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.


  • 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.



Better Than Lasagna Casserole

For about 6 years of my life, I worked for domestic violence agencies. I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing women who are life long friends. I was also blessed to meet so many amazing survivors. I was lucky enough that they allowed me to help them share their stories with other to help people better understand the issue of domestic violence. For about a year of my life, I also volunteered with women who were domestic violence survivors that were incarcerated. You may not know that 89% of women who are incarcerated for substance abuse issues have also experienced domestic violence. I still think about these women – especially in times like this. As we are all quarantined at home, how many women (and yes, some men) and children are scared for their lives? May you continue to support your local domestic violence shelters as your budgets allow. Their critical services will be used significantly in the weeks and months ahead.

IMG_1004Although I didn’t have the opportunity to work with SAFEHOME Chef Sarah, I have had the pleasure of working with many incredible chefs at SAFEHOME and Hope House. Trust me, their work is so much harder that it seems. They have to prepare two meals everyday, plus also help prepare food ahead for the weekend staff to heat up between answering the hotline and assisting shelter residents. Our chef was out for a while once and some of us offered to take turns cooking. Just making a casserole, salad, and dessert for 39 people was quite the undertaking.

SAFEHOME shared this recipe on their Instagram page recently. It doesn’t feed 39 people but it does make one hearty dish. May you enjoy this easier than lasagna recipe.

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the Kansas City metro-wide crisis hotline at 816-HOTLINE. The phone number is answered 24 hours a day by trained professionals who can help you safety plan and access resources to help keep you safe.

Better Than Lasagna Casserole by SAFEHOME Chef Sarah
IMG_10054 c. cooked egg noddles (8 oz. dry)
1/3 c. minced onion
1 lb. ground beef
1/4 c. diced green pepper (optional)
16 oz. tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano, dry
1 c. cottage cheese
1 tsp. basil, dry
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp/ garlic, granulated
8 oz. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Cook noddles. Cook onion and ground beef. Mix together tomato sauce, ground beef mixture, garlic, basil, and oregano. Mix together cheeses. Spray a 2 quart baking dish. Put half the noodles on bottom. Top with cheese mixture. Place remaining noddles in dish. Top with meat mixture. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes.


  • I did not use the peppers.
  • I did not refrigerate it before baking.
  • You can use any kind of pasta – broken spaghetti, rotini, or elbow macaroni. 
  • I would have liked a little more sauce. I think maybe using a 24 oz. would have allowed me to put a little on the bottom of the dish or over the cheese.
  • I added fresh basil and oregano to this recipe from my indoor herb garden. 

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

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.



Chocolate Chip M&Ms Cookies

Amber Angel

Angel outfit (including a wire hanger halo wrapped in black electrical tape and gold tinsel pre-Pinterest days) created by mother for the church Christmas play. She also made the plastic canvas gingerbread house on the console stereo. The painting was done by my Great Grandpa Reith. The ceramic Christmas tree was created by my Grandma Fletcher. 

M&Ms are the best. When I was a little kid, my family had those Christmas stocking that went from big to small. My stocking was tiniest and all my parents could fit in it was snack sized bag of M&Ms.

As an adult, I’ve always had a jar of M&Ms in my home. We usually buy one of big jars from Sam’s Club. It was getting low in quarantine so we ordered the biggest bag HyVee sells for home delivery. FYI – it is about half the size. For Easter, we bought a box of Christopher Elbow Chocolates through Shatto Home Delivery. I have to say, that has helped me curb my M&Ms eating. For that reason, I spared a few for this cookie recipe. I made some chocolate chips cookies the next weekend and Jeremiah said this cookie recipe was way better.

M&M Chocolate Chip Cookies from Mom Time Out Blog
IMG_08713/4 c. butter, softened (1 1/2 sticks)
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 T. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 tsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 oz. chocolate chips
1 c. M&Ms

Cream together butter and sugars. Beat in egg and vanilla. In another bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Gradually mix into butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips and M&Ms. Refrigerate for at least and hour before baking. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook for 10-12 minutes.




Peach French Toast

If I had to choose between waffles, pancakes, or French toast, I’d choose French toast. I love it but I can’t order anymore when we go out for brunch. The reason, my allergy to barley. Ordering anything with bread or a bun is a roulette game. I’ll take the risk at restaurants sometimes but I only have like three bread related products options in the grocery store. Since we started ordering Shatto, we have been buying Farm to Market Co. bread. I’ve had it before and thought I was safe to eat it. We had some leftover bread from last week’s order so I said, “Let’s make French toast.” This recipe smells as good as it taste. Enjoy.

Peach Cobbler French Toast by Lemon Tree Dwelling
IMG_0926French Toast
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 T. corn syrup
1 loaf of bread
2 cans sliced peaches
1 c. milk
1 c. half and half
6 eggs
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Streusel Topping
6 T. butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
2/3 c.  flour
1/2 tsp.cinnamon

Melt brown sugar, corn syrup, and butter over a medium heat. When melted, pour into a sprayed 13 x 9 baking dish. Slice bread into 1 inch pieces and sprinkle in baking dish. Top with drained peaches. Mix remaining French toast wet ingredients and pour over bread/peaches. Cover and refrigerator overnight. In the morning, crumble streusel ingredients and top French toast. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. 


