Hot Pot with Yuki and Friends

Hot Pot with Yuki and Friends

Last week I had the best time with friends, their dogs and my first experience having Hot Pot.   According to Wikipedia, Hot Pot  refers to several East Asian varieties of stew, consisting of a simmering metal pot of stock at the center of the dining table.   To me, it was a very good way to share in the enjoyment of cooking with family and the people you find dear to you.

This was also a house warming celebration for a dear friend and his beautiful bride.   So, thanks guys for the beautiful day and the opportunity to share the excitement!

I was able to snap a few shots of the preparation, food and 3 hyper-waggling tailed pups named Si-Si, Yuki and Mickey Chen who is 13 year old dapper little Chihuahua!  Check em’ out!

 

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Cinco de Salsa

Cinco de Salsa

Hey All!

Today we celebrate Cinco de Mayo with some Cinco de Salsa. About a year ago I posted this salsa recipe and forgot all about it until today. Super fresh, super healthy- easy Mango Salsa with only 5 ingredients. 5….as in cinco…. ok, you get it…

5 ingredients you’ll need:
White or Red onion (diced)
Green Onion (diced)
Handful of Cilantro (coarsely chopped)
4-5 Tomatoes (diced)
2-3 Mangos (diced)

Put it together:
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and lightly hand toss. Squeeze a little lime juice on the top if you’d like some additional flavor. Serve in a white dish to make the color pop along with some colorful tortilla chips!

Happy Cinco De Mayo from The Make Shoppe!

-Tutu

 

 

 

 

 

Healthy Spinach & Egg White Frittata

Healthy Spinach & Egg White Frittata

Hey All!

So, I recently adopted a healthier way of eating and cooking and so far it has paid off! I feel alot better and I’m eager to continue finding really good tasting recipes to support that. With that being said I came across a really inspiring food blog called The Novice Chef.

Frit#1

This morning for some reason I woke up in the mood for brunch….at 8:00am. So as I surfed the web I found a perfect Frittata recipe on this blog which was exactly what I wanted and the foodgraphy (food photography) was very pretty and inviting. Jessica even lists the amount of calories, carbs, protein and weight watchers points.

Frit#2

Egg whites, spinach, onions tomatoes and even feta cheese! Make sure you visit her site for the full recipe. Enjoy!

Game Day Goodies!

Game Day Goodies!

Here at the Make Shoppe we take game day very seriously. While some are glued to the TV and yelling obscene profanities, others are fascinated with whats cookin’ in the kitchen!

In the beginning, before The Make Shoppe started I scoured the internet for recipe inspiration, stumbled across Closet Cooking and drooled over one of Kevin’s appetizers called, Pizza Dip. As you can see he has lots of other goodies to share so I bookmarked his page and visit frequently.

His recipe is well explained and pretty straight forward also with mentioning to add any other toppings to the dip of your choice. Me? I like sweet and savory so I sprinkled a few pineapple chunks on top and OH was this heavenly! I served it with crunchy buttered-garlic french bread slices.

So if you’re having company or going to a game party elsewhere, make this dip and watch it disappear in seconds!

GD#2GD#1GD#3

Ham Bone Split Pea Soup

Ham Bone Split Pea Soup

So, now that it’s after Christmas, I know some of you are wondering what to do with that left over ham, right? Well, I’m with you on that and have always wanted to try using the excess meat and ham bone in a recipe. So today in the Bake Shoppe we put or frozen, leftover ingredients to work and made some Ham Bone Pea Soup!

Wow! Not only did this taste heavenly, it lasted 3 nights between 2 people! Preparation is simple and this is a great meal that will cook itself!

I had a little help from various online sites about how to make this in a crock pot and what ingredients to include besides the ham and peas obviously, hahahah!

Let’s get started…

What you’ll need:

1 (16 oz.) pkg. dried green split peas, rinsed
1 meaty hambone, 2 ham hocks, or 2 cups diced ham
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 ribs of celery plus leaves, chopped
1 or 2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tbsp. seasoned salt (or to taste)

  • 1/2 tsp. fresh pepper
  • 1 1/2 qts. Chicken Broth
  • 1 large yellow onion (diced)

Put it Together:

Layer ingredients in slow cooker in the order given; pour in broth. Do not stir ingredients. Cover and cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on low 8 to 10 hours until peas are very soft and ham falls off bone. ( I recommend the 8-10 hours, “low and slow.”) Remove bones and bay leaf. *next step is optional* Place all ingredients in a blender and blend really well to thicken to thicken more, if desired. Add the liquid broth slowly to the blender as it blends. You may or may not need all the broth it produces. This also freezes well.

From me to you…

-Tutu

Holiday Food Obsession, Part I

Holiday Food Obsession, Part I

Happy Happy Holidays!

This will sound a bit crazy, but I’m already prepping for the 2013 holidays by documenting all the wonderful food and ideas that came my way this year. There were so many festive, creative and impressive recipes that I found rummaging through old notes and browsing the internet. This one in particular, Bacon Cheese Wreath was found on the Taste of Home website. An appetizer like this is totally up my alley and I just had to make it. It was extremely easy and definitely a crowd pleaser.

I followed the recipe exactly with no modifications however if you or your guests do not want meat, simply omit the bacon.

Flat leaf parsley and pimento were used as garnishes…so simple yet so effective…why didn’t I think of this? You may just want to add this page to your favorites and tuck it away for next year!

From me to you…

-Tutu

Thanksgiving Day in Portland

Thanksgiving Day in Portland

Hello and Happy Post Thanksgiving!

