Halloween night is always hectic in my house. I always make something quick and easy for dinner so the kids can get dressed and head out for some trick-or-treating before it gets too late.
I also look for recipes that aren’t just quick and easy clean up should be quick too. I sure don’t want to come home to a sink full of pots, pans, and dishes after spending a couple of hours trekking thru the neighborhood toting bags bulging with the kids’ Halloween haul!
I’ve found 3 easy to make recipes I thought we’d try one of them this year, it will be a change from the plain meals we usually throw together.
This Jack-O-Lantern Tamale Bake from Woman’s Day uses boxed cornbread and takes less than an hour to make.
For recipe click here!
Pinoy (Filipino ) Chicken Noodle Soup is a tasty noodle soup dish usually made from bone-in chicken thighs, bacon and chicken liver. It has that good Asian chicken flavor and can help keep you warm during cold season.
I love cooking my own chicken noodle soup at home because aside from having the chance to enhance my cooking skills, I also get the opportunity to make chicken noodle soup the way I like it to be and within my budget.
This Recipe for Chicken Noodle Soup is very simple and quick and yet delicious. This is perfect for those Asian Food Lovers. Enjoy Cooking!!!
1 lb. chicken, cut into small pieces
1 lb. round miki noodles
½ cup chopped chicken liver
4 pcs. crumbled bacon
4 cups chicken broth
½ small cabbage, core removed and chopped
1 medium carrot, julienne
¼ cup chopped green onions
1 medium yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tbsp. fish sauce we called it (patis)
2 tbsp. cooking oil
2 cups water
Heat the oil in a cooking pot.
Then sauté the garlic and onion.
Then add the chicken and cook for 5 to 7 minutes or until it turns light brown.
Add the chicken liver. Stir and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pour-in water and chicken broth, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes.
Add the bacon, cabbage and carrots. Stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
Pour-in the fish sauce and stir.
Pour the miki noodles and cook for 5 to 7 minutes.
Last month during my visit to my daughter and her family in Georgia there was an epic snowstorm in the East Coast. My grandson, Devon, requested I make him some “Sinigang”. I was surprised that he even knew what it was, but it seems that one of their friends makes it. Of course I said yes, after all that’s what Nanas do, cook for the grandkids! This Shrimp Sour Soup is the perfect comfort food for cold rainy (or snowy) days!
This was one of my favorite childhood dishes and I was happy to find out that my grandchildren love it too. Like many Filipino dishes this soup is very easy to prepare. Traditionally my grandmothers used tamarind (sampaloc) or the small Filipino limes called “Calamansi” to make the soup sour. These days it’s so much easier, you can buy the powdered soup base at most Asian markets or even order it on Amazon! (Affiliate Link)
This dish is typically eaten with steamed white rice with a side of “Patis“, Filipino fish sauce also available at Asian markets and on Amazon. It can be made with fish, shrimp, or meat with assorted vegetables like spinach, radish, eggplant, tomatoes, onions, or string beans. This time I made it with shrimp, spinach, radish, tomatoes, onions, and jalapeno pepper. I like to add the pepper to give it a bit of spice, we all love spicy things in our family.
In most Filipino households this shrimp soup is made with whole shrimps, meaning shrimps with shells and heads on. I’m not a big fan of shrimp heads so I use shrimps with shells on. You can also use prawns if you have any handy.
Pancit Molo is a Filipino soup dish that makes you wonder why it’s called pancit. Pancit refers to noodle dishes, and this dish doesn’t have noodles at all. It uses wonton, soimai or molo wrappers. Not to mention most of the pancit recipes are dry while this pancit molo is a soup.
Pancit Molo is a soup dish composed of a mixture of ground pork wrapped in wonton wrappers, shredded chicken meat, and shrimps. This dish is a well known Filipino dish that resembles the Chinese dish called wanton soup but the finest ingredients and flavor makes this dish stand out.
Today I will give you my version of this dish, I’m sure you will love it.
