Cabbage Soup – EASY

I don’t know about you but I have already been thinking about the plants I am going to put in my garden this year.  It might have had something to do with the warm February we had but them mother nature had a different plan and decided we really needed another foot of snow. If nothing else it was absolutely beautiful around here.

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I added the Edamame as I had a small bag in the freezer – cleaning out the fridge kind of soup

I literally made this soup because I had a hunk of cabbage left in my fridge since harvesting it in from my garden sometime in the Fall or Autumn whatever you call it. I needed the space but I would never throw away perfectly good food. It’s not in my nature to waste but we don’t really eat a lot of cabbage but I grow enormous ones and they last once wrapped in plastic wrap for a VERY long time.

IMG_2592Believe it or not I still have some red and yellow onions, shallots and garlic that we are still using from my garden. If you have never grown any vegetables or herbs you should try; at least grow some herbs in a pot, or a patio tomato. It doesn’t have to be hard or time consuming a little soil, sun and water and you are good to go.
IMG_2629Cabbage Soup with ingredients on hand

2 stalks Celery – diced
2 Carrots – peeled and diced
2-3 Tomatoes – chopped
1 large Onion – diced
Head of Cabbage – chopped
2 cloves Garlic – minced
1 cup Edamame
2 tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 Bay Leaf
Kosher Salt & freshly cracked black Pepper – to taste
Sriracha – to taste
Chicken Stock – enough to cover veggies

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I added a little sweet Italian Sausage that I browned and added at the end – Just a little more love

In a slow cooker I chopped and added it to the pot, set it on high and left it for about 4 hours.
You can make it on top of the stove as well using the same method.

Pork Spring Rolls – Baked not Fried

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mom’s out there who have baked brownies or cupcakes at the last minute for a class bake sale their kids forgot to tell the about. For all the mom’s who make dinners that their kids won’t eat for one reason or another. For all the mom’s who spend many hours in the kitchen and around the table sharing food and stories. I raise a glass to you all! Mom is a tough job but I am proud to do it!

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Even though my kids are young adults now, if they are home we all sit down at the table for dinner together. One of the many proud Mom traditions I started when they were born. Our meals have definitely evolved over the years and have become not only a meal to fill the void, it has become a journey of food and ingredient discovery.

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My daughter just came back from a weeks long trip to Iceland. She brought back native hot dogs and mustard for us to try; she said she never had a better hot dog. After making one of her favorites last week, it seems that there is more to a hot dog than ketchup, mustard and relish. This one had potato salad, fried onions, Icelandic mustard; which is kind of a sweet mustard, and some BBQ sauce layered in a hoagie bun. It truly was delicious and piqued my interest in hot dogs, which I didn’t think was possible.

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I have also been intrigued by egg rolls, spring rolls and dumplings. A few weeks ago I made egg rolls that I shared with you; last week I pulled some spring roll wrappers out of the freezer and while I love the fried version, I found a baked recipe I thought looked promising and a little better for us. See still being a Mom and wanting better for my family.

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Bake Pork Spring Rolls

1 pound ground pork
½ head finely shredded cabbage
½ cup finely shredded carrot
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp sesame oil
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
3 teaspoons fresh grated ginger root
2 teaspoon minced garlic
2 teaspoon chile sauce

2 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoon water
12 – 7 inch square spring roll wrappers
4 teaspoon vegetable oil

Preheat oven to 425’ F

In a medium saucepan over medium heat brown the pork, remove from heat and drain.

In a medium bowl, mix together pork, cabbage, carrot, green onion, cilantro, sesame oil, oyster sauce, ginger, garlic and chile sauce.  Make sure to taste the mixture and adjust seasonings if needed.

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Mix cornstarch and water in a small bowl

Place a large tablespoon of the pork mixture in the center of the spring roll. Roll wrappers around the mixture, folding edges inward to close. Moisten fingers in the cornstarch water mixture, and brush wrapper seams to seal.

