Friday, 26 August 2011

Lemongrass Beef with cold noodles

This is one of my go to recipes with big flavour. We all love this, it's quick and can easily be eaten on a hot summers day.

1 pack of vermicelli noodles
1 lb of top sirloin or flank, sliced thinly across the grain
3 tbsp minced lemongrass
3 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tbsp fish sauce
4 cloves garlic minced
3 tbsp canola oil
 1/2 red onion or regular onion sliced
handful of cilantro
head of green leaf lettuce
nuoc cham

The night before combine the beef with lemongrass, oyster sauce, fish sauce, and garlic. Leave in the fridge overnight. The next day boil the vermicelli noodles. Strain them and allow to cool to room temperature. Heat 1 tbsp oil over high heat, saute onion for about 1 minute, remove from pan and set aside. Heat the rest of the oil, add the beef and stir fry until no longer pink. Remove from heat and mix it in with the onion. Serve with cilantro, lettuce and pour nuoc cham over top.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish

These chicken thighs from Cooking Light, are great as well, I love fruit relish's. I made this with garlic rice pilaf from Annie's Eats, so yummy together.

Baked Scallops with Spring Onion Oil

I found this recipe in Gordon's Great Escape Southeast Asia. It looked beautiful and so delicious. The scallops were very good. I did not barbecue them, although I think they would have been tastier if I did. It was pouring rain here and we only have charcoal at the moment, so I baked them instead. I didn't have any fried shallots or chili oil and they still had good flavour. I was able to find scallops in the shell at a local Asian supermarket. My husband did not buy enough though and had to run out to get scallops from a different store that was closer to home, so I have more than one scallop in each shell.

8 scallops in the shell
16 scallops not in the shell
4 tbsp canola oil
8 green onions, minced
2 tsp fish sauce
pinch of salt and white pepper
2 tbsp minced peanuts
2 chili's sliced

Clean the scallops and shells. Heat a pan over high heat, add the oil, saute the green onions for a few minutes then add in a dash off fish sauce and pepper.

Season the scallops with salt and pepper, place them in the clean shells, I did 3 to a shell. Spoon the green onion mix on top of the scallops. Put them on a baking sheet  and put them under the broiler for about 5 minutes. Scatter the peanuts and chili's overtop.

Wednesday, 10 August 2011


Jam Hands

I have been craving this for months. We usually eat this at least once a month and when I make it I make such a big pot that we eat it for 2 days, it tastes so much better the next day. It has been so hot here so on the weekends when I have the time to cook it  we are busy and it is oh so hot. I start this in the morning and cook it all day, it's not alot of work but alot of time. I will tell you though that it is definitely worth it. My husband was the one who would cook this, then he taught me how and it's been my job ever since. All of my children love this, when they smell it first thing in the morning they ask when it's going to be time to eat all day. So here is the yummy recipe and when your sick, if you like hot sauce, the combination of the two make you feel so much better.

Beef Pho
Serves 13-14 
  Ingredients for Stock:
3 lbs of beef bones
2 lbs of chicken bones (I freeze the leftover bones from roasted chicken)
14 quarts of water
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
3-4 inch piece of ginger sliced lengthwise
1 pack of pho spices in a mesh bag or 2 cinnamon sticks, 1 tbsp coriander seeds, 1 tbsp fennel seeds, 5 whole star anise, 2-3 cardamom pod, 6 whole cloves
3/4 cup - 1 cup fish sauce (it sounds like alot but its alot of water, use less if you want)

For Serving:
3 packs of dried rice noodles, you can use any kind i prefer them to be medium sized
2 limes cut into 6ths
4 green onion, sliced thin
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
thinly sliced beef, I use precut eye of round but we used to use flank sliced thinly across the grain, they are both great, I like the precut stuff cause its less work
beef balls sliced in half, optional
there are other herbs and beansprouts you can use, I don't
Sriracha hot sauce and hoisin sauce
Shallots and Hot Sauce

Put the bones in your stockpot and cover with water. Boil them for about 5-10 min, drain, rinse off the bones and the pot. Put the bones back in the pot, fill it up with water. Add the fish sauce and your spices. During this time you need to char the onion and ginger, it needs to be black. Please stop and and take the time to smell the onion and ginger charring, one of my favorite smells.Rinse them off and put them into the pot as well.

