Cooking

My Husband’s Shrimp and Pork Stirfry!!

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My husband makes this dish quite often and it is a family favourite.  Serve with steamed rice.  You can mix the Stirfry and rice and place it in a fresh lettuce leaf to eat it…delicious.

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Shrimp and Pork Stirfry

2 tbsp vegetable oil

1 pound ground pork

1 onion chopped fine

4 cloves garlic chopped fine

thumb sized piece of fresh ginger peeled and minced fine

1 red pepper chopped

1 hot red pepper minced fine

3 cups snow peas cleaned and cut in half

1 pound cooked shrimp, peeled and cut in half

2 tbsp sherry or Chinese cooking wine

2 tbsp oyster sauce

2 tbsp soya sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

2 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup fresh bean sprouts

In a deep sauté pan or wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.  Add the pork, onions, and ginger and cook til no more pink is showing in the meat.  Turn the heat under the pan down to medium and add the garlic, hot red pepper, sherry, oyster sauce, soya sauce and sesame oil.  Cook and stir to coat the meat with the sauce for 3-5 minutes.  Add the sweet red pepper, snow peas and shrimp and cook for 5 more minutes.  Top with the fresh cilantro and bean sprouts and cook 1 minute more. Serve in lettuce leaves with steamed rice.  You can add a little extra oyster sauce in the lettuce leaf package if you like.  Enjoy.  Cheers, Michele

Homemade Ginger Tea!! Sore Throat And Cold Banisher!

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I must have inherited my love of all things ginger from my mom and maternal grandmother and I remember my grandmother giving us this tea when I was little with an upset stomach, but I find this tea works great as a cold remedy.  I have included an option for adding lemon to the recipe as well. It is a simple recipe that you can make up very quickly and keep around for when you need it.  Just keep the finished syrup in a glass jar with a lid in your fridge or even on your counter.

Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess
Image courtesy of A Beautiful Mess

Homemade Ginger Tea Syrup

1 1/2 – 2 pounds fresh ginger cut into 1 inch pieces (no need to peel)

3 cups water

3 cups sugar or other sweetener like honey

juice of one lemon (optional)

3 inch strip of lemon peel (optional)

Place all ingredients in your blender, I have a Vitamix which is an awesome gift from my lovely husband, Will.  It does a great job of whizzing up the ingredients into a paste.  Blend well until ginger is finely chopped.  Place the mixture in a heavy pot over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes until the ginger changes colour and goes a bit translucent.  If the mixture is too thin, cook longer, if too thick, add a bit more water.  Remove from heat and strain well.  You can leave it untrained and eat the ginger pulp for the added heat and fibre if you want.  Place in a large glass jar and keep til needed.  In a large mug place about 3-4 Tbsps of the syrup depending how spicy you want your tea and then top with hot water.  It is also nice cold over ice.  Great for soothing a sore throat, an upset stomach or anytime you need to feel warmed to the core.  It is delicious and good for you too.  I like a cup after supper as it aids in digestion and warms me up and relaxes me before bed.  Cheers, Michele

Quick Kimchi!! Spicy Korean Goodness!

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I mentioned in my Bibimbap post that I love Korean food and a quintessential part of this cuisine is their delicious fermented foods.  Kimchi with Napa cabbage being one of the most common types.  I was inspired and borrowed this recipe from one of my favourite Youtubers; Maangchi who has a wonderful channel and blog as well as her own cookbook.  You should check her out.  This is a quick and delicious version of Kimchi when you don’t have weeks to prepare it ahead and just have a sudden craving for something delicious and spicy.

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Quick Kimchi

1 large Napa cabbage (you can substitute regular green cabbage if needed)

1 cup water

1/4 cup of salt

Paste Mix:

6 cloves of garlic finely minced

1 carrot peeled and finely julienned

1 Tbsp sugar

3 green onions chopped

1/4 cup of fish sauce (I will reduce this a bit next time as the result was a bit too salty for my taste)

1/4 cup of dried hot pepper flakes (I got mine in an Asian Market)

Finely shred the cabbage, removing the hard core at the bottom.  Place in a large bowl and mix in the salt and water.  Massage the cabbage well, coating it all with the salt.  Let sit for 15 minutes.  While the cabbage is soaking, mix together the garlic, carrot, sugar, green onions, fish sauce and hot pepper flakes into a paste.

