February 25, 2011

Likes & Dislikes of Today

Happy Friday!
This will be a short and sweet post since I feel like it :)

Things I Like and Dislike about Today:
Like: free bagels in the office (woo free carbs)
Dislike: My sore throat and semi-ear-infection-esque pain.
Dislike: I think my last wisdom tooth is growing in (ahh, they told me you were not there!)
Like: planning dates with hbf via text message in MC questions
Dislike: my autocorrect fail. or typo. as seen below:

Like: that it is almost the weekend! woop.
Like: and its Oscar's weekend! I'm excited for Anne/James to host!
Dislike: Not knowing what ANY of my weekend plans are really... so many options!
Like: sushi. like like like.

and just like that... I'm off to a sushi date with hbf! I have been craving spicy sushi (and chicken noodle soup since I'm sick) but hbf agreed with the first choice. So there you have it :cool:

Have a great weekend,

February 24, 2011

Help! Missing Recipe

Hmm, I would show you last nights dinner... BUT I got home starving and hbf had already put the casserole in the oven (just like I asked. yay!). With those combined, I didn't get any photos. The meal? oh it was delish. The hashbrown casserole will be a keeper.

In its absence, here is a recipe I forgot to show you last week.
Now, I can't seem to find the foodie in which I got the recipe from. So if it's you, I'll give you credit. Once I find the printed paper, I will credit! (i'll be honest, it's kinda killing me that I cannot figure out where I got the recipe from! oh the little things...).
FOUND IT. Thank you Picky Palate :) (ahhh, I can rest)

Firehouse BBQ Grilled Chicken

6 thawed boneless skinless chicken breasts (I used four chicken breast tenders)
½ Cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
¾ Cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
4 Tablespoons melted butter
2 Tablespoons Worstershire sauce

1. Place all ingredients in a large ziplock bag and marinate for at least an hour.
2. Preheat stovetop grill pan to medium heat.
3. Grill chicken for 5-6 minutes each side or until chicken is cooked through.

Easy peezy! I paired it leftover frozen crispy crowns and broccoli. I think next time, I coulda made the chicken a little spicier. But, we're on a spicy food kick so that's why :)

Ah, its already Thursday. I have to start planning for the next week. Do you plan ahead? Or just go to the store on a whim? With my schedule, it's so much easier to plan ahead. Plus, its nice to know that I come home to all the ingredients for the meal I plan on making. Usually on Mondays, I post my weekly menus but sometimes, we switch it up based on our moods. Like tonight, I have both sets of ingredients but I'm not sure which meal to pick: Pretzal Sandwiches or French Bread Pizza. Help me choose? :cool:

Happy Thursday,

February 23, 2011

Meet Biscuit

Today is Wizzy Wednesday, but I thought I'd be fun to introduce my big fuzzball Biscuit. He's a big guy missing his tiny tail.

Look at his nub!! Biscuit was rescued as a stray and was already missing his tail when he came to our home a couple years ago. At first, he was tiny. I wish I had photos. Such a cute, itsy bitsy kitten.  But he's become my mom's favorite so somewhere along, he's ballooned. I tell my momma he needs to go on a diet and she tries, but his "stray kitten" habits are still inside him and he eats everything he can get his paws on.

But those cute kitten eyes... so adorable. I know he just wants to eat and be merry.

Love my fluffball Biscuit.

February 22, 2011

Tea House

Over the weekend, my family celebrated my mother's birthday.
Being a Chinese-American growing up, the one thing I can a little snobbish to is Chinese food. hehe, well maybe not the ONLY :razz:
But really, sometimes, I have those cravings for greasy chinese takeout. Hbf doesn't like chinese food so I don't know how to really make it (seriously, who doesn't like chinese food?!) But most of the time, I just wait till weekends to go to my parents for some delish Asian food. Or better, have them take me out to get really good Chinese food.

Saturday night was one of those nights.

My parents love Szechuan food. We've been to the Tea House in Plymouth for years. So it made sense that my dad decided to take us to the Tea House that opened on University.

My family has always been on the spicy side... and I've been the weak-sauce member. But recently, hbf's been on a spicy food kick so he's really helped me open up my pallet (thanks sriracha). It was funny during dinner hearing my parents talk about how I'm actually eating spicy things :) Aw, I'm growing up!

My favorite dish was probably the last one-- the dan dan noodles. Thank you social media for opening my eyes! We only ordered it because I checked into the Tea House on FourSquare and it was recommended. My mom kept tasting the sauce in hopes that she can re-create it at home. Woopiee! Now, I must learn! & convert hbf into a Chinese-food lover.

