Stuffing Patties

I love when leftovers means you get to make something that doesn't happen without there being leftovers.

Whenever I make a turkey I make sure to make a huge pan (or two) of stuffing.  My boys and I both love homemade stuffing.  I guess some people call it dressing, but it's the side dish made of bread that one can stuff into a chicken or turkey.

Last time I made stuffing I froze some in a zip bag and threw it in the freezer.  Now that we're hoping to sell the house soon, we've been clearing out said freezer and this week I pulled that bag back out.

It was time for my favorite leftover recipe.

Stuffing Patties
Leftover bread stuffing (dressing)
Egg (optional)

If your stuffing is moist enough to hold together in a patty, you don't need to add the egg.  If it is too dry then add that egg to it.  Form it into patties.  I make mine about 3 or 4 inches across.  Heat a frying pan on med-hi with either oil (better tasting) or non stick spray (better for you).  When the pan is hot, place the patties in and fry on each side until brown.  I like mine a little longer so that they are really crispy.

I serve them either with gravy as a side dish for dinner or for breakfast with eggs.  I adore them with an easy over egg where the patty soaks up the runny yolk.  Yums!

Don't tell the boys that I ate those without them.

Doing The Alexa Hop

Join us on the Alexa blog hop and help raise those Alexa numbers!

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Crock Pot Rib Tips

I finally got back to cooking tonight.  Last week the local fresh market had a special on pork rib tips for a buck a pound.  I sent The Greek out to pick up five pounds worth.

Last night I made a dry rub and put them in the Crockpot.  I covered them in BBQ sauce and popped them in the oven to finish them off.  They were fall off the bone tender and meaty.  There really weren't that many bones in it at all.  It was a great deal.  Cheaper and easier than the spareribs I made a couple weeks ago.

Crock Pot Rib Tips

Dry Rub ( I use this on ribs, pork and chicken too)

2 T of salt (I used coarse Hawaiian sea salt but have done it with regular salt too)
1/2 c sugar
1/4 cup chili powder (or a mix of chili powder and paprika)
2 T granulated garlic or garlic powder
2 T dry oregano

Rub all over the ribs.  Place ribs in the crock pot on low for 8-10 hours.

After that time you can take them out and baste them with your favorite BBQ sauce and either throw them in a 400 degree oven for 20-30 min or char them a bit on a grill.

I have used this rub all the time and then placed the meat straight in the oven.  Chicken thighs work well as does country style pork ribs.  Of course you will have to cook them a bit longer than if you put them in the Crockpot first but they are tasty, even without adding any more sauce.

Bahn Mi

Lemongrass Chicken Bahn Mi
I've done it! I finally found some *good* Vietnamese food in Kelowna, Vietnam Village on Harvey Ave.. It took me close to 3 years to find this place which is funny because we pass it multiple times a week and never really gave it a thought. So for those you don't know what "Bahn Mi" is, it's basically a sub, a sandwich, or more specifically a Vietnamese sub. The bread is generally made in-house and is toasty warm. The filling varies depending on location, the one I got was a lemongrass chicken. Vietnam Village also does a Satay Beef and a Cold Cut sub. Whatever kind it is it's always got fresh crisp toppings including a sweet pickled veggie mixture usually containing carrot & daikon. On top of that this sandwich had spears of fresh crunchy cucumber and a nice serving of cilantro to finish it off.

Crispy fried spring roll

My mother-in-law is not the adventurous foodie type but she tried their fried spring roll and to my surprise actually enjoyed it! I didn't think she would since these had "weird" ingredients in it, including taro root, but I didn't bother mentioning that until after she ate it and said it was one of the best ones she's ever had.

Pineapple Bubble Tea

Tapioca Balls at the bottom of the cup
To finish off the meal I got a Bubble Tea as well. They've become quite popular in the last few years and the flavors range from the usual strawberry and pineapple to durian fruit and avocado. The small black things at the bottom of the drink are chewy tapioca balls. Occasionally they're made of jelly and they don't really have much flavor of their own. I love the texture of these tapioca balls and you generally for 2-3 in your mouth with every sip. I think I enjoy the fun of it more than anything else! Everything we tried was fresh and fantastic which is saying a lot in this area from my experience. The price wasn't bad either. The subs were $5.00 each which I think is totally worth it! It's so nice to finally have a place to get good Vietnamese food without having to make it myself for once.

