Trader Joe’s Thai Yellow Curry

I recently discovered Trader Joe’s bottled Thai yellow curry sauce. It’s really good and comforting. It’s definitely not YaYa’s curry. It tastes a bit more like Japanese curry. But it’s damn good.

I made it traditional style with chicken and potatoes (I didn’t have bamboo shoots). Basically, I put 1 and a half chicken breast, cubed and 4 medium red potatoes cut into 1/4s in a pot with the sauce and cooked it until the potatoes were soft. Next time, I might wait until the last 15 mins to put in the chicken so it remains tender.

And while I was prepping it, I had too much chicken (that other half). So I popped the cubed, raw chicken pieces in with 3 TBSP of the sauce in a Tupperware and left it in the fridge.

I just pulled it out, skewered it and threw it in a 350 degree oven for 20 mins. What? Satay anyone? I should’ve left more sauce on when I baked it. But it’s so good too.

Get yourself to a TJs and buy this sauce, Trader Joe’s Thai yellow curry. And pick yourself up some orange chicken too.

Filet Mignon on the Pan

TJ’s has filets for around $25 for 2. What a steal! I made two last night and typically we bbq but it was already late and well, coals take time. So, I tried it in a pan. Since I don’t have a cast iron in the tiny house (gasp!), I used the stainless steel. They came out soooo good. Munchkins loved it.

  • 2 4-6oz filet mignons
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • any high heat oil
  • 2 TBSP Ghee
  • 1 whole clove garlic
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary

Set meat out at room temp 20-30 mins to take the chill off them.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Generously season all sides with salt and pepper.

Heat oven-safe pan over med-high heat for 3 mins. Add oil (I used avocado) and ghee.

Add filets and brown each side well so it has a nice brown crust. try not to move it once you’ve set it in the pan until it’s time to turn. They’ll be sticky until they form the crust and you don’t want to tear it apart. Cook each side for 1-3 minutes until you have that crust.

On the last turn, add the rosemary and garlic. Then tip the pan while filets are cooking and spoon flavored oil over the filets for that last 1-3 mins. Caution: it’s a splattering mess. I was wiping down everything on the stove the entire time. And at the end, the top of my hand got a good moisturizing bath.

Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 5-7 mins depending on how you like your filets.

Remove pan from oven. Set filets on serving plate and let them rest for 10 mins before cutting.

Enjoy!

Fab 4 Morning Smoothie

Have you heard of the book, Body Love? It’s written by Kelly Leveque, an LA nutritionalist for celebs. The adorable Jessica Alba wrote the forward.

Anyway, this breakfast smoothie is everything. Of course, I miss my pastries. But this thing satisfies hunger cravings for hours. I have it after my morning coffee – between 9 and 10. And then I’ll look up at the clock and it’ll be 1pm and I’m still not hungry. My joints feel better and I’m not bogged down by bloating.

Peeps in her book provide testimonials around weight loss, better energy and all sorts of other miracles (just kidding). It’s made up of the Fab 4 which is basically her approach to all meals: protein, greens, fat and fiber. Also, avocados are the super food since they have all of that – who can hate that?

All the goodness (and brands I use)
  • 1/2 cup almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1/2 banana
  • Collagen protein powder
  • Mushroom powder with MCT oil
  • 1 TBS flaxseed
  • 1 TBSP chia seed
  • 1 TBSP almond butter or peanut
  • A handful of greens
  • 4 raspberries
  • 2 – 3 ice cubes

Blend it all up and enjoy a smoothie meal with fat, fiber, greens and protein.

Jalapeño Poppers, Baked

Made these for the 4th of July and am looking for a BBQ event to bring them to so I can side swipe a few between drinks. It’s the perfect “over served” food. Bacon-y, kinda spicy, cheesey. Sooo good. In fact, I bet we could doctor them up to look Halloween-y. Ok. Time for some creativity, ya’ll. Whatchya got? P.S. The mix is damn good on toast under some avocado sliced.

  • 12 jalapeños, half and seeded
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 head roasted garlic (optional)
  • 10 stalks of chives, cut into 1/4” lengths
  • 6 sliced bacon, cooked and crumbled

Move rack to middle of oven. Line baking pan with foil. Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Make filling by mixing all but 3 TBSP of the crumbled bacon. Cut jalapeños, deseed and demembrane.