The Weekend's Over

So the weekend is officially over.
Actually, I wasn't even suppose to have a long weekend but when I walked out early Monday morning, a snowed in red truck decided to park diagonally right in front of my car. Being the bright girl that I am, I had parked and un-parked my car last night just to make sure I wouldn't get stuck at 5:30 am. But this truck... I did not expect this truck!

So instead of crawling back into bed, I spent my entire snow day cleaning my apartment :) I cleaned, dusted, sweeped and vacuumed every inch of this place! By the time I looked out at 11 am, the blocking red truck had left and I moved my little Rachel (the Rav) to a cleared out parking space.

To pass the time, I whipped up a batch of these babies...

ROLO COOKIES! soo chewy and gooey on the inside!

I used Two Peas And Their Pod's recipe so hop on over there to make your own.

Menu for the Week 2.21.2011

Monday: Chili
Tuesday: BBQ Chicken Quesadillas and veggies
Wednesday: Pork Chops and Hash Brown Casserole
Thursday: French Bread Pizza and veggies
Friday: Ham & Turkey Pretzel Sandwiches, Garlic Fries

Back to the weather. Just to think -- four days ago it was a B-E-A-utiful 50 degrees outside. Everyone and their mom's were outside enjoying the sneak preview. Now, there is a good 19 inches of snow, gusting and blowing around. As much as I love fresh fallen snow, the little glimpse of Spring was just too too good! Spring can come now, please Mother Nature!

February 18, 2011

National Drink Wine Day

Did you know that today is National Drink Wine Day? I didn't! So it's even more relevant that I'm going to share a recipe that I tried last week that had wine in it. And yes, I did drink a glass while prepping :)

They say that you should cook with a wine you would drink, and I would definitely drink this Two Buck Chuck!

Seafood Scampi

(adapted from this)

1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 lb peeled and deveined raw shrimp, patted dry
1/2 lb scallops, patted dry
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, smashed
1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 lemon
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 lb pasta
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Cook pasta as directed on packaging. Drain.
2. While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil in skillet over med-high heat. Cook onion, red pepper flakes and garlic until onions are translucent.
3. Saute shrimp and scallops until cooked (2 mins)
4. Transfer shrimp and scallops into a large bowl.
5. Add wine, salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice. Let simmer for a couple mins. Stir back in shrimp and scallops.
6. Once pasta is drained, toss pasta with seafood mixture and parsley in skillet. Serve.

This dish was a great way to use up the extra seafood I had in my fridge. Pretty easy to make so it was done in about 30 minutes. I had used the Archer Farm's Chili Pepper Spaghetti thinking that it would be a little spicy and I'll be honest, for the extra price... it didn't taste any different than normal, plain spaghetti. Next time, I'll use angel hair.

right now, I'm thinking about...
- making these cookies this weekend: rolo cookies
- the new Katy Perry song 'ET feature Kanye West.' Personally, I wish she picked "TGIF" or "Peacock" for the next single but I'm not the star :D
- why am I am such a sucker for pop music. Sometimes, I girl just wants to d-d-d-dance!
- the weather. It was so nice yesterday (50 degrees!), and right now, its windy and a chilly 30. I just read it's suppose to snow this weekend. Though, I will be excited for this THUNDERSNOW. I've never experienced one :cool: !
- cracking open a bottle of Trader Joe's Almond Champagne. I hear it taste's like dutch letters. Gotta celebrate the holiday, amirite?

Enjoy your weekends,

February 17, 2011

Lemon-Zested Asparagus

A co-worker of mine delightfully figured out how to make his own asparagus and shared with me his recipe. The best part was listening to him describe the peel of the lemon :) The asparagus itself was delicious. I ended up eating most of it on my own right when it came out because I was starving after work. Bwahaha! I found something for Joe later :)

Lemon-Zested Asparagus

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and pepper
batch of asparagus spears

Preheat oven for 450 degrees F

1. Trim the spears
2. Mix olive oil, garlic powder and lemon zest in baking dish.
3. Add asparagus, turn to coat
4. Sprinkle with salt and pepper
5. Roast asparagus, turning occasionally for 10-15 minutes.


And it goes to...

ME! For being the worst. blogger. ever. Again, I'm going to play catch up.

