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Cheesy Scalloped Vegetables

7 Aug

This delicious dish combines a vegetable mix (Potatoes, Onions, Green Peppers, and Carrots) with a delicious, and extra cheesy sauce. My family tends to prefer vegetable dishes while I prefer potatoes. 😂 This was a nice medium and was completely gone by the end of the meal. Several people complimented the dish, including my uncles — so it’s a good dish all around!

I’ll make another version later and include a photo — unfortunately, this one was gone before I remembered to grab the picture 🤣

Filling Ingredients

  • 3-4 Large Potatoes or 7-8 Small Potatoes (Peeled or Unpeeled to preference)
    • (Yukon Gold is preferred. but Red Potatoes are acceptable)
  • 4-5 Medium Carrots (Peeled)

Clean the vegetables. Slice thinly so they will cook through.

Put vegetables in a sauce pan and cover with water. Boil on a stovetop on medium heat about 25 – 28 minutes. You should be able to easily stab them through with a fork. Work on the sauce while you wait.

Use a strainer to dump the water and set aside to cool for handling.

Cheesy Sauce

  • 1 Medium Fresh Onion
  • 1 Large Green Pepper
  • 2-3 TBSP of Butter
  • Fresh Garlic or Garlic Power (to taste)
    • My family prefers more garlic so we use 4-5 cloves, but it’s up to you.
  • 1/4 Cup of All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 Cup of Milk
  • 1 Cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 tsp of Salt
  • 1 tsp of Ground Black Pepper
  • 16 oz (1 lb) of American Cheese
    • Other cheese varieties are acceptable. But it must melt well and spread (e.g. not mozzarella).
    • Shredded is fine, but not necessary. Just make thin slices.
  • Spices to taste
    • Add 1/2 tsp of other spices as desired (Paprika, Chili Pepper, Thyme, etc)

Peel the Onion and Garlic (if using fresh). Slice Onion, Green Pepper, and Garlic thinly and in small pieces. Cook in a skillet with Butter on Medium Heat until cooked and browned.

Add Flour and stir until vegetables are covered (about 3-4 minutes).

Add Milk and Sour Cream. Cook until boiling on the edges, stirred frequently. Should be thickening.

Add Salt, Pepper, Spices, and American Cheese. Cook until cheese is thoroughly melted and the sauce is creamy. Stir frequently to spread the cheese and avoid clumps.

Combine and Bake

  • 1/4 Cup of Parmesan (Optional — add as a topping)

Set Oven to 400F.

Oil a 9″x13″ baking dish (or spray with oil / Pam). This keeps the vegetables from sticking.

Include a base layer of potatoes and carrots. Cover with sauce.

Repeat until all vegetables are used — make sure it is completely covered with sauce on top.

If desired, spread the Parmesan on top.

Bake 30 Minutes. If your oven usually requires more time, continue cooking until the top is nicely browned. Just remember to check every 3-4 minutes!

Fried Rice Recipe Attempt!

18 Sep

First efforts at making Fried Rice at home – well, first at making any rice! 😄 Since I’ve lived in Asia 6 years now, thought I ought to try 🍚 Came out DELICIOUS! It’s seriously as good as any I’ve ever tried before!

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Rice was shockingly easy:
+ Cups of rice (your choice) – I mixed rice types & it came out good ✅
+2 Cups if Water per Cup of rice
+ Salt (I used a shaker and put about 4 twists)

Get water really boiling (high medium heat) for a few minutes. Throw in rice & salt. Put on lid and leave at same heat for 18 minutes. Don’t take off the lid! Turn off but leave covered until pan is cooled. Refrigerate overnight for #FriedRice

Fried Rice:
+3-4 Cups of Cooked Rice (next day)
+1 Bag of frozen mixed vegetables or mix fresh of (corn, peas, carrots)
+2-3TBSP Oil for frying (Olive, Sesame, Vegetable)
+ 3-4T Soy Sauce (add more to cover as needed – it goes a long way)
+ Fresh Garlic (sliced thinly to taste)

Cook vegetables and garlic first in oil until done, stirring occasionally. Add rice and stir in slowly until rice is thoroughly warmed and mixed in. Add Soy Sauce. Warm a little longer. SERVE! 🍚🍚

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Chicken-Salad Stuffed Tomatoes and Peppers

13 Apr

IMG_20160705_144612

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 Medium Green Pepper
  • 1 small Carton of Cherry Tomatoes (about 15-20)
  • Approximately 10 oz of Canned Chicken Breast.
  • 2 Sticks of Celery
  • 4-5 TBSP of Mayonnaise (to Personal taste)
  • 3-4 Pieces of Bacon
  • 2 oz of Colby Cheese
  • 1 TSP of Liquid Smoke
  • 1 TSP of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Egg
  • 1/8 TSP Ground Pepper

