Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles

A few weeks ago, Jeremiah and I attended our first online cooking class through The Culinary Center of Kansas City. We have attended a handful of classes in our nearly six years together. They’ve taught us how to make Italian Gipes, The Bristol’s scallops, and Thanksgiving stuffing. We’ve now taken three online classes. Our most recent one was Asian cooking. Chef Jill is so lively on camera and she’s quick to respond to questions. The only sucky part is you don’t get to sample her delicious dishes. Over the weekend, we ventured out to the the Asian grocery store she shops at. We picked up staples like: Fish Sauce, Hoisin Sauce, and wide noodles. We also grabbed some Green Tea Kit Kat bars. (They aren’t bad.) The recipe I am sharing is from Pinterest but we are looking to make Chef Jill’s dumpling recipe soon. Quick, easy, and full of flavor (slightly sweet with a touch of spicy).

Mongolian Ground Beef Noodles by Jen Around the World
IMG_11461 lb. of ground beef
1 small package of wide noddles
4 tsp. minced ginger
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
1/2 c. beef broth
1/2 c. brown sugar
6 T. hoisin sauce
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp. black pepper
green onions for garnishing

Bring a pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add noodles and cook for 4 minutes. At the same time, cook ground beef with ginger. When almost finished, added garlic. Drain meat. In a small bowl, mix soy sauce, broth, sugar, hoisin sauce, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. Add to meat mixture and cook down for about 3 minutes. Use tongs to pull noddles from water and add to dish. If it is too thick, ladle in water from pasta pot. Top with green onions.

Notes:

  • If you don’t want the little kick, you can remove the red pepper flakes.
  • In our noddles, we mixed half a pot of water and half low sodium beef broth. We also added a splash of soy sauce. 
  • If you don’t like or can’t afford ground beef, you can use ground turkey, ground pork, or ground chicken. 
  • I used ginger from my spices. Rachael Ray suggest using a spoon to clean ginger root. She suggest grating what you need and putting the rest in the freezer. I did that once but it caught fire in the microwave so don’t do that. 
  • If you don’t have Asian noddles, you can use spaghetti or linguine noodles. 

 

 

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread

You know those giant chocolate muffins from Sam’s Club – that’s what this bread taste like. You can’t even taste the zucchini. We are growing zucchini in our garden this summer so I’m going to need to find more of these recipes.

Healthy Chocolate Zucchini Bread by Wyldflour Blog
IMG_10861 c. flour
1/2 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1/4 c. canola oil
1/4 c. plain Greek yogurt
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. shredded zucchini

Shred on zucchini on a grater. Absorb some of water with a paper towel.

In a large bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, combine eggs, oil, yogurt, sugar, and vanilla. Pour into flour mixture and integrate with fork. Fold in chocolate chips with a spatula. Then, fold in zucchini until well combined. Pour into a greased bread pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes.

 

 

Baked Tilapia

In our adventures in the freezer, we fold bunch of tilapia. That sent Jeremiah searching for recipes to make. This one is very flavorful.

Mouth Watering Baked Tilapia as modified by Jeremiah Slater
IMG_0881 (1)2 cloves of garlic
1/4 c. of soy sauce
1/4 c. lemon juice
1 T. Olive Oil
1 T. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 c. shallot
salt & pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 slice of pears on each (dice rest of pear and add to dish)
2 T. butter
2 tilapia fillets
parsley

Mix wet ingredients plus onion, mashed garlic, and diced pear in a small bowl. Spray baking dish and place tilapia inside. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and Italian seasoning. Pour liquid over fillets. Place a slice of pear and 1 T. of butter on each. Bake at 425 degrees for 14 minutes. Remove sliced pear and sprinkle with parsley.

 

 

Brunch at Casa Slater

Brunch is our favorite meal. We love it so much, that’s what we did for our wedding. Jeremiah and I love to go out and try new brunch restaurants. The place we are currently dying to try is Seven Swans Creperie at the recommendation of a co-worker. We were going to go a few weeks ago and they were closed for the week. The following week, I was snowing and I didn’t want to venture out. Kicking myself for that decision now that I’m stuck (staying safe) at home.

Although we are constantly trying new places, we usually end up though back at our favorite – The Big Biscuit. I get the Eggs Benedict and Jeremiah gets the Jimmy Platter – which is eggs, breakfast potatoes, and biscuits and gravy. (Lynn – I promise, he does not love it as much as your biscuits and gravy.)