For Valentine's Day, hbf and I found a tradition of staying in and making dinner together. Sure, this was only our second V-Day we actually got to spend together, but I'm calling it a tradition anyways :) Last year, we got two nice steaks, I made some delish potatoes and we called it a night. This year, we decided to be a little more adventurous and made lasagna. It was fun - both of us in the kitchen: I made the sauce, Joe made the ricotta mixture, and Wiz.. she got some ricotta on herself and licked it off. The meal was so good, and not as difficult as I thought it would have been. We'll definitly make this again - and I hope we can add some things to it to switch it up!

I knew this meal was coming to I searched online for the best lasagna recipe... then ended up using a variation of what I wrote, and what was on the back of the noodles box. Either way, still a great meal!

Valentine's Day Lasagna

4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 T olive oil
1 pkg Italian sausage
2 bottles of pasta sauce
2 T fresh Italian pasley
1 t Italian seasoning
salt and pepper
8 lasanaga noodles (ready to bake)
1 tub (15 oz) ricotta cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 eggs


Oven at 375 degrees F.

1. Brown meat in olive oil.
2. Once the meat is cooked, add pasta sauce & italian seasoning. Let simmer.
3. Make cheese filling by combining eggs, ricotta, 2/3 Parmesan cheese and parsley . Beat until smooth.
4. In a 9x13 pan, set out all the ingredients in front of you.
5. Now time for layers! 1/2 cup tomato sauce on bottom, then lay four noodles, spread half ricotta mixture and top with 1/3 of the mozzarella cheese. Add 2 cups of meat sauce, four noodles, ricotta mixture, 1/3 of mozzarella cheese, and remainder of the sauce. Top the rest with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese.
6. Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 50 minutes. Uncover, bake for another 10 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before cutting into.

Definitely going into my recipe binder. Next time, I think I might even add some spinach into the ricotta mixture to make it a little more healthy.  :D

How do you keep your recipies organized? For Christmas, my sister got me a Moleskin Recipe Journal. I love how pretty it is, but haven't found time to sit down and write everything in. So for now, I have a binder filled with print-outs. Maybe some afternoon I'll sit down and jot everything down.


February 14, 2011



1. I'm a sucker for Valentine's Day. Why not have a day to just remind everyone to celebrate love?
2. I learned last night that I need to perfect my steak-skillet skills. Everytime I make it, I burn it or its not done. In both situations, hbf only ate half of his steak (so sad).
3. Joe and I are celebrating by checking something off my life list: 70. Homemade lasanga.

kisses and hugs,

February 11, 2011

This has been an OFF week

TGIF. seriously.

This week was a little rough. I woke up Wednesday morning thinking it was already Friday. That mindset made Wednesday and Thursday drrrraaaggg on. Not to mention it has been freezing up in Minnesota (hello -10 degrees). Both of those things combine made me want to curl up in a little ball after dinner and avoid doing anything.
soooo sorrrry.

But I'm now getting my butt into gear. Even though it is Friday. I'm working most of the weekend but hopefully I'll still find some time to just hang out with hbf and the Wiz.

I need some inspiration for some new recipes. Any great sites to visit?

ps. I have photos from this week so I'll get those up too.


February 7, 2011

Weekend Catch Up

Hi all,

I had a luxurious weekend away from cooking. Actually, usually I don't cook on the weekends because I'm busy with work or just head to my parents. Oh to be a 20-something :)

I did want to make some dips/apps for the Superbowl, but ended up just going to mom & dad's so it was alright.

Friday night I ended up surprising hbf with a date to a comedy club so we grabbed dinner beforehand. And Saturday was Fight Night so we went to BWW. I don't know how I got addicted to UFC fighting, but it's pretty entertaining. Plus, I got to sit around and chat with my friends for a good couple hours before a foot to face knockout.

So this week is going to be a stick-by-the-rules week. I need to a) make dinner as planned and b) workout as planned. No fun and frilly stuff, girrlfriend! Plus, one week away is Valentine's Day! Yay!

Menu For the Week:

Monday: ADN (alone-dinner nights)
Tuesday: chicken, broccoli and rice casserole
Wednesday: seafood pasta (i have leftover shrimp/scallops in the freezer)
Thursday: pot roast
Friday: ADN

Hmm... I still have a few more posts to catch up with & then I should be good. I feel like I'm always playing catch up!


February 4, 2011

Southwest Style & some TJ love

hiyaaa. I am on a ROLL! kinda, sorta, anyways... this week's theme is obviously "last week's menu" since I barely posted. Thinking about it, this chili would have been perfect to serve this week! It's spicy and so easy to prep. Another theme: Easy to prep! Yeaaah boy!