My Late Night Ritual

In the last 3 months, I have made some changes to the way I eat.  One thing I initiated a couple months ago was a "bedtime" snack.  We had read somewhere that if we ate at night to make it a complex carb and it would also help to induce sleep.  I settled on oatmeal.

Up until then oatmeal was only something I enjoyed in baked goods.  I will not eat regular oatmeal.  It's consistency is unappealing to me.  Mushy, sticky and slimy.  Oh like bananas!  I don't touch those either.  For me, it has to be steel cut and not instant either.

Steel cut oats look like grain!
I do them in my rice cooker.  I make a cups worth and it lasts me 4 nights.  I feed it to the kids when they are here too.  It's become our ritual a couple hours before bed.  This is my usual recipe.

Rice Cooker Oatmeal
1 cup regular steel cut oats (I prefer McCann's)
3 1/3 cup water
1 tsp salt
3 T vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract

I mix it all in the pot and then set it to porridge and forget it.  You could also make it in a crock pot or on the stove the internet has many instructions on how to do this.

It's Done

I use less water than the instructions call for as I like mine with some substance and like the feel of the intact kernels of oats.  This smells heavenly when it's cooking.

Stir well when done.  You can refrigerate it for later use.

I take serving and pour some milk over it (I like almond milk or coconut milk but anything is good).  Microwave it for 90 sec and then stir until creamy, adding more milk if needed.

You can be creative with toppings.  Brown sugar, nuts, fruit, cinnamon.

My go to is unsweetened shredded coconut, sliced almonds, brown sugar and a Tb of dark chocolate chips.  I have a bowl nearly every night.  I had stopped losing weight and when I started doing this, the scale started moving again.  My daughter said it happened for her too.

Now my boys like it better savory than sweet.  I make a separate batch with just salt and chicken broth.  I serve it with minced green onions, minced salted radish and shoyu (soy sauce).  My oldest adds a bit of chili sauce too.  If you are familiar with Chinese jook or congee, this is very similar.

It is a comforting, soothing way to end my night and keep me from waking up with hunger pains in the middle of the night.

How do you like your oatmeal?

Darn, Dang, Oh Poo!

Ok I apologize for not posting again tonight.  I had a post all typed out and was finishing the last paragraph.  I went to correct a word and everything but the last sentence disappeared and then it automatically saved.

I've been battling a migraine all day and just don't have the energy to write it again tonight.  So I'll run it tomorrow.  Here's a teaser...CHOCOLATE!

Enough said.

It's In The Seasonings!

I'm back but I guess not back in the swing of things.  It just occurred to me that I cooked almost every day this week and didn't take a single picture.

I normally don't cook that often but I think between being starved (no food for almost 42 hours) and then having to endure hospital food, I really needed something good.

Hospital food is usually sub par anyway but what I was subjected to served was even below that.  I've single-handedly fed 70 people three meals a day for three days working out of a kitchen with two burners and a half size oven.  It's not hard, nor expensive to make food taste at least decent.  Seasoning would help.  That said, I'd like to share with you some of my favorite seasonings.

Hawaiian Kine has been featured on The Food Network and one of their sauces has won a national award.  I love them!  My sister even uses some of their products in her restaurant.  I have to admit that the company is owned by my Aunt and Uncle but they really are GOOD!

This is the product they started out with:  (Click any of the pictures to go to the information page)

Hawaiian Kine Original Salt

My Favorite!  I shouldn't share that because it is the most labor intensive to make so harder to get.

Hawaiian Kine Lemon Grass Salt

These are my two favorite sauces:

Hawaiian Kine Spicy Plum Dressing

Hawaiian Kine Ono Pineapple Drizzle

Scovie Award Winner!