IMG_0666The dish I made for brunch at home today though was so good, Jeremiah took two serving of it. I asked Jeremiah if it felt like something he could have had on our trip to Maine. He said, “Yes.” I also felt some inspiration from our trip to Vermont.

We are currently out of maple syrup (in this dish) so we ordered some last night from this great place we bought maple syrup at during our Maple and Wine tour. The Vermont Maple Outlet is a family IMG_0665defaultowned business that has been around for over 100 years old. Their last name is Fletcher so maybe we are related. I’d suggest ordering online from them. We like their Grade A Amber Rich – and not just for it’s name. The Amber is a medium richness. We also like the Boyden Valley Winery’s Bourbon Barrel Maple Syrup. They were another stop on our tour.

May you enjoy this dish that got my husband and dog to crawl out of bed from its smell.

Overnight Blueberry French Toast Casserole by Wishes and Dishes
IMG_06676 slices of bread
1 brick cream cheese
1 c. blueberries
6 eggs
1 c. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/6 c. maple syrup

Blueberry Syrup
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. water
1 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. blueberries
1 T. butter

Spray a 9×9 glass square baking dish. Cut three slices of bread into cubes and pour into dish. Cube up cream cheese and top bread. Sprinkle with blueberries. Cut remaining bread and top dish. In a large bowl, beat eggs, milk, vanilla, and maple syrup together. Pour over dish. Cover dish and place in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, pull out of fridge and let it sit for 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake covered for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake another 30 minutes.

To make syrup, cook water, sugar, and cornstarch to a boil. Cook and stir constantly for 4 minutes. Add blueberries and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring regularly.

Pour syrup over slices of French toast.

Notes:

  • We used Shatto Home Delivery to get our blueberries and Farm to Market Bread Co. wheat bread. 
  • I used expired milk. Technically, dairy is supposed to be good 10 days past the date on the product. I suggest using the smell test and cooking it though.
  • We were out of maple syrup. We has maple butter and used it. I think it worked just fine.
  • We had about 3/4 of a brick of 1/3 less fat cream cheese. It worked just fine.
  • I used five eggs and 1 liquid egg white.
  • One of my friends is allergic to corn in any form. She suggest unflavored gelatin or arrowroot as a suggestion for cornstarch. 

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

This recipe for cinnamon rolls is super easy and tasty. Perfect recipe for those who love this fall flavor all year long.

Easy Mini Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls by Two Peas & Their Pod Blog
IMG_14071 can crescent rolls (seamless)
1/4 c. pumpkin butter
3 T. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon

Icing
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/4 c. butter, softened
1 1/2 c. powder sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 T. milk (more if you need to thin icing)

Preheat over to 375 degrees. Unroll dough and spread with pumpkin butter. Sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Roll into a log and cut with a serrated knife into 9 slices. Place slices cut side down into a greased 9 x 9 baking dish. Bake for 18-20 minutes. Cream together cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend. After cooling cinnamon rolls for 5 minutes, cover them with icing.

Notes:

  • I used canned pumpkin and it worked just fine.
  • You can use a regular can of crescent rolls but you just have to get rid of the seams to make it into one giant rectangle. 
  • This is a little too much icing so you might want to cut recipe in half. 

 

Strawberry Stuffed French Toast

IMG_0876Last year, Jeremiah and I went strawberry picking for the first time. I had always wanted to do it but hadn’t been able to fit it into my schedule. We loved it so much, we decided to do it again this spring. The weather was a little hotter this year as we went from winter straight to summer. When you pick a flat of berries, you need to come up with a few recipes to use them in. I ran across the recipe and cooked it up on a day when Jeremiah was working from home. We both agreed, this recipe was a winner. Great flavor and bonus it’s a skinny recipe.

Skinny Strawberry and Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast by Savory Nothings

  • img_0866.jpg4 T. One-third less fat cream cheese
  • 1 T. honey or maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • ¼ c. skim milk
  • 4 T. whole grain bread crumbs
  • 1 T. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 8 strawberries sliced
  • 8 slices of whole wheat bread
  • 2 T. oil

Mix honey and cream cheese. In a shallow dish, whisk together eggs and milk. On a large plate, combine bread crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Cover four slices of bread with cream cheese mixture and top with strawberry slices. Top each slice of bread with a second slice of bread. Dip in egg mixture to coat each side, dripping off excess. Then, repeat in bread crumb mixture. Cook in a pan coated with oil and flip half-way through cooking.