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Arrange spring rolls in a single layer on a medium baking sheet. Brush with vegetable oil. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, until hot and lightly browned. For crispier spring rolls, turn 10 minutes.

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Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com by Rayna

Egg Rolls with Asian dipping sauces

I realize I write a weekly food blog and have hosted food classes in my home so it may seem to some that I know what I am doing in the kitchen. I do know my way around and enjoy making and eating yummy food but there are so many things I have never attempted for fear of intimidating ingredients or the process seems out of my realm.

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I pulled some egg roll wrappers and a package of ground pork out of the freezer last week in hopes in trying my hand at making egg rolls. This is one of those times where I have always wanted to try but had a little fear that maybe this is one of those things I leave to my local take out joint. Boy was I wrong they couldn’t have been easier and tastier; plus I knew exactly what went in them. That in itself made me wonder why I took SO long to make them. Sometimes I cut open those tasty little packages and inspect what they put inside. Somethings are undetectable to the naked eye but they must be there for a reason. They add flavor or texture. I’ve always heard that you shouldn’t really look at your food. Not sure who said that but I always look at my food most times so I could potentially recreate the dish at home. 

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I added to this week’s groceries list; fresh artichoke; this is another one of those ingredients that is a little intimidating to me but I have wanted to check it out. I do hope if you ever had an interest in making egg rolls with a couple of super simple dipping sauces. This one is easy and delicious!

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Egg Roll

1 pound ground pork
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground garlic powder
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 cup shredded carrots
1 quart peanut oil for frying
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons water
8 7 inch square egg roll wrappers

Season pork with ginger and garlic; mix thoroughly. Heat medium skillet with a little bit of oil, fry pork till no longer pink. Taste and adjust before you set aside

In a large skillet heat oil to 375 F degrees or medium high heat.

Combine water and flour in a small bowl to make a paste for closing the the wrappers

In a separate bowl combine the cabbage, carrots and pork mixture till combined.

Lay the wrapper with the corner pointed toward you. Place about ¼ cup of the mixture folding the corner over the pork, the fold left and right corners toward the center and roll to opposite corner. Brush a bit of the paste on the final corner to seal the edge of the egg wrapper.

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Fry rolls, turning occasionally, until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on paper towels or a rack.

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Honey Sesame Sauce – in a small mixing bowl add first 4 ingredients and top with last two

½ cup honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
Fresh ginger sliced thin
Toasted sesame seeds

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Spicy Soy Sauce – in a small mixing bowl add first 3 ingredients and top with last two

¼ cup soy sauce
2 teaspoon chili sauce
1 teaspoon honey
Chopped green onions
Toasted sesame seeds

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Egg roll adapted from allrecipes.com by Angela Hamilton
Asian dipping sauces Recipe by Culinary Ginger at http://culinaryginger.com/spring-egg-rolls-with-trio-of-asian/

 

Zucchini Bread

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Peppers in the middle on the garden closest to me just terrible
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Zucchini, Summer Squash, Cucumbers, Tomatoes and Butternut Squash all looking good!

broccoli - garden 046 Our gardens are doing really well this year for the most part.  The only disappointments are my peppers, both the bell and jalapeno’ peppers are just not growing or producing.  We have had a bumper crop of zucchini, summer squash and cucumbers.  We have been getting a ton of cherry tomatoes and plenty of roma; I fear all of my beef steaks will all turn red at once.  That will be another weekend of processing.  I am not complaining I am actually very grateful we are having a great year.  My favorite, for 20+ years, supermarket is on strike here on the East coast.

Fortunately I was able to harvest some garlic this year, the bulbs are much smaller than I would like but there were around 70 of them; I had planted 120 bulbs in the fall but I will take whatever I can get considering the last two years I lost all of it.

Today was pickling cucumbers and baking zucchini bread day.  I pickled 8 jars of kosher dill and 34 loaves of various sized zucchini bread – I doubled the recipe below 3 times to get the 34 loaves. So far so good!