Use a spoon to fill the filling into the jalapeño halves. Try to keep them upright (sometimes that requires leaning one up on the other-don’t worry though, they’re ok sharing space).

Cook for 20-25 mins or until bubbly. Sprinkle remaining bacon on top (I actually pressed the bacon into the jalapeños).

It’s like molten lava coming out of the oven. Use all the impulse control power you have to wait 10 mins until trying one. Trust me. Then enjoy!!

Poke

Ya’ll. Poke. That “e” ain’t silent on this one. It’s refreshing and filling and a perfect way to end summer. Go out and get some sushi grade tuna today and make it.

  • 1/2 lb sushi grade ahi tuna, cubed into 1/2” pieces
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced super fine
  • 1/2” piece fresh ginger, minced super fine
  • 2 green onion, sliced thinly
  • furikaki
  • Shiso leaves (optional)
  • Avocado, sliced thinly
  • Pickled ginger
  • Wasabi paste
  • Fried wonton wrapper (or I was able to score these fried lotus chips that were wasabi flavored)

Mix ginger, garlic, soy sauce and sesame oil together. Taste and adjust for your preferred flavor. (I usually add a bit more sesame oil). Add fish and red onions to a bowl. Add marinate and refrigerate for 20 mins.

Arrange plate, add fish and top with furikake. Enjoy by itself or with sushi rice.

Shanghai Lumpia

I went to make Lola Momma’s lumpia recipe and did a quick search to find the ingredients. What? Nothing found. How have I never put the recipe in here? Welp, I winged it because she was asleep since she’s in the PI and we’re in the US and it was a midday project. Everyone says I did it. And the photo is proof that it was good. We couldn’t even get a pic, they went so fast.

Ate them before we could get a photo
Too much filling in this one by a third.

Mix all the filling ingredients together until well incorporated. It should no longer look like separate ingredients but more like a paste.

Set up your rolling station. You will need a bowl of water, a cutting board to roll on, a plate for lumpia you’ll fry, a couple of ziplock bags for lumpia you’ll freeze. A paper towel for any wiping and great music. (Lola Momma suggests a piping bag for the mix but I haven’t tried it yet)

After the filling is mixed and you’re set up at your rolling station, it’s time to get your wrappers ready.

The wrappers like to stick together. Pull apart a stack. Sometimes the edges are really stuck or kinda hard. I just trim off all the hard edges on the stack. Then I cut the wrappers in half.

Pull off individual wrappers. It’s important to cover the wrappers you’re not using with a damp towel so they don’t get dry.

Put about a half inch wide of filling across the bottom of the wrapper. Roll it up trying to avoid air bubbles. Wet the sealing end of the wrapper with water using your finger dipped in the bowl. Once rolled, cut the lumpia in half.

Freeze some (making sure they’re not touching until frozen). Fry others.

Enjoy with sweet spicy dipping sauce.

Egg Muffins: Easy Back to Campus Breakfast

Kids are finally going back to school campus after a year of distance learning. WHOOOHOOOO! I celebrate for them and for us parents! They are amazing. We are amazing. After all the crazies we’ve overcome, it’s now time to relearn how to get them fed before 7:30am. These are delicious and nutritious and super easy to reheat before the coffee kicks in.

Early Morning Egg Muffins

Adapted from Pig and Quill’s recipe (https://themomedit.com/cheesy-bacon-egg-muffins-recipre-aka-the-homemade-answer-to-starbucks-egg-bites/)

  • 4 eggs
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 ricotta or cream cheese
  • 3 oz shredded Colby jack cheese (or any melty cheese you desire)
  • Any veggies that have been sautéed and chopped
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 350 F. Add a rimmed pan with 1” of water to the bottom rack. Your muffins will cook on the middle rack above the water.

Generously spray or grease a mini muffin pan – I got this pan from Williams Sonoma and didn’t need silicone liners. But if you’re wary of sticking, get the mini silicone liners and put those on your pan before cooking.

Add everything to the blender except 1 piece of bacon. Blend for 20 seconds or until frothy. Add in the chopped bacon.

Pour the mixture until almost filling each cup. Bake for 25-30 mins. They’ll jiggle a little in the center. That’s ok because they’ll keep cooking in the tray once you pull it out. Let it set for 10 mins. Then eat, freeze or refrigerate for easy early morning breakfast.