Boil the water, when it comes to a rolling boil, turn the stove down to low and cover. Let it simmer 8 or more hours. Check in on it and skim off any scum that comes to the top and any fat that you can. In the meantime, soak the dried noodles in cold water for about 1 hour. Prepare the green onion, cilantro and beef as well as any other herbs you are using.

When you are ready to serve it, boil another pot of plain water to cook your noodles, only cook what you are going to use. I cook the noodles for each bowl separately, I have a  small metal sieve that I put the noodles in then place that in the boiling water, I keep the noodles in that then after a few seconds when they are cooked simply take the sieve out of the water and they are drained. If you do not have a small sieve to do this then boil them all for a few seconds and drain, then distribute among bowls. Place the beef balls in the stock to get warm. If using flank I like to put a little in the ladle and cook it in the stock, if using precut eye of round i just put in the bowl on top of the noodles. Put in the cilantro and green onion, squeeze your lime and use Sriracha and hoisin sauce if using. I eat mine with shallots and hot sauce, I will post that recipe later. Enjoy!!!
Jan 28/13- I took some updated pictures today and changed up the recipe a bit. I took out the chicken broth powder.

Cinnamon Roll Cake with maple Cream Cheese Frosting

I love cinnamon rolls but I don't like cooking breads so when I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I doubled the cream cheese frosting because I love it and i didn't drizzle it, I made it a bit thicker so that it had to be spread on. I used margarine because that's what I had, and I didn't use pecans.

You can find the recipe here, and you have to try this, it is amazing

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Thai Papaya Salad

Papaya salad makes me think back to when I was 13, that was a while ago. I had this friend who is Laos. Her parents used to cook all the time when they knew I was coming. This was one of the things that the cooked and it is so good. It is one of those things again that is great really spicy or not, my husband likes it spicier, me not so much. The papaya is not sweet papaya, it is green, it's picked before it ripens.

Papaya Salad

1 large green papaya shredded, drain the juice
1 garlic
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp shrimp sauce
1 large tomato
1 1/2 tbsp fish sauce
juice from 1 lime
2 chili peppers, more if you want it spicier

I started this in a mortar and pestle to create a paste with the chili's, garlic, sugar and shrimp sauce. Then I added it to the small bowl in my food processor and added the tomato, I pureed that, then added fish sauce and gradually added the lime until I liked it. You may need less or more lime same with the fish sauce. Mix the sauce in with the shredded papaya.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

These chicken wings are amazing......I love them, you can make them as spicy as you want or not spicy at all and they are great either way. My husband created this recipe and I am so glad he did. The kids don't really like them because they have green things on them, but that just means that there's more for us.

Vietnamese Chicken Wings

Oil for frying
2 eggs beaten
3-4lbs of chicken wings
1 tsp each of salt and sugar

1/2 green pepper minced
1 green onion minced
2-3 cloves garlic minced
optional: as many minced chili peppers as you like
1 tsp oil

Wash the chicken wings, let them dry or pat them dry. In batches dip the wings in the beaten eggs then in flour. Deep fry till golden brown and cooked completely.
When you have finished deep frying all of them, heat up a wok on high. Heat until smoking then ad 1 tsp oil. Let that heat up. Add green pepper, green onion, garlic, salt, sugar and chili if adding. Stir till fragrant about a minute. Add chicken wings and mix them well until the flavour is evenly distributed.

Because the kids don't like these I BBQ'ed some wings for them, I just mixed up a bunch of different kinds of BBQ sauce that I had here, added some maple syrup and ketchup and that was about it.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Vietnamese Fried Rice

It's been a while since I have blogged but I was recovering from surgery and still kind of am. During the worst of it cooking wasn't really a priority. The summer is here though and that's wonderful. We have enjoyed many beach days and have been to lots of BBQ's which is always fun. It's been great catching up with friends that I don't see enough of. Today we stayed home and didn't do much other than groceries and cook lots of yummy food. So here is one of the recipes from today.

