Saturday, December 29, 2012

My New Blender

So I got this awesome blender for Christmas. I've been begging for a blender since I started this whole cooking adventure, and finally..... my whining has been heard and I received The Ninja Master Prep Professional Food & Drink Maker.   I've decided I'm going to blend the hell out of the kitchen, starting with smoothies. I'm going to go on a smoothie binge, just watch.  For one, every single day that I was in Vietnam visiting family, I had fresh smoothies every day. I miss that. Secondly, a healthy, delicious, filling breakfast in a cup, on the go?? I  mean really.. who can argue with that. This'll be the perfect way to get fruits and vegetables all in one little cup and feel like i'm having a sweet treat the whole time.   Plus i'm getting really bored of boring english muffins and oatmeal for breakfast...

Behold..the fancy, inexpensive, awesome Ninja. It comes with four different containers for your various needs. Storage lids, sharp blades (i've already cut myself), and probably my only complaint is that now I need to find a place to store all those containers. Otherwise, I love it!  But if you are concerned with space, there are other Ninja systems, with just one pitcher.  Anyways, enough of this. I'm not here to advertise, I'm just excited I finally got a blender. :-)

I'd tell you how I made this but honestly, I have no idea. I was just so blender happy I started throwing random things in it. This is a blend of coffee, ice, peanut butter, bananas, and chocolate chips, topped with whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles.   I'm pretty sure its not too difficult to reproduce and you really should because holy yum!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Enchilada Stacks

I don't know why I felt I had to be overly cautious when making these, aside from the fact that it was my first time trying. I'm somewhat disappointed in how it looks but the taste is oh so good, even as leftovers the next day. And with green tabasco.  Next time, and there will be a next time, I am going to totally up it and fill it without hesitation and have it oozing and dripping with goodness.

1 package of tortillas (I used the 8 inch - 10 pack ones).
1 lb lean ground beef (although honestly, next time I may opt for 1.5 lbs)
1 can red enchilada sauce (20 oz)
1 package taco seasoning 
Shredded cheddar cheese (8 - 16 oz or more if you like cheese)
1 can refried beans (16oz)
1 can diced green chilies (or you can cut fresh ones)
Scallions to top

* Note - add any other additional ingredients you like in your enchiladas.  The taco seasoning isn't a necessity, you can just use enchilada sauce mixed into the beef, however I found it needed an extra something so I threw in the seasoning.


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Brown ground beef in a skillet.  

Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the ground beef and stir.  Add the taco seasoning now too if you plan to use it.  Take it off the heat and set aside.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  This is important to do otherwise the first layer of tortilla will stick to the baking sheet.  

Place one tortilla on baking sheet and top with a layer of beef followed by cheese, then the diced green chilies. Pour some enchilada sauce over it. I did not measure out how much I used, i just poured loosely. You can do more or less per your taste.

Next, add a tortilla on top  and spread a layer of the refried beans. 

Layer three will be the same as layer one. 

Keep following this pattern for five tortillas, but when you get to the last (top) tortilla, dip it in enchilada sauce and set on top.  Sprinkle with cheese and then cover the whole stack with foil.

Bake for 30-40 minutes.  Remove foil, add a thin layer of enchilada sauce and some more cheese. 
Bake uncovered for 5 minutes so the cheese melts.

Garnish with the cut scallions and serve!

Baked Ham Egg and Cheese Boats

(Adapted from Spoon Fork Bacon

Ham, egg AND cheese... all in a loaf of bread? Yes Yes Yes! 
There's so many ways you could go with this idea but we'll keep it to the basics today. But seriously, the possibilities are endless.  Think bacon, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc..etc..etc..

Lets just jump right into it because there's not really much else to say about it other than its delicious and my non fancy self secretly felt a little fancy when I pulled it out of the oven and served it up. 

* this is based on how many I made. Adjust according to how many you want to eat!

  • 4 small baguettes. (you can use hoagie rolls)
  • 6 large eggs 
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream (you can use milk instead)
  • 1 cup diced ham (I just grabbed the sliced deli sandwich ham and chopped it up)
  • 1 cup shredded cheese (your choice)
  • 2 scallions (sliced thin)
  • Salt, pepper

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Hollow out the bread.  Keep in mind that if you hollow it deep then you have to fill it more. I ended up doing this and had to add more ham, egg, and cheese to the mix.