Wine Adventures

Last week, we attended our 3rd wine dinner at Carrabba’s Italian Grill. These dinners are great because you get to eat your favorite recipes, sample dishes on their hidden menu, and taste four wines for between $40-50 per dinner. During our last dinner, a couple was asking us about our wine adventures. This is something people ask us from time to time so I thought I’d share. Jeremiah estimates we’ve been to 30 wineries for tastings. Here are a few of our favorites.

  • Sommerset Ridge Winery and Vineyard – Located in Miami County, KS just about us_alter.jpga mile and half past the Louisburg Cider Mill, this is the home to absolutely one of our favorite wineries. On the weekends, they often have music in nice weather months and occasional food trucks. Here are a few of our favorites: Oktoberfest, Buffalo Red, Avalon, Ambrosia, Citron, and Tawny Port. Did I mention we love them so much that we used one of our wine corks from them on Jeremiah’s boutonniere he wore during our wedding?
  • Windy Wine Co. – Located just east of St. Joseph, MO, we loved so many of their wines. My husband and sister had a chance to sample them at the Northwest Missouri Wine Fest. It started storming by the time arrived so I wasn’t able to test any. That lead us to a Sunday Drive to the winery. They even have a bottle called Peanut Butter & Jelly. Apparently, the owner is a huge fan of giant Reese Peanut Butter Cups. I’m talking one of those several pounds big. His family bought him one from the store while we were sampling. Here are some of our favorites: White Chocolate Strawberry, Caramel Apple, Raspberry, Good News Dread, Spiced Pear, and Blackberry Cobbler.
  • Weston Wine Company – Located in downtown Weston, we sampled this winery IMG_0496on our way to my 40th birthday weekend at Arbor Lodge. It was raining and this cheery purple building was home to some delicious wines. I liked them so much, we joined their wine club. Quarterly, they host a “Book Club” where they review a wine related book and we get to sample some great wine. Trilliant Cut is my absolute favorite but I also like Navette Cut. If you are up for mixing, Princess Cut and Navette Cut are great mixed together. Although I am not a huge fan of Bubly carbonated water, the Mango and Apple to mix well with Princess Cut and Navette Cut to make a spritzer.
  • Van Till Family Farm Winery – Our first visit to this winery was on an icy morning IMG_0419after a December getaway to The Elms in Excelsior Springs. The owners were organic farmers in California before moving to Missouri just before September 11th. On Friday and Saturday nights, they crank-up a wood-fired oven on the outdoor patio they had brought in from Italy. Although it was starting to getting icy, we stayed for some pizza. OMG – it’s sooooo good. The recipes are the owner’s creation and use ingredients from their farm. The crust is light enough you can eat three pieces and not feel too stuffed. I’m not talking your traditional pizza topping either. Plus, they pay their employees a live wage so you don’t need to tip. In fact, they ask you not to. We like their: Peach Wine, Strawberry Festival, Farm Shed Red, and Prairie Fire.

Want to sample some dish food and wines for yourself? I hope you will purchase a ticket for Harvesters’ Forks and Corks. For $125, you get to sample food and libations from over 60 vendors. All proceeds help feed over 141,000 people in our community who rely on Harvesters to help feed their families. Who knows, you might just find a new wine you like or a winery you’d like to visit.

Ham and Swiss Quiche

It’s New Year’s weekend and I have three consecutive days off. It’s also the coldest its been in years with wind chills temps of -15 so staying in seems like a great plan. That means I’m also cooking up a storm. This morning, I created a breakfast quiche that would use up more of that leftover holiday ham. Very tasty.

Ham and Swiss Quiche from Pinterest
IMG_05431 Pillsbury pie crust
½ c. onion
1 T. butter
½ lb. ham
6 oz. Swiss cheese
4 eggs
2 c. light cream
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
pinch of cayenne pepper
chives

Remove pie crust from fridge. Let it sit 15 minutes before unrolling. Place crust in sprayed pie pan. Pinch up corners of crust and over with parchment paper and metal beads. Cook at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes. Let cool slightly.

Sauté onions in butter until translucent. Let cool slightly. Dice ham into small pieces. Cover crust with onions, ham, and cheese.

In a bowl, mix eggs, milk, and seasoning. Pour over mixture in crust. Sprinkle with chives.

Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Turn down to 350 degrees and cook for an additional 30 minutes. Let cool for 30 minutes before cutting quiche and serving.

Notes:

  • I don’t have those beads for baking pies so I improvised by placing a spoon on top of the parchment paper. It worked.
  • I used one shallot instead of a regular onion. I sautéed it in Wildtree Basil Pesto Grapeseed Oil.
  • I used probably 1 ½ cups of ham. As a result, I only ended up using half the egg/milk mixture.
  • I had some leftover Gouda and Fontine cheeses from Christmas. I shredded probably 2 oz. of these cheeses and combined with 4 oz. of Swiss cheese. The result was a very cheesy quiche. You could also do a Cheddar cheese if you prefer. 
  • I messed up and bought buttermilk instead of half and half. I ended up using Skim Milk. It worked just fine. However, I was only able to get about half half the egg mixture into the quiche. I decided to cook the leftover mixture on the stove top. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able those to get that egg mixture to cook on the stove top – too runny.
  • I didn’t have any chives so I sprinkled with parsley instead.

Breakfast Bubble Pizza

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you know I love Bubble Pizzas. The beauty is you mix everything in a bowl and dump into a pan. Who doesn’t love less dishes? I’ve made traditional Bubble Pizza (first made for me by my Uncle Tom and Aunt Annette) and Mexican Bubble Pizza.

This morning, I was trying to use up some of our leftover Christmas ham. Jeremiah and I bought a Smithfield ham (my favorite brand – local and support my favorite charity with donations of product to feed hungry people) at Sam’s Club. The ham was the most delicious ham I’ve eaten in a long time but we had way too much left – even with my nephew whose favorite meat is all pork products didn’t finish it off. You’ll love this super easy, five ingredient breakfast casserole. Plus, it looks beautiful. It turned my day around that started with a smoke detector we couldn’t get to stop beeping and a tv that was frozen on an infomercial.

Incredible Breakfast Bake by Key Ingredient Recipes
img_0537.jpg½ c. milk
5 eggs
1 c. ham
1 package (8 oz./2 c.) cheddar cheese
1 package of Grands biscuits
Salt & pepper

Beat eggs in a large bowl and top with salt and pepper. Add milk, ham, and cheese to bowl. Cut biscuits in fourths and fold into egg mixture. Spray a 13 x 9 baking dish and pour mixture into dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Italian Quesadilla

One of the things Jeremiah and I really enjoy doing is wine tasting. We like to go on little day trips as well as while we are on vacation. A few of our favorite places are Somerset Ridge (just past the Louisburg Cider Mill on the Miami County Wine Trail), Van Till Winery and Family Farm (great wood-fired pizzas on the weekends just outside of Excelsior Springs), and Windy Wine Company (east of St. Joseph off Hwy 36). Another little winery in downtown Weston actually got us to join their wine club.

IMG_0247The first winery Jeremiah and I visited together was Pirtle Winery – located in a historic church just off Main Street. Downtown Weston has lots of great shops. I love the community food pantry and charming kitty cat outside the photography shop. This little town really isn’t any bigger than where I grew up but really developed tourism around wine tasting, local food, unique shops, and B&B stays. Once a quarter, the Weston Wine Company host their monthly book club…aka an excuse to drink wine and pick-up your free bottle. In August, the book featured was “What to Eat with What You Drink.” You don’t need to buy or even read the book, they give you the Cliff IMG_0295Notes version during the event. Since the book was about pairings, they had matched each of their wines with a recipe. One of our favorites was the Italian Quesadilla served with a semi-sweet red (Radiant Cut Wine). At the winery, they sell a pepperoni cheese. I told Jeremiah that I thought we should buy a block and use it with fresh basil. Jeremiah says that kicked it up a bit. This is our take on this non-traditional quesadilla.

Italian Quesadilla by Weston Wine Company (modified by Amber Bourek Slater)
IMG_03191 lb. ground Italian sausage (we used Scimeca’s turkey sausage)
1 apple (red preferred)
Fresh basil
Grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese (or pepperoni cheese if you can find it)
Flour tortilla shells (we like high fiber Mission shells)

Dice the apple. Cook the ground sausage and apple. Cover half a tortilla shell with sausage mixture, basil, and cheeses. Fold over. Cook on medium for 3 minutes. Flip and cook an additional 1 ½ minutes (or until golden brown).