"Ono" means delicious and it really is.  These sauces are great on salads or drizzled on cooked fish and other meats but I like to pour some in a bag with chicken and marinate it overnight then throw it on a grill!  As they say in Hawaii "Brok' da mouth"

They make other flavors of salt and sauces.  Their lineup also includes rubs and flavored oils.  Take a look here for their full lineup.  Everything is made by hand with Aloha.

Try them and let me know how you like it.  Tell them Kar sent you!

We're Almost Back

My apologies for not posting the last week.  I thought everything was taken care of then Blogger went down, leaving me unable to send or set up posts to publish while I was in the hospital.

My daughter was the back up but the cats knocked over her 1st anniversary flowers and fried her surge protector.  Not enough outlets in their room, they had to wait a few days to get a new one.

We will be back in the next couple of days and will pick up posting daily again.  Your patience is appreciated.

I WOULD post about my hospital meals, but really, I don't want to ruin your appetite!

Bon Appetit!  See you very very soon!

Jello Poke Cake

The final recipe from my Mother's Day Feast post. I love this dessert (but then again I love most desserts!) but this one is wonderful for the warm summer days coming up. It's cold and refreshing, easy to make and everyone will love the pretty colors running thru the slices.

Jello Poke Cake
1 - yellow or white cake mix
2 - 4oz boxes of Jello (any flavor, but reds, greens, & blues look the best)
1 - Tub of Cool Whip Topping
1 - Box of Vanilla Pudding Mix
*Plus whatever your cake mix box calls for to make it!*

Bake your cake according to the box instructions.
***If you're planning on turning over the cake out of it's pan, be sure to oil & flour the pan first!***
You can make it in 8 or 9in. round pans, a 13x9 rectangle, cupcakes, anything you'd like.
Once cake is finished, let it cool for 10-20minutes in the pan it was baked in.
While the cake is cooling, mix up the Jello according to the instructions on the box.
After the cake has cooled down a bit, poke holes all over cake using a fork. Pour the jello over the cake letting it fill in the holes.
Cover the cake and place in the fridge for 2 hours to let the Jello set.
If you'd like, you can overturn the cake out of it's pan now.
Before serving, mix the pudding mix in with the tub of Cool Whip and frost the cake. I used a frosting piping bag with a star point to make it pretty but you can just spread it on like frosting.

And that's it! Simple as that. We used lemon jello which tasted great but didn't give it the fancy streaks thru the cake like a brighter color will. If you're feeling especially creative you can use two colors of jello for even more confetti fun!

Twice Baked Potatoes

These potatoes were a favorite of my husband's family long before I became a part of it. They are definitely not the healthiest food so we don't make them very often but my gosh are they tasty! They're usually the first things eaten off people's plates and the first thing requested to be made again and again.

Twice Baked Potatoes
Twice Baked Potatoes

5 red-skinned potatoes
5 pieces bacon, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 onion, minced
2 tbsp parsley, chopped
2 tbsp butter
splash of milk or heavy cream (or more depending on how creamy you want your filling)
salt and pepper to taste

Bake the  potatoes at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.
While the potatoes are cooking, take the bacon and the onions and pan fry them until bacon is cooked and onions are caramelized.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and allow potatoes to cool for 5-10 minutes.

Potato Skins
Cut potatoes in half length-wise and scoop out the flesh with a small spoon. reserve the skins. (optional: you can brush the skins with olive oil to make them crispier.) 
Feed the potato flesh through a ricer and place in a bowl. Combine with the bacon, onions, cheddar cheese, parsley, butter, milk/cream and salt & pepper to taste.

Filled but not baked  yet
Scoop the filling back into the skins and place in the oven for 20 minutes, during the last 5 mins you can grate a little more cheddar cheese on top. 

My mouth is watering just thinking about these. They're quite heavy so a little goes a long way. 

Spicy Coleslaw with Pecans

Second installment of my Mother's Day Feast recipes. I'm not a coleslaw lover, in fact the only coleslaw besides this one that I've ever really enjoyed is KFC's. I got this recipe from Food Network, specifically from Tyler Florence who's recipes my husband loves. We made some alterations to it and every time we make it we tend to mix it up a bit.