In a bowl, whip the eggs and cream.  
Next, add the ham, cheese, and scallions.
Season with salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture into the bread loaves and place on a baking sheet.  Bake for about 25 minutes or until the eggs are fully cooked.

Allow to cool for a few minutes then cut wedges and enjoy with a nice hot cup of coffee! 

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Bacon Pancakes

Oh sweet bacon, I can't tell you how many times I've zoomed in on this picture just to stare at the bacon. Bacon will be the death of me if I don't watch out and clearly I'm eating way more than I should in one sitting because each time afterwards, I'm dehydrated for at least two days. I've got the bacon fever bad and I need to stop. But first, bacon pancakes!
The song Bacon Pancakes from the show Adventure Time is a constant in my household. Its absolutely catchy and of course makes me crave bacon, so this morning I decided to follow the songs lead and make bacon pancakes, all the while singing the song... in fact, I'm singing it now that I'm talking about it..... I can't stop. 

Now I'm not a huge fan of pancakes - I prefer crispy waffles, but the idea of sticking a strip of bacon in a pancake sounds pretty damn cool if you ask me.  And before I go on with the recipe, I'm going to post this remix version that I play on a loop, of the Adventure Time song.  It'll make you happy and without a doubt want bacon pancakes! It'll also get stuck in your head. Forever.  You should totally hit play right now.


  • 1 package of bacon (preferably thick, center cut)
  • Pancake mix (I buy the kind you just add water to, but make it however you like)
                         THATS IT!   How easy is that?!


Fry the bacon.  How much is up to you. I did most of the package but also left several strips to eat solo. Nothing, and I mean nothing, beats eating crunchy bacon on its own.  If you have a bacon press, use it. You want to keep your strips somewhat flat.  Set aside when done.

Mix up your pancake batter and if you have one of those hot griddles, I'd say use that. But a skillet works just as well. Its what I use, it just takes longer. 


Place a strip of bacon down on the hot surface and then pour  batter over it. Let it cook and then slowly flip once the first side is done. You can gauge when to flip when all the little bubbles burst. 

Once the second side is done, move to a plate and continue with as many as you plan on making.

Pour some syrup over it for added yummy goodness. Butter too!

Friday, November 9, 2012


I don't really know if you'd classify this as a Stromboli, probably not, but its what I set out to make at least. I've never made one before so I'm pretty sure I'm entitled to a pass if it doesn't exactly look as it should.  It did however, taste pretty fantastic. Yay me!

I love using Pillsbury doughs in my cooking - they are such quick go to's that you can use to make a number of things. Of course, I'm sure it would make me beam if I were to make my own dough and then get to say Look at the dough I made! Fancy!  But I'm also quite content with the easy route of not having to go thru all the steps of making the dough. Plus I'm also still trying to conquer my fear of the  pop the dough can makes when I open it. One of these days it won't make me flinch anymore....

So Stromboli.  First off, I looked at a bunch of recipes online to gather up an idea of what I was to do.  I only bought pepperoni and sausage and figured I could fill the rest with whatever I had in the fridge.
Here's what I came up with, which made two fairly large loafs - this fed 4 and we still had leftovers.

  • Ground sausage (I used a 1lb tube of Jimmy Dean)
  • 2 cans refrigerated pizza crust dough (I used Pillsbury 13.8oz Pizza Crust Classic)
  • Sliced pepperoni (I bought a bagful and added liberally - how much is up to you)
  • Spinach (I used fresh and added by the handful - again, how much is up to you)
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I used orange but you can use any color)
  • 1 medium onion, diced (I used a red onion)
  • Mushrooms, diced (I used 10 Baby Bella mushrooms)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese 
  • 1tbsp grated parmesan cheese
  • Italian seasoning 
  • Cooking spray or olive oil
  • Spagetti sauce for dipping

1. Pre-heat your oven to 375 and spray some oil on a baking sheet. If you don't have cooking spray, you can just pour a teaspoons worth of olive oil on the pan and wipe it to coat with a paper towel.

2. In one skillet, cook the ground sausage.
Meanwhile, in another, sauté the onions until they are clear through.  Once this happens, add the garlic and bell pepper and cook until the peppers are soft.  Last, add the mushrooms.  Once thoroughly cooked, add to the cooked sausage and mix mix mix. Add some italian seasoning in as you'd like and set the whole thing aside (off of the heat).

3. Next, roll out one of the two pizza doughs. You may need to roll it out a little extra with a rolling pin. I did.  But not too thin, or the filling will push through the dough.

