Tag Archives: recipes

CPK’s Kung Pao Spaghetti

4 Apr

 

I used to go to California Pizza Kitchen all the time for their Kung Pao Spaghetti, that is until I learned how to make it on my own at home.  I use this recipe and as always adjust to my taste.  The list of ingredients might seem daunting to some but it is quite an easy dish to make.  I didn’t know how I’d feel about kung pao and spaghetti together but I find it amazingly delicious!

Green onions, dried red chili peppers and peanuts add not only color but a little bit of kick to the dish.

The sauce.

Solid ingredients mixed together.

Kung Pao Spaghetti

Kung Pao Spaghetti served with mandarin salad w/sesame dressing and garlic cheese bread.

The adjustments I usually make to the dish

  • Sometimes I like to add a little more  chicken stock because I like a little bit more sauce and I don’t want it to get too thick.
  • I like to use cooking soy sauce so the sauce doesn’t get too salty.
  • Add extra green onions because I like green onions.
  • Adjust the amount of chili paste according to who I am cooking for, some people find it too spicy.

Hope you all try this out or if you are too lazy to make it yourself, head to the nearest CPK and enjoy!

Happy Monday everyone!

XO,

Anna

Meatloaf

16 Mar

Growing up in an asian household made me view meatloaf as a delicacy I got to enjoy whenever I went to my all American friends’ homes.  Now that I’m a grown up I get to make it myself!  I found this recipe here and then made a few adjustments of my own.  This recipe is really easy and perfect for those weeknights you want home made food but don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen.

Sauté chopped green bell peppers and onions.

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix.

Mold into loaf and cover with ketchup mixture.

Meatloaf dinner with mashed potatoes and veggies!

 

A few things I did differently for my meatloaf was add chopped green bell peppers, substituted the ground beef with ground turkey to make it a little bit leaner and I left out the brown sugar because I found the sugar in the ketchup to be sufficient enough.  Pretty basic recipe but feel free to spice it up however you like.  I think I might try to add sauteed mushrooms next time and maybe a gravy on top instead of ketchup sauce.  Anyway, happy eating!

 

XO,

Anna

BBQ Pork Sandwiches

25 Oct

I had some friends over for dinner last week and decided to try out a new recipe!  I made BBQ pulled pork sandwiches but I was a little skeptical of the recipe because it seemed waaaay too easy!  Never the less, I followed this recipe here and dinner was DELICIOUS!

 

 

There are a bunch of suggestions on the recipe page but I was really lazy and stuck pretty close to the original recipe, the only thing I did different was I added sliced onions and sauteed them in the dutch oven before I shredded the pork and added it to the oven.  I also used Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce (according to some reviews the BBQ sauce is too sweet so I mixed in a little bit of white vinegar to the sauce before mixing it with the pork and onions). For sides we had sweet potato fries and apple/pear coleslaw.  Bon appetit!
XO,
Anna

Corn, Snap Peas & Bacon Chopped Salad from our Wedding

4 Oct

A lot of people loved the food at our wedding (thanks to Tom Douglas Catering) a couple of weeks ago, especially our salad course, so I decided to go search for the recipe and try to make it at home.  I was in luck!  I found the recipe online here and it turned out as delicious as it was on that special night.  I left out the bacon in my pictures because our friend we had over is a vegetarian.

 

prepping my veggies

ice bowl for the corn and snap peas

the sweet corn and fresh snap peas are what really make this salad stand out

beautiful chopped salad minus the bacon

 

For everyone at the wedding who wanted this recipe…enjoy!  It is a perfect summer chopped salad that works well for early fall too.
XO,
Anna

Caprese & Baked Spaghetti

23 Sep

I am pretty lazy when it comes to cooking dinner sometimes so I prefer to make things that are quick and easy without sacrificing taste!  A perfect meal any time of the year is baked spaghetti and Caprese salad.  You only need a handful of ingredients and it usually takes less than half an hour from start to finish.

To make Caprese Salad
1 brick or block of fresh mozarella
3-4 tomatoes (I prefer tomatoes on the vine or roma)
fresh basil
balsamic vinegar
olive oil
salt & pepper (optional)
Slice of the tomatoes and arrange on plate.
Slice mozarella and place on top of tomatoes.
Throw fresh basil leaves on top.
Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and oil.
Dash of fresh ground pepper and sea salt on top!