Yummy Spicy Coleslaw

We usually omit the onions and add julienned radishes or bell peppers. For the dressing instead of the ground chipotle I use 1 chipotle chile in adobo sauce and I like to use light mayo or a mix of light mayo and plain yogurt to make it a bit healther. My mother in-law just adores the salad and we've made it 3 times since we discovered it only a month ago! It's a great basic coleslaw to add whatever veggies you enjoy the most. 

Mother's Day Feast

So last Sunday was Mother's Day and although I couldn't be with my own mother (cry cry), I still had a Mother-in-law to cook for and pamper for the day. When I asked her what she wanted to do that day all she wanted was all her favorite foods, she didn't want to go anywhere or do anything, she just wanted to eat! We made so much food that I'll post the whole spread today but I'll do one recipe at a time. This is what she requested:

Crab Stuffed Mushroom & Fresh Pineapple
Spicy Coleslaw with Pecans
Twice Baked Potatoes

Grilled Sweet Corn on the Cob
Grilled Hamburgers & Hotdogs

Our layout of condiments
Jello Poke Cake... Yum!
Today I'll post the recipe for the Crab Stuffed Mushrooms.
12 mushrooms, medium sized (if they're too small you don't get much filling in them)
1 can of crab meat (or fresh if you want to splurge, the can I used was the size of a tuna can)
3/4 of a block of cream cheese, softened
2-3 green onion stalks, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese (we like cheddar)
salt & pepper to taste

Turn on your broiler to high, make sure your rack is set on the upper half of your oven.
Pop all the stems out of the mushrooms and dice half the stems into little pieces and place in a bowl.
Stuffed Mushrooms before they go into the oven.
Drain your crabmeat and toss that into the bowl with the stems and add the cream cheese. Salt & pepper to taste. Mix well.
Using a small spoon, spoon in the filling into the mushroom tops, try and fill in under the edges of the mushroom cap and then put a decent size mound of filling on top.
Place mushrooms on a baking sheet and place under the broiler for 3minutes, until mushrooms start getting a bit wrinkled and the filling browns slightly, don't let it burn!
Remove the pan and place a small pile of grated cheese on each mushroom and return to the broiler until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Once out of the broiler, top with the chopped green onions and serve!
Be careful as the filling will be very hot and tends to gush out a bit when you bite into them.


Homemade Crepes

Thought I posted this one on May 2nd.  When I was checking posts it said it wasn't published...go figure.

I cook way more when the kids are here.  Looking back on this week, it's evident.  Now they are gone, my food today consisted of a Lean Pocket and a salad thrown together of bits and pieces from the fridge.  Not very exciting or blog worthy, unless you factor in the chance I have a chance to whine about it.

For their last night here, I wanted to do something special.  We were going to buy a cake or pie from the grocery store but it seemed they were choosing one just to have one.  Then I had an idea.  The boys loved the crepes we had at the restaurant for Easter brunch.  I had made crepes before so I knew they weren't that hard.  I remember there was quite a bit of butter in the recipe that I used.  I went looking for a fat free version and found quite a few.  

Crepe batter is simple anyway.  Most call for butter, flour, salt, milk and eggs.  All the recipes I was looking at nixed the butter.  I narrowed it down to two of them.   The major difference is that one used whole eggs (so not fat free but lower in fat) and one used just the whites.  I opted for the whole eggs.  I felt it would make a slightly richer crepe. You can find the recipe HERE

We weren't disappointed.  They cooked beautifully and tasted decadent. 

Rabbit ate his with canned peaches, cinnamon and whipped cream inside and topped with more whipped cream.   

We are still getting Horse to eat fruits, so he opted for chocolate chips, cinnamon, mixed nuts and whipped cream.

It was altogether, a special dessert. I refrigerated the leftover ones and am contemplating their use even as I type.