Once the cabbage has soaked in the salty water, pour off the excess liquid and rinse at least three times in cold water until the cabbage doesn’t taste salty.  Squeeze out the excess water and add the paste.  Mix well, massaging the paste into the cabbage until completely coated.  Place in a large lidded container and press down to remove all the air.  Put it in a safe spot on your kitchen counter for a day or two.  Check to see if it is fermenting by pushing down on the mixture with a spoon, bubbles should come up and there should be a bright red liquid in the container, yeah, it’s working.  Science and food are amazing!!  Then place the container in the refrigerator to allow the fermentation process to continue slowly.  It can be eaten fresh which is delicious or you can keep this for months and serve with what ever you want, Korean food or otherwise.  It has been scientifically proven that eating a diet with fermented foods added in is very healthy and nutritious.  I hope you try this recipe out and check out Maangchi’s blog and Youtube channel.  Cheers, Michele

Homemade Bibimbap!! Korean Deliciousness!

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So lately I have been watching a lot of Youtube videos of Korean cooking as I have been craving it and I got inspired to make my own Bibimbap which is one of my favourite dishes of all time. I won’t give all the recipes for the various toppings and the side dishes as I got them all from a lady named Maangchi who is an amazing Korean cook and shares her recipes on Youtube, in her cookbook and on her website at www.maangchi.com.  You should check her out!

Bibimbap

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First you need a well-seasoned heavy stoneware or cast-iron pan.

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Then make some short grain rice in the usual method that I have shared several times on this blog.

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I already made some Kimchi yesterday and it is already fermenting, yeah science!!

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I made some seaweed salad as a side dish as well.

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And a daikon radish and Korean pear salad too.

For the toppings, I made the following:

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Julienne carrot

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Zucchini

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Steamed sweet potato

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Preserved turnip that I bought at a local Asian store.

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Steamed bean sprouts

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Sauteed Shiitake mushrooms

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Enoki mushrooms

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Thinly sliced pork with seasonings

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Thinly sliced beef with seasonings

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Lotus root sautéed with garlic and green onion

So once my rice is well cooked, I heated up my cast-iron pan over medium high heat add some vegetable and sesame oil and add about 4-5 cups of cooked rice.  Then I arranged my various toppings on top and place a raw egg yolk or three (since there are three of us for dinner tonight) in the centre.  Once the rice starts to cook on the bottom and crackle and sizzle and steam will rise up from the pan.  Then I removed it from the stove and stirred it all together at the table.  The point is to stir in the ingredients and the heat of the hot rice heats them up.  I decided to err on the side of caution and cook the meats up before adding them to the Bibimbap but traditionally the meat goes on top raw and cooks in the sizzling hot rice.

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Here is the hot pepper paste that I served with our dinner.

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Here is the finished product!!  Gorgeous, delicious and nutritious!!!  It was very well received by my daughter Kate and her fiancé Chris.  Definitely a repeatable dish.

I hope you try out making some of the recipes from Maangchi’s website and Youtube videos.  She is a wonderful cook and teacher and is quite enjoyable to watch.  Cheers, Michele

Peanut Butter Granola!! Gluten-Free And Yummy!

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This peanut butter granola recipe is my own version of several other recipes cobbled together and is being posted on my blog at the request of my daughter Katie’s boyfriend Chris.  The main recipe source is from www.breakfastdramaqueen.com so kudos to that blogger for a great starting recipe.  I have added more ingredients because I like my granola with lots of different flavours.

Image courtesy of www.breakfastdramaqueen.com
Image courtesy of www.breakfastdramaqueen.com

Peanut Butter Granola

Dry Ingredients:

4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free if required)

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup sunflower seeds

1/2 cup sliced almonds

1/2 cup shredded coconut

3 Tbsps flax seeds or flax-seed meal

3 Tbsp chia seeds

1/4 cup hemp seeds

You can add dried fruit, but add it together with the finished baked granola so that the fruit doesn’t burn.