Chicken Adobo

Pure comfort in a bowl. Paired with Mom’s pancit and it’s the holidays in February! I made this on a Sunday and it fed us a couple more times for lunch and dinner. And, I’m already craving it again!

Chicken Adobo

  • 6 full chicken legs, skin removed
  • 1 medium yellow onion, halved and sliced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water (if needed)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 TBSP whole peppercorns
  • 2TBSP canola oil

Heat oil in pot over medium high heat. Add onions and garlic. Cook for 5 mins or just until fragrant and slightly tender.

Add chicken legs, soy sauce, bay leaves and peppercorns. Legs should be at least halfway submerged under the sauce. You can add a little water if needed or more of the soy sauce and vinegar if you need more than a little bit of sauce.

Bring to boil. Then, reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer until chicken is falling off the bone (being sure to flip the legs every 20 mins).

Pull legs out of sauce once tender and shred with a fork. Put chicken back in sauce and serve with rice. (Legs don’t have to be shredded but it allows the sauce to get all up in the chicken.)

Enjoy!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Have you watched The Chef Show with Jon Favreau and Roy Choi? They’re adorable- kinda like an old married couple talking about experiences and eating amazing comforting food.

Well, I finally made the spaghetti and meatballs from the “Roy’s Italian Cuisine” episode and it’s soooooooo good. This will be a go to for a very long time.

This is one of those recipes you need to prep for. So, go roast a head of garlic and pick up the ingredients (including ordering some fennel pollen – really, you need this in your spice collection)

Roy Choi’s (Adapted) Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs

  • 1 lb ground meat (70/30 if you can get it)
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, finely minced
  • 1/2 garlic head, roasted
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped then blended in the blender with 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tsp fennel pollen
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 TBSP olive oil

Sauce

  • 1 large can san marzano whole tomatoes
  • Shiitake mushrooms (two handfuls)
  • 1 1/2 cup water
  • A head of garlic, cloves deskinned
  • 1/4 cup of olive oil
  • Salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 375.

Put 1/4 cup of sauce oil into a small sauce pan. Set on medium low heat and add the garlic cloves from the sauce ingredients. Let that simmer on low until the garlic cloves get soft and golden brown. Takes about 15-20 mins.

Put the water and shiitake mushrooms in a small pot. Let simmer on low for 20 mins.

Mix everything from the meatball ingredient list together except 1 T of the olive oil in a bowl.

Pan fry a bit of the meatball mixture until cooked so you can taste for salt. Adjust seasoning if needed in the meatballs.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment or douse the sheet with some oil.

Roll the meatballs into 2”-2.5” diameter balls. And place on sheet.

Drizzle with the remaining olive oil. Bake for 20-22 mins. They should be medium rare.

While meatballs are cooking, add the garlic that’s been simmering in the oil (not the oil) to a medium pot. Add 1 cup of the mushroom broth and the tomatoes. Simmer on low for 40 mins or until slightly reduced.

Blend the sauce in the pot and taste for salt.

Take meatballs out and add some to the sauce for added deliciousness.

Cook a pot of spaghetti. Serve with sauce and meatballs. Top with Parmesan and enjoy!

New Years Hoppin John

Yes. It’s been more than a month since I made this. Don’t judge – says me to myself. Grandma Mary was very superstitious. Among other musts, having hoppin’ John on New Years day is a must for a healthy and happy year. We are it last year but well we know how that ended. Trying it again this year resulted in much better outcomes thus far.

Hoppin’ John

  • 1 lb dried black eyed peas, soaked overnight (or precooked black eyed peas)
  • 2 lbs ham hocks, smoked
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups beef broth (don’t need if using precooked peas)
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

Rinse beans, cover with fresh water and cover with lid and soak overnight in a nonreactive pot. Drain and rinse again and pull any beans that are discolored.

Rinse ham hocks and set aside.

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Cook veggies for 5 mins until tender. Add spices and cook for 1 min. Add stock and bring to boil.

Transfer to crock pot. Add beans and ham hocks and stir. Cook on high for 5 hours or 8 hours on low. For last hour, smash some of the beans to thicken sauce. Also cook last hour without the lid on. (You can also add fire roasted diced tomatoes for a little more depth.)

Pull out the ham hocks at the end of the cooking process and shred with meat off the bone (slice bigger pieces). Add meat back to pot.

Enjoy with cooked rice and comfort in knowing your year is going to be great.