Chimichurri Sauce

I love beef.  Although we've been eating a lot more poultry and seafood, I have to have a good steak every once in a while.  Sometimes just salt, pepper and garlic powder is good enough.  There are times you just want something more.

This is a great Brazilian sauce called chimichurri.  You will find a lot of different recipes for it.  Tweak the ingredients to suit your taste.

1 cup cilantro leaves
1 cup flat leaf or Italian parsley leaves
1/4 cup fresh oregano
4 cloves of garlic
1/3 c red wine vinegar
Juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 cup olive oil

Toss everything but olive oil into a blender or food processor.  Turn the machine on and slowly add the olive oil, until every thing is chopped fine.

This is the first time I've used a blender.  My food processor got packed and put in storage in anticipation of our move.  The blender gave a smoother consistency.  Either way works and they both taste the same.

Blender   VS  Food Processor

Let sit at least an hour.  Serve it with the meat of your choice.

This time around, I used some to marinate some steaks.   I had to pan fry them as it's still too cold outside to BBQ   Also serve the sauce on the side too.  Chimichurri also makes an awesome bread dip.  The sauce will keep in the fridge for about a week.

Make mine RARE!

Chicken Verde

Cinco de Mayo was on Thursday and I had two corn tortillas with a bit of cheese and canned chili on top.  Not a very satisfying meal.  We had some tomatillos I had purchased to try and duplicate this salsa verde we had at a restaurant here that The Greek loved.  I figured he could wait for his salsa because I wanted something really good and well, what I want comes first ...right?  At least when the kids aren't here.

So I put the tomatillos and a couple of jalapeños in a roasting pan and drizzled them with a tiny bit of oil.  Rub them all over and put the pan in a 400 degree oven.  I don't remember how long it was but until they are browned (maybe 30 min).  I took them out and let them cool off.  I pulled just the stems out of the jalapeños but if you don't want it too spicy you can take the seeds out too.

Then I threw it all in a blender, including the liquid.  I added 2 big cloves of garlic and a whole onion cut in chunks.  Blend until pureed.  Then I added 1 tsp of salt and about 1 cup of fresh cilantro.  Blend again until well pureed.  I put in the fridge overnight but you can use it right away if you want.

I took chicken thighs (8) but any amount is good.  I browned them slightly in a big pot, then threw the tomatillo mixture in along with about a heaping tsp of dried oregano.  Add water if you need to but not much. Bring to a boil and turn down to a gentle boil and cover.  Cook for about an hour, stirring occasionally.  Add more water if you need to OR if it's too thin, partly uncover the pot and let it boil down a bit.

You can serve it as is, with veggies or rice on the side.

Or wrap it in tortillas.  I LOVE good corn tortillas.

You could use pork in this dish also.  It turned out really well and satisfied my Mexican food craving!

Caramel Cheese and Shrimp Crepes (and a Blog Hop)

Darn! I forgot I have a really late show tonight and I don't have much time to get a post up. I'm making this short and simple.

These were what I did with the leftover crepes.  Thawed precooked shrimp, a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, a few slices of the caramel cheese I have.  It's so good, I love to have a slice and a few pieces of that caramel corn too, at the same time.  I sprinkled the filling with a little salt and garlic powder then rollled it up and microwaved it for a minute.  I like spicy so drizzled a little sriacha (chili sauce) on it.  Served it with green beans sauteed with just a little bacon.  Awesome!

Today I ran across a fun little blog hop at My Little Life.  Check out my answers here at my other blog, then join us!

Finding Friends Weekend Blog Hop - Week 6

It's the weekend and it's a good time to drop in and discover a few new blogs to follow.  Join us for the Finding Friends Weekend Blog Hop!

Follow the hosts AND the co-host (they are the first 4 links).  After that you can visit them all or pick and choose a few.  Leave them a message letting them know what hop you are following them from.

Easy as pie!  A whole lot of fun too!

Things I Crave: Chili Pepper Sauce

Living out here in the Midwest US, there are things I crave and can't get.  I miss a lot of the food from Hawaii, but sometimes even the simplest ingredients are no where to be found here.  That's when I hit up my relatives.

