family meals: week 69

family meals
family meals
Pad Kee Moa. Thai cooking is something I want to conquer next. I couldn’t find the wide noodles for this, but this one tasted just as good. I’ll keep hunting for the wide noodles though. I used a seafood mix, but next time I think I’ll just use shrimp. I didn’t like the mussels in the mix, it was too grainy. I also used carrots instead of bell peppers, but it tasted just the same. The yumminess is in the sauce and the spice. Oh the spice! My nose was running, and that’s when I know it’s just right. The girls eat a non-spicy version, though Brave did have some of ours.

family meals
family meals
Spicy Tuna Taco on Rice Paper Shell. There’s a local restaurant that makes something similar and I tried my hand at recreating it. I first made this recipe on Valentine’s Day (and didn’t like it much, but I think it’s cause I was just so tired and not hungry), I liked it more the second time, and this time around, on the third try, I loved it! Ben, on the other hand, loved it the very first time. It’s another added into our repertoire of homemade sushi, and I have a recipe to share for it soon!

Week of 4/14 – 4/18
Monday: We promised the girls a trip to Incredible John’s Pizza for dinner, so it’s an eat out night (we eat out about once a month) for us.
Tuesday: Homemade Pizza
Wednesday: Spicy Seafood & Udon Stir Fry
Thursday: Black Bean Chili
Friday: Sushi night

What’s on your dinner menu this week. Do you have any favorite Thai dish recipes to share?

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family meals: week 68

tacos
tacos
Shrimp Tacos with Chipotle Sauce. The shrimp looks fried, but it isn’t. Ben was convinced I fried them, but that panko coating really makes it look that way. I mixed some cayenne, chili powder, cornmeal, and panko to coat the shrimp. The flavor sort of got lost with all the other things going in the taco, so next time I’ll try marinating the shrimp, and adding more heat to the breading to see if that helps the flavors pop out more. My chipotle sauce is spicy, just the way we like it. Brave started putting it on her tacos too. She totally loves spicy foods!

tacos
tacos
White Bean and Soyrizo Tacos with Chipotle Sauce. I made this for our Dinner Club Thursday. Who needs real chorizo when soyrizo does a totally good job?! I actually made two sauces this evening, my spicy chipotle and a creamy lime chili one, which was much more mild.

Week of 4/7 – 4/11
Monday: White Bean Burger with a Cilantro Sauce
Tuesday: Pad Kee Mao (I still haven’t found the right noodles, that’s why I didn’t make it last week.)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: White Bean Chili (always the easiest thing for me to do for a big group)
Friday: Sushi night

Last week was totally taco week and I didn’t follow any recipes. It was all just experimentation, but really, can’t go wrong with tacos, right?! We will still have white beans leftover from Thursday that I think I might try my hand at turning them into burgers for Monday, fingers crossed they come out edible. I really am having so much fun in the kitchen these days (and I’m getting faster too)!

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family meals: week 67

family meals
family meals
Korean Fried ChickenYes! Soooo good! Obviously, we love Korean dishes and spicy food, so it’s no surprise that we loved this dish. I made this two weeks in a row since I had leftover sauce, and the girls got a batch without all the spice. I changed up the recipe to give the meat some breading, but while it looks fried, it totally isn’t. Oven fried chicken is bomb I tell you. You totally won’t even miss real fried chicken! Promise.

family meals
family meals
Black Bean with Corn Salsa Rice Bowl. While I share a lot of meat dishes here, actually, we only eat it about twice a week, maybe three times. Most other days are seafood or straight up vegetarian. This was another good meal to make for a big group on our Dinner Club Thursdays. Put giant dollops of fresh salsa in and you’re good to go!

Week of 3/31 – 4/4
Monday: Shrimp Tacos
Tuesday: Pad Kee Mao (I want to try my hand at Thai cooking!)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: White Bean Chili
Friday: Sushi/pizza night

Since we put in an official weekly grocery budget in place, we’ve done so good at not wasting food. We don’t have excess, but just enough, and we really think through our grocery purchases. Budgeting, as painful as it feels sometimes, is so great!

