall, this was a filling dish that was really tasty.

This recipe came from Woman’s Day.

We weren’t paid in any form to promote Woman’s Day.

Take care everybody !