4. First, layer down the spinach.  I had bought a bag of spinach and ended up using most of it between the two strombolis.  Don't forget that spinach shrinks once cooked, so what may look like a lot piled on won't be that fluffy once cooked.

5. Next, add the sausage mix, pepperoni, and then the cheese - one layer after another.

6. Now you will want to take one end and slowly roll it all the way to the other and seal it with your fingers. Be careful when you roll as the filling will try to fall out.  Seal the sides too.

              BEFORE BAKING                                       AFTER BAKING (oooh ahhh!)

7. Your last step before baking is to coat the surface of the loaf with oil - spray or pour a little on your fingers. The idea is to cover the surface lightly and then you'll want to sprinkle the parmesan cheese all over it.

8.  Follow the steps above for the 2nd loaf.

9. Place in the oven for about 30 minutes. Let it cool on a rack for a bit so everything sets in its final resting spot and then slice into goodness.  Serve with the spaghetti sauce and enjoy!!


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Bloody Worms and Maggots

Tonight I really didn't feel like cooking. It was just the little man and I and he wanted hot dogs. Easy enough.  I offered him bloody worms... aka hot dogs and ketchup, and being that I'm half Asian, I have to have rice with my meal.  While I usually go for the basic white rice, I opted for some yellow rice tonight just to add some color to the meal and to double as the maggots - although I'm sure the white would suffice just fine.


  • Hot Dogs 
  • Ketchup
  • Rice 

Make your rice ahead of time as it'll take longer than the hot dogs.  You could also just use hot dog buns and skip the maggot factor.

Once the rice is near done, slice the hot dogs into four strips. You may be able to slice an additional strip or two if you're careful.

Boil some water in a frying pan and place the strips in.  They will start to curl up - its pretty cool to watch. Reminds me a little of shrinky dinks from back in the day. Do they even make those anymore??

Pour out the water and return the worm dogs back into the pan. Mix in some ketchup to coat.

Serve over a bed of rice.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Little Jason Past and Present

This kid is too much. 
Born on Friday the 13th, this is my son Khai.

I think he was around 3 years old here.
 I came home to find him standing at the front door waiting for me like this, with the chainsaw he had picked out at Target.

He just turned six years old the other day.
He's mad about something.

Monday, October 15, 2012

DIY Pumpkin Fruit Cups

Here's another cute and easy throw together for the kiddos.  Any orange fruit cup - mandarin oranges, jello, etc..  will do.  Draw your pumpkin face on it and thats it! Cool fruit cups. Happy Kids.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Worms and Witch Fingers

Spaghetti and breadsticks Halloween style, served up in a couple of bell pepper pumpkins.  I had fun making this dinner as much as everyone enjoyed eating it.  There's not much more to it, so lets get to the recipe (aka its late and I'm too tired to babble on about it).


  • Spaghetti noodles  (however much you want to make)
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Ground beef (optional if you want a meat sauce)
  • Bell Peppers (orange and yellow are best. Use however many you would like to serve up)
  • Bread stick dough (I used Pillsbury)
  • Almonds
  • Red gel dye
  • Italian seasoning and/or garlic salt
  • Large black olives
  • 1/4 cup melted butter


Pumpkin/Worms ~

Make your spaghetti as you normally would.
Hollow out the peppers and carve pumpkin faces in them.
While the spaghetti noodles are boiling, make your witch finger breadsticks - see directions below.
When noodles are done, add your sauce and loosely fill the peppers.  
Before its too full, slice the olives in half and place them inside the pepper behind the cuts for the eyes.

Witch Fingers ~
Shape the breadstick dough into knobby fingers.
You can use a knife to mark up the knuckles.
Dab some red gel dye on the tips of each finger and press an almond into it.
Brush the tops of the finger with the melted butter and sprinkle with the seasoning.
Bake per directions on the packaging.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Spooky Pizza

If your household is like mine, pizza is a quick and easy go to meal for those days you don't feel like doing much. In keeping up with the Halloween theme, I stumbled upon this great homemade pizza recipe thats loaded with spinach, cheese, ghosts and pumpkins.