Vietnamese Fried Rice

4 cups of cooked jasmine rice
2 shallots, sliced
2 eggs
1 pack of chinese sausage chopped
1 roll of gio lua chopped (sorry don't know the English name)
1 tbsp each of salt and sugar
1 tsp fish sauce, maybe more depending on your own tastes
1 tbsp canola oil

Heat your wok on high heat, till smoking. Add 1 tbsp oil and let it heat up. Dump in your shallots and stir for a few seconds, crack in your eggs and quickly scramble. Add your rice, meats, salt and sugar, fish sauce, mix it all together, taste and see if it needs more fish sauce. Continue stirring for 5-10 min, or until rice is no longer in clumps.

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Asian Pork Burgers

I can't take all the credit for these burgers, I marinate them and my husband BBQ's them, I don't BBQ anything, that's his job, I do enough. I can't make a good tasting beef burger to save my life but I can do pork burgers.

List of ingredients:
2 lbs ground pork
1 tbsp or fish sauce or oyster sauce
3-4 peeled and minced garlic cloves
1 peeled and minced onion
1-2 tbsp minced lemongrass
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 egg

The day before you plan to make them you need to marinate them. Add fish sauce or oyster sauce, I usually use oyster but I didn't have any so fish sauce it is, garlic, onion, lemongrass, sugar, pepper and one egg

Then add ground pork and mix with your hands until just mixed, it is a very wet mix but you get juicy burgers.
Cover the bowl over and leave in the fridge over night.

The next day heat up your BBQ and make your patties, I made sliders for the kids and regular patties for us. Grill for about 5 min per side, or until done, it will depend how thick you make your patties.

Ours weren't too thick, make sure they are nice and brown. Here they are all finished, I had 12 sliders and 6 regular burgers out of the 2lbs of meat.
Top them however you would like or as you would any other beef burger.

A little bit about me....

So this is my first time writing a blog of any kind, never mind a food blog. I love sharing ideas with friends and family about cooking and menu planning, but I am not the kind to post on the Internet, I don't even change my statuses on Facebook. I wanted to do this blog to show you all how I keep my daily dinner times stress free, I plan ahead. My parents are from Newfoundland and my husband from Vietnam, so I love to cook just about anything.

I have three children first is my oldest Tien who won't eat anything green, except for green peas. He is the pickiest of the bunch, he will find the smallest onion in anything and pick it out, there's no fooling him. He is kind and treats others with respect, except for his brother sometimes. Dante is my youngest boy, he is not as picky, he likes lobster and I can get him to at least try new things, he is always looking for the highest tree to climb to a pile of dirt to dig, he just animals and bugs of all kinds, I worry that one day I will find a bug collection hiding in his room. Lily is my sweet little girl, she loves to be outside digging and playing with her friends. She is kind and has told me a number of times that when she is big she is going to cook for me, I think I will have to hold her to that. She is the most adventurous eater, she loves tomatoes and mushrooms and will try just about anything, but that doesn't mean she will like it and if she doesn't you will hear about it.

Every week I write out my grocery list according to what I have planned to eat the following week. There is never a day when I don't know what I am cooking, I prep my meals the night before if I need to and always know what I need to defrost. I have a husband and three children that keep me pretty busy, I just don't have the time after work to be running around. So each week I will post my menu plan for the week, I always try to keep my weekday meals simple and will very rarely have a meal that will take more than 45 min to get ready from start to finish. On the weekends I prefer to cook meals that take longer to cook, at least once a month I make a big pot of pho which takes me all day, but i love the smells and the flavor it creates, sometimes you just can't rush perfection.

Well that is about all I have to say for now, my photos will probably not be so good, I don't know much about food photography so if you have any tips I would love to hear them even if they are not about photography. Check back tomorrow for my first weekly menu plan.....