My sister owns a Japanese restaurant so I can call her to look for Japanese items.  My mom will send some things from Hawaii.  My Auntie in Hawaii owns a seasoning company.  Even my ex will send things by mail or with the kids when they come during school breaks.

One thing he gets me is my favorite chili sauce.  There is only one store in the Sacramento area that sells it and we have never found it anywhere else.  It's from a fairly famous San Francisco restaurant, Yank Sing.  I remember eating at this restaurant when I was a kid, so maybe 40 years ago.  It's the first place I ever had dim sum.

Their chili sauce is salted turnip, black beans, garlic, sugar, peppers, shoyu, and oil.  It's a bit chunky and salty. I use it in everything!  In soup and stews, stir fry (try a spoonful in some sauteed green beans), on cold tofu and even in my oatmeal when I make it savory instead of sweet.

One of my favorite things, besides having the kids back is checking to see what they brought back with them.  Then I hoard them until next trip.  What is your favorite condiment?

Chinese Noodles

One of the things I miss the most about "home" is the ethnic food. There's always been plenty of good restaurants that served delicious food of every kind; Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Greek, Filipino, Korean, everything!  And what we couldn't get at a restaurant my Mom was always able to make at home. Here in Kelowna, I have yet to find what I consider to be a *GOOD* Chinese food. We've tried many of them around town but nothing comes close to what I grew up eating. Even my husband who grew up in the Kelowna area agrees that the places here are no where near as good to what we had in the States. That left us no choice but to make our own! This recipe is so yummy but very fast and simple. It's become our "go-to" meal on the days we're just too tired to cook for real. This recipe makes a lot of food and the leftovers are great for lunch the next day.

Chinese Noodles
1/2 package of asian noodles (I prefer thin noodles, fresh in the refrigerated section. The brand we enjoy is called Double Happiness.)
1 clove of garlic, sliced or diced.
1 small piece of ginger, sliced thinly (We love ginger so we use a lot of it usually)
3 Tbsp Oyster Sauce
1 Tbsp Sesame Oil
2 Tbsp Canola Oil
Protein of your choice, I've done this with shrimp, beef, chicken, tofu.
Stir fry veggies, we like cabbage, bok choy, baby corn, onions, etc. (Use whatever you'd like, it's a great way to clean out the vegetable drawers!)
1 tsp 5-spice
Salt & pepper
Thai chili pepper or Sambal Olelek (option if you want some spice)

Start off by preparing your noodles based on the instructions on the package. Ours required that you soak them in hot water, others you need to boil, etc. Chop all your veggies into appropriate size pieces, same with your protein if needed. After your noodles are prepared pat them dry as best you can, same with your meat. Sprinkle the meat with some 5-spice and salt and pepper.

Put a large pan on medium heat and add 2 tsp. of canola oil and let it heat up. When it has, place the noodles in it and don't touch them! Let them sit for about 5min, use a spatula to check them to make sure they're not burning but make sure that you don't disturb them too much, you want them to form a sort of pancake of noodles. When the bottom is nicely browned you can flip the "noodle pancake" onto the other side and let that brown up as well. 

In another pan, preferably a wok if you have it, heat 1/2 Tbsp of canola oil at med-high heat. When that heats up toss in your meat, garlic, ginger, and peppers if you're using them and let the meat partially cook, usually about 3-4min depending on the type of protein you're using and the size of it. Once that's done take the meat out and put it in a bowl on the side.

Using the same wok, add another 1/2Tbsp or so of canola oil and toss in the rest of the veggies and stir fry them until almost done. Add your meat back into the wok and season with oyster sauce and a splash of sesame oil (sambal oelek too if you didn't use a chile). Meanwhile, in the pan with the noodles, once both sides are done browning, splash a bit of soy sauce and sesame oil onto the noodles and toss them until nicely seasoned. Be sure not to use too much oil or your noodles will be yucky and too oily. Divide the noodles onto bowls or plates and top with the stir fry mixture.

Super simple ingredients but it tastes just divine! You won't need to order take out anymore!
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