 

To make baked spaghetti
1 pound of spaghetti noodles
1 or 2 jars of pasta sauce (I prefer Presto or Barilla Mushroom & Garlicsauce)
A dozen fully cooked meatballs (I use Jennie O homestyle frozen meatballs)
Fresh mozarella (I just use the leftover cheese from the Caprese salad)
Parmesan cheese
I cook the spaghetti noodles to al dente, try to undercook the noodles a little bit instead of overcooking them because they will go in the oven for further baking.
I heat up the meatballs beforehand to prevent any excess water or juices to leak into the spaghetti and cause it to go soggy.
Once everything is cooked or heated pour sauce all over noodles and meatballs, make sure you cover everything.
I then break the mozarella into little pieces and toss them on the top of the spaghetti and sprinkle parmesan on top.
Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10-15 minutes or until cheese on top is melted.
Bon Apetit!

 

Hope this gives you a good idea of how to make this simple meal.  You can always add other things to the recipes to make it your own.  Sometimes I like to add pesto to my spaghetti sauce (something I learned from my friend Rom), it gives the sauce a little extra texture and is especially delicious in baked spaghetti.  Let me know if you have any questions about the recipes or anything yummy to add!
XO,
Anna

A Steaming Bowl of Pho

19 Jul

One of my favorite foods to eat is Pho(Vietnamese beef noodle soup).  It’s yummy and a great hangover cure.  There are many pho restaurants around but nothing comes close to a hot bowl of the homemade goodness!  I found this recipe last fall from the Steamy Kitchen blog and have made it at least a dozen times now.  It’s pretty easy to make and I usually double the recipe so I have enough pho for days!  You can also substitute the beef for chicken or vegetables if that is what you prefer.  I also suggest adding more sugar, salt and fish sauce to your liking depending on how you like your broth.

Steaming pot of broth with all the goodies (spices, onions, ginger, bones)

My bowl topped with yummy garnishes (bean sprouts, thai basil, mint, cilantro, green onions, red onions, jalapenos and lime)

 

Don’t be intimidated by the list of ingredients, all of the spices and ingredients can be found at your local Asian market.  This is really the best pho recipe I have found online and the Steamy Kitchen is an awesome blog so check it out.  Time to eat!
XO,
Anna

BBQ Spare Ribs

5 Jul

I ate sooo much this weekend it was really quite a lot of over indulging.  It’s ok though, it was 4th of July weekend and everyone’s allowed a cheat day…or two!  A friend of mine hosted a BBQ at his place and I decided to make some BBQ ribs instead of the usual hotdogs and burgers (we had some of those too).  My intentions were to do baby back ribs but my parents bought my meat for me and ended up getting me pork spare ribs instead, so I had to look up a recipe since I’ve never made spare ribs of any kind before.  They actually turned out pretty yummy.  You can find the recipe I used here.  The recipe received a lot of good reviews and I did read through some of the users’ comments.  I recommend not using as much sugar unless you like your meat sweet and I did boil my ribs for an hour to get rid of some of the fatty-ness and the ribs came out nice and tender. The recipe is pretty easy to follow and I had all of the ingredients in my pantry.  Here’s a visual of how everything looked.

 

My bowl of pork spare ribs (rinsed and patted dry).

The “BBQ” sauce mixture (I used minced garlic because I was too lazy to crush cloves).  This sauce will not be as thick as BBQ sauce you buy from the store.  It is definitely more of a marinade.
After boiling the ribs, I placed them in a roasting pan where I marinated them in the sauce overnight.
After marinating you can grill or bake the ribs.  I did both.  Baked them @ 350 degrees for half an hour and threw them on the grill for 5 minutes or so before eating them.  You can brush on regular bbq sauce if you like at this point, I decided not to since the marinade had enough flavor.
I hope everyone in the United States enjoyed their Independence Day weekend and everyone else in the world, hope yours was just as fun!  What was something super delicious that you got to eat this past weekend?  I may need ideas for future recipes!
XO,
Anna
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