  • 1 tube of pizza dough (I used Pillsbury or you can make your own from scratch)
  • 1 cup pizza sauce (I just used some Prego spaghetti sauce)
  • Spinach
  • Shredded cheese
  • Slices of pre-sliced mozzarella and cheddar cheese
  • Pepperoni slices
  • Cookie cutters - ghost, pumpkin (or whatever you want)

Roll out your pizza dough and add your toppings. 
Bake according to directions on the can of dough.
Using the cookie cutters on the pre-sliced cheese, cut your shapes out.
Once you pull the pizza out of the oven, place the shapes on it and add eyes - I used pepperoni but you can use anything, olives, etc.  
Place back into the oven for about 30 seconds.
Remove, let it sit on the counter for a few minutes before serving it up.

(Adapted from Within The Kitchen)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Choco Pretzel Pops

I don't have a recipe for this other than to say go to a craft store like Michaels, and buy Wiltons Candy Kit for Pretzels.  The instructions are fairly easy to follow, but the photo on the front of the box with the little girl and her mom is totally false advertising because this was definitely not a job for a little kid - at least not mine. 

While the instructions are easy to follow, painting in the different colors into the mold was a pain in the ass. The end results however are pretty cool, although my crappy photos don't show that.  And I can't say that I'd make dozens of them like I had hoped.  I stopped at a handful and at most I'll pull the molds out again when I'm very bored or next Halloween.

Sloppy Devils

Who doesn't love an all American classic on a Sunday - Sloppy Joes!  So in the spirit of Halloween, I've decided to make Sloppy Devils.

What You'll Need:

  • 1lb Ground Beef
  • 1 Can Sloppy Joe Mix (or you can make your own)
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper
  • 12 Slider Buns (I used the potato roll kind)
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese


  • Cook your ground beef and add the sloppy joe mix as instructed on the can.
  • Make little horns with the bell pepper.
  • Scoop the sloppy joe onto the buns and top with a pile of the cheese.
  • Cut two small slits on the top of the bun and insert the horns.
  • Devour the devils. Like a devil.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

DIY Ghost Milk

I can't remember where I originally saw this idea, but since then have seen it on several blogs. Its simple enough and makes one little boy very happy.  All you need is an empty and cleaned out bottle 
- a Starbucks Frappuccino works perfectly -
You can glue on some goggly eyes or just draw on the face with a black sharpie as I've done here.  
I had a bag of jumbo straws in the pantry which suited perfectly! Happy Drinking!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Baked Bloody Rats

Halloween is a big favorite in our house. I'm pretty sure its up there with Christmas, if not even more - from the decorations, to the dressing up, to the trick or treating and gobs of sugar consumed, to the pranks, and now the newest addition of Halloween cooking.  I hunted around for some good ideas this season and came up with a handful of things that were fun and easy to make and some even a little gross looking, like these baked bloody rats. Plain and simple, they are meatloaf balls stuffed with gooey melted cheese and covered in spaghetti sauce. Baked and served on a bed of mashed potatoes, they were absolutely delicious despite the ewwwww's I got when I set the plates down at the table. Success!


Rats ~

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp salt and pepper or preferred meatloaf spices.
  • 1/4 c onion, minced
  • 1 egg
  • Cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Jar of Prego or whatever spaghetti sauce you like.

  • Carrots
  • Dry Spaghetti Noodles
  • Raisins


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, mix ground beef, chopped onions, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings.

Take out a palms worth of meat mixture (about 1/3 cup) and roll it into a ball.

Press it out somewhat flat and add about 3 blocks of the cheese in the center. 

Mold the meat around the cheese and shape it out to a point - like a rats body.

Place your rats in a baking pan or sheet and  then add spaghetti sticks in the rear for the tail.  The noodle will cook just fine when you bake these suckers.

Pour the Prego sauce over the rats to completely cover them.  Its ok if you get sauce on the tail.

Cover the entire thing with aluminum foil and bake for about 45 minutes.

Now take the aluminum off and you will have what looks like a total mess. The cheese may have oozed out too.

Bake for another 20 minutes, uncovered. Scooping the sauce around the rats, spoon it over them from time to 
time so that it glazes a little.
To decorate your rat, simple circle cuts of carrots will serve as the ears. You don't have to cook them, although if you insist, you could steam them. I'm too lazy to bother. Make two slits in the rats head and press the carrots in there.

For the eyes, I just grabbed a couple raisins, and then for the whiskers I broke off six pieces of dry spaghetti noodles and stuck them in the face. 

Place your rats on a bed of mashed potatoes or spaghetti noodles and pour some of the sauce around it to give it a bloody trail. How cool are these?!!