  • I didn’t have a loaf of French bread so I used 3/4 of loaf of week old Farm to Market wheat bread.
  • I didn’t have corn syrup so we used honey. 
  • I didn’t have half and half so I melted 4 T. butter and filled to 1 cup with fat free milk. 
  • I didn’t have canned peaches so we used frozen peaches. 
  • I used Penzey’s Vietnamese Cinnamon. My husband says he doesn’t hiccup when I use is. 

Rhubarb Cherry Crisp

When I was a kid, we had a bunch of rhubarb on the edge of our property by the tree that produced rotten apples. I remember going and grabbing rhubarb for my mom to make a coffee cake. As a teen, we moved to Wayne. We had rhubarb in our little garden. My mom was so busy with work that my great uncle would often come get it and make jam. The good news is that he would share a jar as a thank you. As an adult, I introduced my husband to vegetable making Ina Garten’s delicious Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp.

Last week, Jeremiah suggested we inventory what was in our freezers. If you know me, I used to have a running list of what was in my pantry at my old apartment in Lenexa because I was tried of pulling every can out to see what I had. I updated that list by crossing off items when they were gone. It makes grocery shopping so much easier. (He knows me so well.) I have to admit, we had more food than I would have though we had after a month in quarantine. I was surprised to learn we had two packages of rhubarb. That lead me to search for recipes on my Pinterest site with rhubarb. When I found this recipe, I said, “I wonder if we have cherry Jello?” Yep, we sure did. Don’t ask me what I bought it for.

Jeremiah and I like to make smaller batches of foods so we don’t have to eat them forever. This recipe is for a 9 x 13 but we halved it and cooked in a 9 x 9 pan for the same amount of time.

Rhubarb Cherry Crisp by Hot Eats and Cool Reads (from Shenna)
IMG_08734 c. rhubarb
1/2 c. sugar
1 – 3 oz. box of cherry Jello
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. oat
1/2 c. brown sugar
1 stick (1/2 c.) of melted butter

Preheat oven for 350 degrees. Spray 13 x 9 pan with non-stick spray. Place rhubarb in dish and sprinkle with sugar and Jello. Stir to coat. Mix remaining ingredients and crumb over top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Crustless Quiche

For Easter, we had diced ham so I asked Jeremiah if he wanted a quiche. He said, “Sure,


Easter brunch – Blackberry muffin, Cheesy potatoes, and Crustless Ham and Gouda Quiche (all recipes on this blog)

that sounds good.” (I luckily had some local ham from Frick’s in my freezer.) I didn’t have any pie crust so I decided to find a crustless quiche recipe. This original recipe was a Quiche Lorraine. I switched the bacon to ham and Gruyere or Swiss cheese to Gouda cheese. We got our Gouda cheese, milk, and eggs from Shatto Home Delivery. Believe it or not, we were so pleasantly surprised that the chives we planted last spring were already growing in our garden box on our deck. Jeremiah thinks this is the best quiche I’ve ever made. Very flavorful and quick to cook.

Crustless Quiche modified from Show Me the Yummy
0F3A05C4-B7E1-434D-9754-E8E2A1B447041 c. diced ham
chives (optional)
3 cloves garlic
1/2 c. onion
6 eggs
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/8 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2 c. shredded Gouda cheese
3/4 c. milk

Saute onion and add garlic in a cast iron skillet. Mix remaining ingredients in bowl and add onion/garlic mixture. Pour into skillet and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.


  • If you use a cast iron skillet, I’d suggest less salt. It was a little salty for our taste.

Homemade Brownies

The first week of quarantine, I made a box of brownies. No wine o’clock here. It was brownie o’clock every night. Jeremiah was like, you should make brownies all the time. Of course, I only had that one box. I decided to search my Pinterest page and found this recipe of how to make homemade brownies for $.30. Luckily, I had all the ingredients. I thought they were pretty good and easy peasy.

Homemade Brownies from Pinterest
IMG_08011 c. sugar
1/2 c. flour
1/3 c. cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
2 eggs
1/2 c. vegetable oil
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix ingredients. Pour into a sprayed 9 x 9 baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees for 24 minutes.


  • Jeremiah thought it needed more chocolate. I’d suggest if you want it more chocolaty to add some chocolate chips. 

Blackberry Muffins

With the quarantine, Easter did not going to look quite the same. Church was via Facebook Live so no new Easter attire was needed. I wore a springy white and lilac striped shirt with blue jeans. There was no extended family dinner either. That means we were on our own to prepare something other than ham. We opted to do brunch – our favorite.

Thanks to Shatto Home Delivery, we had fresh milk and eggs to make this recipe. Since I normal buy produce when it is on sale at Sprouts, I have an assortment of fruit in our freezer for muffins and smoothies. This recipe was delicious and way better than the blueberry muffins I made last week. Enjoy.

Blackberry Streusel Muffins from Sugar Apron (adapted from Joy of Cooking)
IMG_07923 eggs
1 1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
3 c. flour
1 c. sugar
2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
Pinch of salt
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. cold butter
1 pint (2 c.) blackberries
1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
2 T. butter

In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, and vanilla. In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, baking powder. Crumble in stick of butter. Pull out 1 c. of mixture and put in a separate bowl. In large bowl, add blackberries and lemon zest. Then, stir in wet ingredients. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. Melt remaining butter and mix into remain dry ingredients. Spoon crumble over muffins. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


  • I did not have any lemon zest so I just skipped it.
  • The recipe said it made 12 muffins. It made 18 muffins.