Spring break makes me want to dance and sing and play games…and cook! Yes, I still cook for my family every night, but with busy schedules, sometimes those meals are just thrown together. I do not always necessarily enjoy or appreciate the art of cooking.
We are on spring break this week, though, and we convinced Sean to take off work so that he could join in on our family fun.
We have had games days,
a plant the garden day,
and a zoo day (more on that later) so far.
It has been my definition of family bliss. Sometimes staycations are the best.
Another thing that happens during spring break is my desire to start eating more fruits and vegetables, while cooking more healthy meals for the family. This week, I am on a mission to make granola (recipe later), chop and freeze fruit for smoothies, chop and freeze vegetables for stir-fry, make granola bars, and prepare peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels for the littles.
As I looked into my refrigerator on Monday, I decided to make a stir-fry, but I was not sure exactly what kind I wanted to make. I remembered how Gabriel likes Brenda’s Coconut Curry Soup so much that he requested it for his birthday, and I decided that I could turn it into stir-fry form. It was so delicious that I looked at the leftovers after dinner and told Sean that it made me want to blog about it. As we all know, I am not a food stylist, but I did my best to put together a pretty plate of it so that I capture the memories…and remember how to make it the next time my family requests it.
2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
1 portobello mushroom, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small sweet onion, diced
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can coconut milk
1 tablespoon red curry paste
1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon powdered ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
12 ounces linguini, cooked according to package directions
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to stir-fry pan.
- Heat pan over medium high heat.
- Add chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes, until barely pink.
- Toss in portobello mushroom, onion, bell pepper, and carrots.
- Reduce heat to medium.
- Season with salt, and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Vegetables will still be slightly crisp, and the chicken will be juicy but cooked through.
- Mix together the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, red curry paste, and corn starch. Pour the mixture into the stir-fry pan. Stir until the sauce thickens, which should only take 1-2 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Serve immediately over the linguine noodles.
Enjoy your weekend!
Let me begin by saying that I am positive that this is not the proper way to make a California Sushi Roll. This is just the way that I did it because, well, it is how I wanted to make it. I am not all about being proper; I am about making food for my family, food that I know they will enjoy…at least most of the time.
So, my oldest little requested sushi for his birthday dinner. And, if you have been reading the blog for long, you know that he got sick on his birthday, which changed our dinner plans just a bit.
Then, we jumped from his birthday to Spring Break, and I realized that I still had not made his sushi. I surprised him with it for St. Patrick’s Day dinner…because sushi is totally Irish. Right?
Well, even if we had our holidays all confused around here,
I can assure you that this was the best California Sushi Roll that I have ever made. Summer is not a sushi fan yet, but the rest of us loved it. One of the things that I love the most about it is that you can do whatever you want to with it – change what you put inside it, roll it in a different sauce (or no sauce at all), or change the Panko crumbs to crushed crackers (or no crumbs/crackers at all). It is versatile, delicious, and very simple to make. And, making it on St. Patrick’s Day means that we officially celebrated Gabriel’s birthday for 13 days, which is a new record around here.
1 1/2 cups sushi rice
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
Faux crab meat
Panko bread crumbs
Iron Chef sesame garlic sauce
Preparing the Rice
- Add the rice and water to rice cooker.
- Cook until the timer goes off.
- Remove from cooker and pour into a bowl.
- Add rice vinegar and mix to combine.
- Set aside to cool.
Preparing the Sushi
- Slice strips of crab and cream cheese for the stuffing.
- Once the rice is cooled, press the rice onto the top of a sushi wrap. You can lay down a sushi mat, plastic wrap, or just do this part on a cutting board.
- Wet your hands slightly to finish pressing the rice onto the sushi wrap, and then turn it over. The rice should stick to the sushi wrap when you flip it over.
- Lay crab and cream cheese strips down the center of the sushi wrap.
- Roll up the wrap in the same manner that you would roll up cinnamon rolls, from the outside in.
- If the rice is slightly loose, you can slightly wet your hands and press the rice and roll together.
- Pour the sauce into a plate, and roll the sushi roll around in it, using your hands to press it into the rice.
- Pour the bread crumbs into a separate bowl, and roll the sushi roll around in the crumbs, using your hands to press the crumbs into the sauce.
- Using a serrated knife, cut the sushi roll into 1 to 1 1/2 inch slices.
- Serve with your choice of dipping sauce or solo. It is delicious either way.
As I have mentioned before, I am not very crafty. I try, but things do not always turn out as pretty for me as they do in the pictures.
But, because of Pinterest, I am trying to put together a handmade party for my sweet oldest boy, who is turning 9 this week. He loves to read, so we are having him a Book-Themed party. I knew what I wanted to do, and Pinterest answered the call.
I will let you know how it all turns out.
While trying new things is definitely good, sometimes it is nice to know in advance how something will turn out. Last week when my sister requested Asian meatballs for her birthday, I knew exactly what she wanted. I had made these Game Day Meatballs by Dine & Dish for her three years ago. They were delicious then, and I knew that they would be perfect again. And, we were not disappointed. We did not have a single meatball leftover.
2 pounds ground beef
1 cup dry bread crumbs
3/4 cup milk
2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 tablespoon oil
3 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cup ketchup
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Put meat in a bowl and break it up. Add in the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, and salt, and blend it together with your hands.
- Shape meat mixture into one inch balls.
- Place in a single layer on a jelly roll pan and bake about 10-12 minutes.
- Remove from oven, and drain any extra grease off the meatballs.
- Add oil to saucepan and sauté garlic until soft.
- Add the ketchup, honey, brown sugar and soy sauce.
- Bring to boil, stirring constantly.
- Reduce heat, cover and simmer about ten minutes.
- Add the meatballs to your sauce bring back to a boil and simmer uncovered for about 5 minutes, until sauce glazes meatballs.
- Serve over/with rice.