DIRECTIONS

  • Remember that everything has to fit inside a small Cherry Tomato, so everything needs to be finely cut. 
  • Cook the Bacon. (I use a strong microwave, put them in for about 4-5 minutes.). Put the bacon in the fridge to get cold.
  • Hard Boil the Egg.  Take off and cool in cold water.  Put in fridge to get cold.
  • Take out the Chicken Breast and cut until very finely sliced/shredded. Put in a Small Bowl.
  • Very finely  slice the Celery (about 1/8 – 1/4 of an inch for each piece.) You should have about 1/3 Cups total. Add to Bowl
  •  Add the Mayonnaise. If you want it more liquidy, add more Mayonnaise. Less will set up better though. You can always add more at the end if you desire.
  • Shred the Cheese and add it to the Bowl. Add Mustard, Liquid Smoke, and Ground Pepper. Finely slice the eggs, both whites and yolk. Add. Crumble the bacon. Add.
  • Mix together. Put in the Refrigerator for 1+ hour to allow flavor to spread out. 
  • Cut the Green Pepper into large Bite Sized pieces. Using a paring knife and spoon, carefully scoop the insides out of the Tomatoes. Add the Chicken Salad to the Green Peppers and Tomatoes.
  • SERVE AND ENJOY!

Classic Deviled Eggs

11 Jan

IMG_20160705_141111

INGREDIENTS:

  • 6 Eggs (White Eggs work best)
  • 2 TBSP of Mayonnaise
  • 1 TBSP of Dijon Mustard
  • 1 TBSP of Pickled Relish 
  • Ground Pepper to Taste
  • Pinch of Paprika (For Decoration Purposes Only)

DIRECTIONS

  • Hard Boil the Eggs. Put them in a pan with warm water on medium-high heat. Cook until boiling, then another 15-20 minutes. Take off and cool in cold water.  
  • Peel and cut the eggs in half the long ways.
  • Carefully pop out the yolk and put it in a bowl. Rinse off the egg whites.
  • In the bowl with yolk, use a fork to crush the yolk until all big chunks are smashed out.
  • Add Mayonnaise, Mustard, Pickled Relish, and Pepper.
  • DO NOT ADD Salt – the Mayonnaise and Yolk are salty enough without needing extra salt. In fact, some people use Ranch Dressing as an alternative to the Mayonnaise.  
  • Sprinkle the Paprika over the top.
  • ENJOY!

Potato Salad with Bacon and Peas

20 Oct

(Difficulty: Middle)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3lb of Red-Skinned Potatos 
  • 1 & 1/4 Cup of Mayonnaise
  • 2-3 TBSP of Dijon Mustard
  • 5 Eggs 
  • 1/2 a Medium Onion
  • 1 Can of Small Peas
  • 1/4 – 1/2 TSP of Ground Pepper
  • 1 package of Bacon (about 9-10 slices)

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large sauce pan, put the Potatoes on until they boil. Cook until you can easily slice then. Stop. Do not cook them so long they smoosh (You don’t want them soft enough to make mashed potatoes. Still a little crunchy.)
  • Take the potatoes off and put them in a covered pan. Stick in the refrigerator until cold. If you want, you can cook them the day before and leave them in the fridge overnight. 
  • Cook the Bacon. (I use a strong microwave, put them in for about 4-5 minutes.). Put the bacon in the fridge to get cold.
  • Hard Boil the Eggs. Put them in a pan with warm water on medium-high heat. Cook until boiling, then another 15-20 minutes. Take off and cool in cold water.  
  • Peel and slice the eggs finely. 
  • Slice the Onion finely (Mince).
  • In a large bowl, add the Mayonnaise, Mustard, Eggs, Onion, Peas, Pepper, Cold Bacon (crumbled).
  • Mix together. Put in the Refrigerator for 1 hour to allow spice to spread out. 
  • ENJOY!

Tomb Sweeping Festival

3 Apr

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Eating in Shanghai this morningsng for the tomb sweeping festival (sort of like our Memorial Day.) They were serving Sweet Green Dumplings  (青团 qīngtuán) filled with red bean paste. Only served once a year!

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Put Down the Potatoes and No One Gets Hurt

4 Mar

Experienced Chinese hilarity today–Went out to a restaurant and had a Chinese friend translate the food beforehand. Got to the store and they said sure! and took my translation. All the food arrived perfectly, including the delicious caramel sweet potato dish. Suddenly the four business guys beside us call the waitress over, start pointing at our table and chattering. She leaves, comes back with a new plate of potatoes lacking the yummy caramel and takes the delicious ones away! 😛 Apparently, the translation was a bit confusing, and the business guys thought that we got the wrong plate. They were trying to help us, but ended up taking away the ones we wanted. :p My face was like “NOOOOOOOOO! Come Back my yummy potatoes! Return them on pain of death!” LOL, on the one hand sadness! On the other hand, how sweet that they cared enough to try to help us out 🙂 I love my life–so full of chaos and wonderfulness I can’t stand it sometimes! ❤

Tragedy & Success in the Kitchen

26 Nov

Today, Ladies and Gentlemen, I come bearing both bad news and good news.

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Gluten Free Corn Casserole

22 Nov

Gluten Free Corn Casserole

This dish has always been a particular favorite of my family (especially me); the creaminess of the dish fits perfectly with many entrees.  However, usually I would just use butter, cream cheese, milk, and Jiffy Mix.  This year, in replacing my dishes with Gluten Free (GF) products, I had to get rid of the Jiffy Mix.  Here is my replacement dish! It is delicious, and makes an absolutely marvelous holiday side.  Plus, it takes about 5 minutes to make!

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