Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Pork Meatballs and Veggie Stirfry

I picked up some Hoisin sauce at the local Asian market last week because I had heard it mentioned by several tv chefs. Even though I had never tasted the stuff, I popped open the lid, gave it a good sniff and prepared my method of attack! Results? Delicious, rich, sweet, savory, and the perfect amount of spicy (which is a lot for me, so if you don't like the spice so much tone down or cut out the sirachi and red pepper flakes on the recipe).

2 bell peppers, julienned
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup sliced button mushrooms
1 cup frozen baby lima beans
1 tablespoon ginger root, minced
cooked Chinese pork meatballs (I picked mine up frozen at Asian market)
1 chicken bullion
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon Sirachi sauce
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
olive oil for pan

  1. Drizzle just enough olive oil to cover the bottom of your wok, and place on medium heat. Sauté onions and garlic just enough to sweat them. Add chopped bell peppers, cooked meatballs, mushrooms, ginger root, and water. Continue to sauté for 5-10 minutes until everything is cooked through. Add baby limas and remaining ingredients and continue to cook for another 5 - 10 minutes. Cornstarch should help thicken up your sauce. I like to serve over thin spaghetti, but you can serve over rice if you prefer! Enjoy!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Basil Butter Dip & Hummus

I had some friends over this weekend and made these two delectable dipping treats!

The Basil butter is on the left and the Hummus is on the right (and isn't that funky Guam serving tray just about the funniest and oddest thing you've ever seen?! I came across it on a recent thrifting adventure and just couldn't pass it up!)

Basil Butter Recipe Hummus Recipe
Indgredients: Indgredients:
2-3 packed cups of fresh basil leaves 1 can chickpeas/garbanzo beans
1/2 stick of butter 1 clove of garlic
1 clove of garlic 2 tablespoons low fat sour cream
salt to taste 2 tablespoons lemon juice
healthy drizzle of olive oil
salt to taste
*1 tablespoon of tahini paste

With both dips, you can just place all ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smoothe. Serve with crackers (I love triscuits) or slice up a nice French baguette!

*If you have tahini paste, it adds a very authentic taste to the hummus, but trust me it will be good enough to devour without it. When I make "specialty" hummus dips by adding roasted red pepper

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Coconut Cream Pie

When you think of a diner, what do you think of? Pie, of course! My favorite pie is coconut cream pie. I mean, pecan pie. Oh, and I love pumpkin pie. Blueberry cream pie is good too. Ok, so maybe I can't pick a favorite; but this coconut cream pie is delicious!

2 eggs
3 cups half & half
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 7 oz. package coconut flake, toasted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 9 inch pie shell, pre-baked
1 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed

  1. Combine eggs, half & half, sugar, flour, and salt in a medium sized saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir with a whisk constantly (this is important so nothing sticks to the bottom and burns). After all ingredients are combined and sauce thickens a little bit (right after boiling), remove from hear and add 3/4 of toasted coconut.
  2. Pour sauce into pre-baked pie shell and chill for 1-2 hours.
  3. Top with whipped cream and remaining toasted coconut
  4. Dig in!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Keep Calm and Carry On!

Art of the Day

In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, the British government released a poster that stated "Keep Calm and Carry On." They did this in an attempt to raise morale in case of an invasion. The image is classic and simple. I love it! The message is positive and the image itself is recognizable by pretty much any hipster. Funnier still is how many variations on the phrase exist now. People have plugged every imaginable phrase into the popular image. What would phrase would you plug in?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chalkboard Paint Fun

Chalkboard paint is so much fun to play with. It takes something we all remember and love-chalkboards-and allows you turn virtually anything into one! You can buy chalkboard paint in spray paint form or in a can. I suggest using the can for larger projects and the spray paint for larger projects. I found a quart paint can of the stuff for about $15 and the spray paint kind for around $4. Check your local hardware store.

You can paint almost any surface with it from glass, to wood, to metal. I had some metal sheets cut at a laser cuter and made some chalk boards that are magnetic (I used a grinder to get texture on the edges).

I also spray-painted some left over paint stirs I picked up for free at the hardware store and turned them into garden stakes.

You can tape of an area off on a jar or cannister with blue painter's tape and spray with chalkboard paint. You end up with a storage container that you can erase and re-label at your convenience!