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korean pork roast sesame leaf wraps (bossam)

korean pork roast sesame leaf wraps
Korean Pork Roast Sesame Leaf Wraps (Bossam)
about 6 servings

Ingredients
For the Bossam (pork roast):
About 2 lbs. pork sirloin tip roast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup brown sugar, set aside the 1/3 cup
1/2 cup plus 1/2 tbsp salt, set aside the 1/2 tbsp
1 beer

For the Ginger Scallion Sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside (best made the day before):
3 bunches of green onions, chopped
5″ piece of ginger, skinned and minced.
1/8 cup of vegetable (canola) oil
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp rice vinegar

For the Ssam Sauce, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside (best made the day before):
2 tbsp chili paste
2 tbsp soybean paste
1/8 cup canola oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

For the Pickled Carrots, mix all the ingredients in a bowl and set aside (best made the day before):
1 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup white vinegar
2 tsp salt
2 cups warm water

For serving:
Sesame leaves, about 6-10 per person (or red leaf lettuce or steamed cabbage leaves removed from core)
Rice (brown rice would be our choice)
Kimchi

korean pork roast wrap
Directions
For the overnight marinade:
Mix together the 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/4 cup salt in a small bowl. Place the sirloin roast in a large bowl, rub and coat it completely with the sugar mixture. Cover the bowl tightly and refrigerate overnight.

To cook the roast:
Rinse the pork and place it in the crock pot with the liquid from a full bottle of beer. Cook the pork on low for 8 hours. Once it is done, heat the oven to 500 degrees and mix the remaining brown sugar and salt together. Completely coat the pork with the sugar mixture and put it in the oven for 10 minutes. This gives the pork a salty and sweet coating.

Serve the pork with rice (our choice is brown rice), some sesame leaves (or cabbage leaves), kimchi, and all the side dishes in this recipe. Just layer them all together on top of a sesame leaf, and enjoy it as it’s packed with so much good flavor. Typically, this is made with pork shoulder or pork butt, but we make it healthier by using pork sirloin. It lacks the fat (and crunchy skin) that the other parts have, but we enjoy it so much more knowing we’re doing without all that extra fat. It tastes really good to us this way that we aren’t interested in trying it with a fattier meat. My BFF said this would be the more traditional way of making bossam, so if you’re wanting to go really authentic, I would try it that way.

korean pork roast wrap
korean pork roast wrap
korean pork roast wrap
korean pork roast wrap
It looks so similar to the Mackerel Stew as it has some of the same ingredients, but it has a completely different flavor altogether. I’m totally addicted to cooking Korean dishes. The flavors in the sauces are so good that if you’re vegetarian, just leave out the pork, maybe use some tofu, and it would still taste just as delicious.

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family meal: week 66

udon noodles
udon noodles
Spicy Seafood & Udon Stir Fry. 
Yummy! I made a batch with soba noodles too because Ben prefers the buckwheat, and while I do like buckwheat, I like the udon better with this. A noodle stir-fry is a good way to throw in lots of vegetables into a meal.

roasted cauliflower
roasted cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower Steaks With Lemon Relish. This. Is. So. Good!!! Make it. I made two batches, one doubling up the red pepper and one without it (for the kids). Also, I only put 1 tablespoon of oil in the relish, not the 2 the recipe calls for, and it was fine with less oil. We didn’t even use a Meyer lemon, but a couple regular grocery store ones, and our first lemon from our lemon tree. Thus, I think using any lemon would suffice. Really though, make this, it’s super delicious!

Week of 3/17 – 3/21
Monday: Crunchy Turkey Burgers
Tuesday: Sweet Sticky Baked Chicken (or maybe Korean Fried Chicken)
Wednesday: Leftovers
Thursday: Black Bean and Quinoa Bowl
Friday: Sushi/pizza night

I’ve mentioned this already, but I really enjoy cooking. I’m no pro at all, but I’ve learned so much since I started meal planning. This is after 66 (not consecutive) weeks of planning our dinners and trying out new recipes.  I definitely do miss Ben’s cooking though, he is such a natural! I also love I can go to our backyard and grab some herbs for our meal. It makes cooking feel extra fancy!

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