Wet Ingredients:

1 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tbsps coconut oil

2 tsps vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.  Line 2 baking pans with parchment paper.  Mix all dry ingredients well in a large bowl.  In a large microwave proof dish or 2 cup glass measuring cup add all wet ingredients.  Microwave on high for 1 – 1 1/2 minutes til liquid.  Stir together well before pouring over dry ingredients.  Stir until all ingredients are well mixed.  Divide mixture between the two pans and spread out evenly.  Place in oven and bake for 40-50 minutes depending on how brown you want your granola.  Rotate the pans every so often to allow to bake evenly.  Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before storing in an air tight container.  Serve with yogurt and fresh fruit for either a delicious breakfast or dessert.  It also makes a great topping for a fruit crumble.

I hope you try this granola out, it is super easy and delicious and much more healthy than the store-bought cereals.  Cheers, Michele

Aloo Gobi!! Cauliflower And Potato Curry!

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I have been craving Aloo Gobi which is a simple vegetable curry for a while now and so I finally bit the bullet and made some.  It is so yummy and comforting.  I got new potatoes and a cauliflower on the discount table at my local fruit and veg store so this is a very cheap meal.  You can add meat or chickpeas to the recipe to make it a whole meal, but we are having it with tandoori spice rubbed chicken breasts off the BBQ!  Yummy.  Serve it with rice and naan bread if you have it and you have a super simple supper.  Hope you try it.

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Aloo Gobi

1 small head of cauliflower cut into small flowerettes

2 pounds of potatoes cut into bite size pieces

1 large bunch of fresh cilantro, leaves and stems separated and finely chopped

1 tbsps of vegetable oil

2 onions cut into small pieces

3 large cloves of garlic finely minced

2 inch piece of ginger finely minced

3 small hot chilis finely minced

2 tsps of tumeric

2 tsps of cumin

2 tsps ground coriander seed

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt

1 large 16 oz tin of crushed tomatoes

2-3 cups of water, vegetable or chicken stock

2 cups frozen peas

In a large pot heat oil over medium heat.  Add the onions and cook until translucent.  Then add chilis, garlic, ginger and the finely minced stems of the cilantro.  Stir til slightly cooked.  Add potatoes and cauliflower, spices and salt and stir well to coat the vegetables.  Add can of tomatoes.  Then cover the vegetables with as much stock or water as it takes to just cover.  Simmer over medium  to low heat for 30 minutes. Check the potatoes and cauliflower and add the frozen peas.  Cook for another 30 minutes until liquid reduces.  This may take longer depending on the size of your pot.  Once ready sprinkle with the chopped cilantro leaves and serve with steamed rice.  Perfect delicious and easy vegetarian meal or side dish. But like I said, you can add chicken or chickpeas to add some protein.  Hope you try it.  Cheers, Michele

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Getting To Know My Readers!! A Little Q & A!

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Image courtesy of www.vera-natura.com

I love seeing that people from around the world read my blog.  So I thought I would put out a little questionnaire with my answers right along side.  I would love it if you would take the time to answer and reply to any or all of them.  That way I can get to know you better and tailor my writing to your interests. That would be fantastic! So here goes.

  1. Where d0 you live?   Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  2. What are your favourite posts?  The refashions from unusual thrifted finds; that perfect much sought after thrift find; a successful refashion!
  3. What would you like to see more of on this blog?  More of the continuing fantastic reading of my posts and comments from my wonderful readers!
  4. What are your 5 favourite places to visit?  Seville, Spain; Brugges, Belgium; Paris, France; Anywhere in Italy; Munich, Germany.
  5. What was the last country you visited?  Jamaica
  6. What is your 5 favourite hobbies?  Thrift shopping, refashioning, sewing, working on my blog and trying new recipes and tailoring them to my dietary requirements.
  7. Dogs or cats?  Dogs
  8. Favourite paid job that you have had?  Forensic autopsy technician
  9. Languages you speak even a little or a lot?  English, German, French, Italian, Turkish, Greek (only swear words)
  10. Favourite book, movie and music genre?  Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen; Love Actually; Eighties music.

So these are just a few questions I thought I would ask.  I would love it if you had thought of your own questions to ask me and I will gladly reply.  I would love to hear from you.  Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and my posts.  Cheers, Michele