Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Vietnamese Eggrolls

Growing up, we always made egg rolls for special most if not all of our special occasions.  My mom would always make the meat mixture and us kids would sit and help roll hundreds of miniature eggrolls.  These were always such a hit!  I loved eating them right off the fryer and I couldn't get enough since they were so bite sized.  I finally decided to make them myself with a rough guide from mom.  They turned out just as good and I couldn't be any more proud!


Makes ~ 80 eggrolls

2 packages of egg roll wrappers - Can be found in refrigerated section at Asian market.  I like these ones because it is just the right size for my mini eggrolls.  They come in packs of 50.  You can get the larger ones and cut them into quarters though.














1 bag of Chinese dried fungus - this is basically dried mushrooms.  Any brand will do.  You will only use about 1/4 of the bag.  Soak dried mushrooms in water for about 10 min and finely chop. If you don't like mushrooms like me, you can't even taste it but it does add a significant amount of good flavor.   I wouldn't skip on this but you can.   Trust me, I do not like mushrooms but these are essential.



















1 pound of ground pork 
1 pound of shrimp finely chopped 
7-8 carrots shredded - just discovered the wonders of my food processor.  no more hand shredding!
1//4 cup of finely chopped white onion or desired amount
1 bundle of bean thread noodle- (not cooked) The package comes in multiple bundles.  I use one and roughly cut them so they are shorter













1 tablespoon of sugar
1 tablespoon of fish sauce
3 teaspoons salt
3 teaspoons pepper 
(or you can eyeball and salt and pepper like I do)
1 beaten egg for sealing the eggroll

1.  Mix all ingredients together by hand - get messy!
2.  Fill your eggrolls!

Start by positioning the wrapper in a diamond shape.
Place about a tablespoon of meat in the middle bottom of the wrapper.
Rub some egg on all 4 corners of wrapper.
Fold bottom corner up and tuck under a bit.
Fold in each of the sides one at a time.
Roll up and place eggroll seam side down to let the weight secure the seam

3.  Fry the eggrolls!  I use about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep skillet or pot.  Fry until golden brown or when they float up to the top.

4.  Enjoy!!!!!  You can enjoy wrapped with lettuce and Vietnamese Nuoc Mam sauce.


Nuoc Mam sauce recipe

1/2 cup of water
1/2 juice from lime
1 thai chili pepper minced (optional)
3 garlic cloves minced
2 tablespoons of sugar
4 tablespoons of fish sauce 

1.  Boil water
2.  Dissolve sugar and lime in water - taste to see if you like the limemade flavor and adjust accordingly
3.  Add in chili peppers, garlic and fish sauce.  Mix and adjust to taste.

I usually ad a tablespoon of this Chili Paste if I don't have the chili peppers.  It is not that spicy and adds a great flavor.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Creamy Mac and Cheese

I love how this mac and cheese recipe is super creamy and just the right amount of cheese; which is a lot!  Warning:  This is not for a person trying to count calories.


Ingredients


  • 1 - 16 oz bag/box of macaroni elbow pasta 
  • 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar (Or any type of shredded cheese like colby jack, moneterrey, etc)
  • 16 oz heavy cream
  • 2 cups of milk
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of butter 
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
1.  Preheat oven to 350F
2.  Boil noodles according to package instructions and strain
3.  In a large bowl mix together the hot noodles, cheeses, and sour cream
4.  Spread noodles in a 9x13 baking pan
5.  Pour milk and heavy cream evenly over the noodles
6.  Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat and brown bread crumbs
6.  Top macaroni with bread crumbs 
7.  Bake for 30 min and serve! 


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Super Moist Carrot Cake Cupcakes

One of my fave desserts of all!  Carrot cake.  I decided to make cupcakes this time after a failed attempt of the actual cake this weekend.  Trust me, these will be sooooo freakin delicious if you are a carrot cake lover.  One trick I learned from a friend of mine who is an avid cupcake baker is to freeze the cupcakes overnight and then frost the next day.  It supposedly locks in the moisture.  These beauties are super moist and delicious; just the way I like them!




















Preheat oven to 350 F

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1- 8 oz can of crushed pineapple (drained)
  • 3/4 cup canola oil
  • 7-8 carrots grated
1. Beat all of the above ingredients until smooth
2. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix together:
  • 2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 2 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 cup of pecan chips (you can sub for walnuts or skip nuts)

    3. Mix flour mixture with your wet mixture

    4. Fold or stir in pecans
    5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 20 min or until toothpick comes out dry

    Freeze overnight and frost when you are ready!  

    Cream cheese frosting 

    Ingredients:
    • 1/2 cup of unsalted butter (1 stick)
    • 1 - 8 oz package of cream cheese
    • 2 cups of powdered sugar
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1.  Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth
    2.  Beat in vanilla extract
    3.  Slowly add in powdered sugar and mix until smoth

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Puff Pastry Tarts

    I recently made these for a baby shower and they were quite the hit! One of the guests commented that she preferred it over the cake! This recipe is super easy too.

    Ingredients:

    1 box of frozen puff pastry (thawed)
    1/2 pound of strawberries thinly sliced or 1 container (about 1 cup of blueberries)
    1 packages of cream cheese softened
     6 tablespoons of sugar 
    2 tablespoons of vanilla
    1 beaten egg for brushing
     Powdered sugar for dusting

     Recipe: Make the cream cheese spread
    1. Cream together the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla (electric stand mixer is best)
     Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

    1. Unwrap the frozen puff pastry and cut into rectangles. When you open it up, they will already be sectioned into long rectangles. Just cut them in half crosswise.
    2. Lay the puff pastry onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
    3. Using a fork, poke holes in the pastry so it can soak in the cream cheese spread.
    4. Using a pastry brush (or spoon if you don't have one), brush the outer rims of the pastry with egg (about 1/2 inch)
    5. Spread the cream cheese mixture inside the rim of the pastries.
    6. Place sliced strawberries or blueberries on top of the cream cheese spread.
    7. Bake in oven for 15 -17 minutes.
    8. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the pastries and serve!