Pork Tenderloin Chili

(via 101 Cooking for Two)


  • 1 pork tenderloin

  • 1 cans black beans (14 oz each)

  • 1 can kidney beans (14 oz)

  • 1 can green chilies (4 oz)

  • 1 medium onion

  • 1 red/green pepper

  • 1 jalapeno pepper

  • 16 oz medium salsa

  • 1 cup chicken broth

  • 1 T chili powder

  • 1 t oregano

  • 1 t cumin


1) chop up onion and peppers and place into crock pot. *sidenote: I am loving this crockpot liners. they make clean up a BREEEZE!

look how bright these babies are. I had to use rubber gloves because I knew I'd wipe my eyes/face and burn all night long. ouch.

2) Rinse and pat dry the tenderloin. Remove any fat and cut into 1 inch cubes.

3) Put all ingredients into the crock pot

4) Cook low for 8 hours; high for 4 hours

While the chili was stewing, I whipped up a batch of Trader Joe's cornbread.

Look at those corn bits!

Golden brown crust :)

The cornbread was the perfect match to the chili. I've never tried the trader joe's brand but I think I have found my favorite corn bread of all time.

The chili turned out great too.

In the original recipe, it asked to include the liquid for the beans but I rinsed them. I also made a mistake by emptying the full can of chicken stock, when I only needed a cup. This caused the chili to be a little runny—more soupish. But it was still tasty.

The extra pepper (not sure what kind it was) wasn’t as spicy as the jalepeno but it did add some good color.

All & all, a pretty good meal. Like I said before, perfect to keep it for a snowy day.

In non-food related news, I totally figured out how to size/edit all my photos at once on Photoshop. Yeah, I'm probably behind in the times, but I use to love editing and playing around with Photoshop and haven't so much anymore. But this is wonderful! Saves me the trouble of %-sizing everything in wordpress. Brilliant!

Off to date night :) yay! Happy Friday!


February 3, 2011

Listing the Day Away

Hi. Today feels like a list kinda day.
1. I think I am getting better at this whole blogging thing. You think?
2. I have been on an online buying spree today. I just bought myself this coat. & cannot wait to get it!
3. I know its already February BUT in MN that means still a couple months of cold weather. With my luck, we're gonna get a heat wave.
4. I told hbf to block off his Friday night since I am going to take him on a date :smile: I'm actually pretty excited to plan this. I also bought dinner & tickets online (thank you livingsocial!) It's a suprise so shhhh!
5. I'm playing around with the fonts on this blog so sorry for the mess.
6. Like usual, last night's dinner was quick, nummy and easy. And it included my favorite kitchen utensil -- the crock pot!

Balsamic Roast Sandwiches


  • 2 lb Round Roast

  • Lipton Onion Soup Mix

  • 1/3 C Balsamic Vinegar

  • 1/2 C Water

  • Swiss Cheese

1. Cut the round roast into big chunks and drop it into the crockpot.
2. Cover with onion soup packet.
3. Pour in vinegar and water.

4. Set it low for 8 hours & forget it!
5. When ready to eat, remove roast from crock pot, shred some and put it on a bun. Top with swiss cheese, set some juices on the side for dipping & enjoy!

I ended up spreading the meat out on a pan, putting a slice of cheese over it and sticking it under the broiler. I let the buns toast too.

It came out all melty and delicious!

I had some leftover meat, but no more buns :shock: I'm not sure what I can do with it yet but I gotta come up with something!

Tonight, I gotta hit the gym hard (my knee's been killing me) and stay warm. Maybe tune into some guilty pleasures -- jersey shore anyone?! it's awful but so addicting to watch.

Anyone gearing up for the superbowl already? I'm starting to look at dip recipies and found a couple I'm looking forward to trying. Too bad Joe works :sad: Maybe I'll just have to invite people over so I can play hostess.


February 2, 2011

Overload Wizzy Wednesday

This week I've got a sweet, little helper in the kitchen. She may lack  opposable thumbs, but she does a good job of getting in the way, jumping around and licking open sour cream cartons.

But then again... sometimes she's got her cute days.

Joe calls her a little muskie kitty. What do you think?

Yikes, for one thing - muskie's scare me. I love MN summer time and going boating, but sometimes I get nervous that a muskie will get me when I'm floating, waiting for the boat to turn around when I fall off waterskis or the tube :shock:

That's a bad story to end the post with. But it's hump day so yay! Wednesdays are the best days. February is the best month! I think we got some repetition going!