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I started blogging a little over a year ago; a few of you, since there were just  few of you at the start; may remember me posting this zucchini bread recipe around the same time last year however SO many more people have come on board with me since.  Technology is a pretty amazing tool. I was just looking at some of my blog stats and just today I had 3 people from 3 different countries check me out.  Colombia, Brazil and Italy I find that SUPER cool. Also I had barely started my first paragraph tonight when my daughter faced time me from the Philippines; she is there vacationing with a friend of hers from Japan. The world is getting smaller and smaller.

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Zucchini Bread – bake 350’ 45 minutes or so – depends on what size the pan is.  The recipe easily doubles and freezes well

2 large eggs

½ cup vegetable oil

½ cup apple sauce

2 cups sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp cinnamon

1 package vanilla pudding mix

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

3 cups AP flour

2 cups shredded zucchini that you have squeezed out most of the liquid – I put it all in a colander, place a plate and something heavy on it in the fridge few a couple of hours.  I still had to go to the store so it worked out great.

In a stand mixer add the first 8 ingredients and mix well, add the flour till combined and then add the zucchini.  Spray grease whatever you are using and fill to about ¾ full.  Bake for about 40-50 minutes and let cool for a bit, remove from your dish and wrap or bag.  These freeze really well.  We literally just ate our last loaf from last year just the other day.

If you are using a kitchen-aid with their 5 quart sized bowl you can double this recipe, however it will be very close to the top, so heed my instructions on when to add ingredients, it helps make sure all the ingredients get mixed well.

Thanks for listening

Gyoza & Ramen birthday dinner

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!!!  It is a beautiful day here in NH – Having my husbands family over for Father’s day dinner in a few hours!  I hope you were able to do whatever you wanted today!  My husband took a nap after lunch on his hammock – Life is good!!!

Last week was both of my children’s birthday’s they are 2 years and a day apart.  Believe it or not they were actually planned just not THAT close.  She was early, he was on time. They could have had the same birthday but I thought they should at least have their own day.  I told the Doctor that I couldn’t come in the next day as I was busy.  I had family coming over for my daughters’ 2nd birthday party.  Still to this day they each get to pick what they want for their birthday dinners.  Unfortunately this year my daughter is living in Japan had to fend for herself.  I think my son was being a little devious this year; he wanted to pick something I had never made before.  I am not sure what that was all about but he took 2 days and finally came up with a couple of things he had while visiting his sister that he really liked; Gyoza and Ramen.  Some of you might be thinking about the packages of ramen you can buy for like a buck that has a flavored sodium packet included, just add water and voila’. Unfortunately Japanese ramen I have come to find out is quite a process and the most important part is the broth, it took a couple of days to make as it wants to sit overnight.

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Gyoza I found out is pretty much a dumpling with a dipping sauce – These came out yummy and I will definitely make again.  Ramen was very good but I think I can do better.  I was so worried that it tasted like seaweed I was a little nervous so I added some chicken base and my son noticed and said it tasted like chicken oops!

Gyoza

1 tablespoon sesame oil

2 cups chopped cabbage

¼ cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic

¼ cup chopped carrot

½ pound ground pork

1 egg

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (10oz) package wonton wrappers

¼ cup water

 

¼ cup soy sauce (lower sodium)

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

Heat sesame oil in a large skillet over medium high heat; mix together cabbage, onion, garlic and carrot.  Cook and stir until the cabbage is limp.  Mix in ground pork and egg. Cook until pork is evenly brown and the egg is no longer runny.

Gather some friends to help fill the Wonton’s – it goes by quicker

Preheat vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium high heat

Place approximately 1 tablespoon of the cabbage and pork mixture in the center of each wrapper. Fold wrappers in half over the filling, and seal edges with moistened finger

In the preheated vegetable oil cook the Gyoza approximately 1-2 minute per side, until lightly browned.  Lower the heat; add ¼ cup water and place the cover on the pan and let them steam until the water evaporates.

In a small bowl, mix soy sauce and rice vinegar.  Use the mixture as a dipping sauce for the finished wrappers.