I finally managed to take sometime off from fairy making in the Make Shoppe to visit family in Portland, Or.

Dora, the explora, (cat in featured post) was a very gracious host and she kept us plenty entertained during our visit. She also will give us the tour of her home with plenty of unique and interesting finds. Hope everyone had a beautiful holiday with family and friends!

Real Good Red Potatoes

Real Good Red Potatoes

What you’ll need:
3-4 Red Potatoes cut into 1 in. cubes
1/2 Onion diced
1 Yellow Bell Pepper diced
2 Tomatoes diced
4-5 Garlic Cloves peeled
1/4 C. Flat Leaf Parsley coarsely chopped
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Onion and Garlic Powder to taste
Herbs de Provence to taste
2-3 Tbls Olive Oil

Put it together:
Set the oven temp to 400. Wash produce and chop up potatoes, onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and parsley.  Next add all the veggies to a large mixing bowl and include the garlic cloves. Add about 2-3 Tbls of olive oil and then sprinkle the mix with all spices EXCEPT the salt. Salt draws out moisture so you don’t want to add it before cooking otherwise the veggies may shrivel up. So reserve the salt for after the potatoes are done cooking. Now, lightly hand mix the veggies turning a couple times over to make sure they’re well coated. In a large glass baking dish use a little cooking spray to coat the bottom, then transfer the veggies. Place in the oven uncovered and roast for about 45-50 mins. Once the cooking time is up , pierce the potatoes to make sure they’re done! After removing veggies from the oven,  you can now add some kosher salt to taste!
*Note* If you’re a garlic lover…ADD MORE GARLIC!

Enjoy!

From me to you…

Tutu

Pan Fried or Baked? I’ve Got You Covered…

Pan Fried or Baked? I’ve Got You Covered…

Hello from the Bake Shoppe!
Let me be the first to admit that cooking chicken breasts (tender and juicy the way they’re supposed to be) can be a bit tricky. Nothing worse than a beautifully cooked chicken on the outside but pink on the inside, right?  If you’ve ever had a disastrous chicken outcome…let that be your LAST!

In this post I’ll be sharing different cooking techniques/methods whether you like your chicken Pan Fried or Oven Baked. I’ll plan to just go over the cooking methods but if you’re interested in knowing the full recipe, let me know in the “talk to tutu,” section and I’ll hook you up! Let’s get started…

WANT THIS? 

Pan Fried Chicken atop Pilaf with a Mustard Cream sauce

THEN DO THIS:

To successfully Pan Fry chicken you’ll need to start with flat or thinly sliced chicken breasts. You can pound them thin yourself or just buy them already “thin sliced.”  It is crucial that the size of the chicken is an equal size all the way around so it will cook evenly.

Heat a non-stick pan on med-high heat with just enough olive oil to cover the bottom. When the oil is hot, swirl it around the pan to coat. Depending on the size of the pan I advise to cook no more than 2  to 3 breasts at a time. The breasts will shrink but you don’t want to crowd the cooking area. Next, add the chicken to the pan allowing some space between each breast. Cook on one side for about 5-6 minutes undisturbed. Now, flip and cook the other side for about the same time. Finally, turn down the heat to a simmer, add about 1/4 cup of chicken stock and cover with foil. Simmer for about 5-7 minutes. The final step just mentioned with lock in the juice and assure your chicken is cooked on the inside.

WANT THIS?

Lemon Baked Chicken Breasts

 

THEN DO THIS:

Baked chicken breasts are slightly easier than Pan-Fried and trick is to bake them on high heat for a short amount of time.
Please use the normal plump sized breasts for this method. No need to use the thin sliced.

Season the chicken as desired and set the oven temp to 400. Yes, that’s right, 400. Lay the breasts in a glass dish and cover tightly with foil. Once the oven is heated place the chicken in and cook for 30 minutes. No more, no less.  Remove the chicken from the oven and be careful when removing the foil…lots of steam!

Raise a glass and let’s toast to NO MORE CHICKEN FAILS!  Whoo-hoo!

From me to you…

Tutu

 

 

This is how I roll…

This is how I roll…

Now that the song is in your head…let’s talk home made dinner rolls! I followed the Fleischmann’s Classic Dinner Roll recipe using the Active Dry Yeast Pack. Remember, the red and yellow package your mom or grandmother always used to have in the cubbord? Ahh…memories….
Let’s Start:

1 envelope Fleischmann’s® Active Dry Yeast
1/4 cup warm water (100° to 110°F)
2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tablespoons butter OR margarine, softened

Put it Together:

Soften yeast in 1/4 cup warm water in a large mixing bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Add 1 cup flour, sugar, salt, milk and butter.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed of electric mixer.  Add 1 cup flour and beat on high speed of mixer for 2 minutes.  Add in enough additional flour (if needed) to make a soft dough.

Turn dough on lightly floured surface and knead 2 to 3 minutes.  Place dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat.  Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place for 30 minutes or until doubled.

Punch dough down and divide dough into 12 equal pieces.  Shape into balls.  Place in greased 8-inch round pan.

Pour a 1-inch depth of boiling water into large pan on bottom rack of cold oven.  Set rolls on rack above water. Cover. Close oven door; let rise 30 minutes or until doubled.  Uncover rolls; remove pan of water and rolls from oven.

Preheat oven to 375°F.  Bake rolls for 20 to 25 minutes, or until done.  Remove from pan.  Serve warm.

mmm…warm just out of the oven

Serve:

Serve rolls with butter or visit breadworld.com for more sweet and savory recipes!

Enjoy~

From me to you…

Tutu