1 onion, peeled & sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 tbsp. cooking oil
10 cups homemade broth
1 tbsp. fish sauce
1 pc. green onions, ends trimmed and chopped
1 cloves fried garlic bits
½ tsp. salt to taste
¼ tsp. pepper to taste
For the Homemade Broth:
3 pounds bone-in chicken parts (wings, thighs)
12-13 cups boiling water
1 onion, peeled & chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
1 tsp. pepper corns
1 tbsp. cooking oil
2 pcs. bay leaves
1 tbsp. salt to taste
For the Wontons:
2 pounds ground pork
1 pack (30 pcs.) wonton wrappers
1 small carrot, peeled and shredded
1 tbsp. soy sauce
½ cup green onions, finely chopped
½ cup water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 tsp. salt to taste
1 tsp. pepper to taste
For the Homemade Broth:
Heat oil in a deep pot over medium heat then add onions and garlic and cook until limp and aromatic.
Add chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 4 to 7 minutes or until chicken changes color. Lower heat, cover, and cook for about 17 to 20 minutes or until chicken releases its juices.
Raise heat to high and add boiling water.
Add bay leaves and peppercorns, season with salt.
Lower heat and return to simmer for another 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
With a slotted spoon, remove chicken pieces from broth.
Allow to cool to touch. Remove meat from bones and shred.
Set aside chicken meat and keep warm. Break bones to expose marrow and return to pot.
Continue to cook at barely a simmer, uncovered, for about 1-1/2 to 2 hours or until liquid is reduced and concentrated. Using a cheesecloth, strain stock to remove bones and aromatics.
For the Wontons:
In a bowl, combine ground pork, water chestnuts, green onions, soy sauce, carrots, garlic, salt and pepper. Gently stir until well-distributed.
Separate wrappers into individual sheets. Spoon a heaping tablespoonful of meat mixture on middle of wrapper and then gather sides to form a cup around mixture.
For the Final Pancit Molo:
Heat oil in a pot over medium heat.
Then Add onions and garlic and cook until aromatic.
Add broth and bring to a simmer.
Add fish sauce and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes then season with salt and pepper.
Add wontons and cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked through.
Add chicken and cook for about 2 to 3 minutes or until heated through.
Divide wontons, shredded chicken and broth into serving bowls.
Now that Halloween is behind us it’s time to think about the holidays ahead. I always feel that Halloween kicks off the holiday season, it does it my house. Once trick or treating is done and the Halloween decor has been put away I turn my attention to planning our Thanksgiving dinner and getting ready for Christmas. It’s a very busy time for me!
I think the weeks leading up to the holidays are busy for everyone, we need to shop, cook, bake, clean, decorate, and more along with all the daily work that we do. One this is certain holiday planning or not we still have to eat. Cooking and planning daily meals can be challenging during this season. I know many times we end up grabbing fast food on the way home or ordering in pizza just to have something to eat for dinner, but I really hate doing this. I get tired of eating out and I really do like my home cooking! So to make my life a bit easier I like to stock my freezer with pre-made dishes that we can pop in the oven on the days I don’t have time to cook.
One of the easiest things to work with are meatballs. I know, you can buy pre-made frozen meatballs at the grocery store, but my family hates them! I don’t like the spongy consistency, I find them very unappetizing. They don’t taste too good either. So I spend about 30 minutes one day and make my own meatballs which I freeze in ziplock freezer bags. They just need re-heating when I need them. Meatballs are great because they are very versatile; you can turn them into different dishes by adding just a few ingredients. I like to make meatball subs, Swedish meatballs, teriyaki meatballs, meatball soup, and of course spaghetti and meatballs. My grandkids love them with mac n’ cheese!
1 1/2 pound ground beef – don’t use the one that’s too lean, you need a bit of fat to hold it together and also give it a good flavor. I use ground sirloin or sometimes ground chuck which is a bit fattier.
1 tbls. minced garlic
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbls. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. fine sea salt
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup Italian style breadcrumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese – use the fresh cheese not the one in the green cardboard shaker
1. Place meat and spices in a mixing bowl.
2. Mix it all together using your hands. Make sure the spices are distributed through out the meat, but don’t over mix as it will get spongy.
3. Mix in cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Shape into ball. You can make any size ball you want, but don’t make them too big, they won’t cook in the middle. Try to make balls the same size so they cook evenly.
5. Place balls on a parchment covered baking sheet and bake in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes.
6. Remove from from oven and cool before place in ziplock freezer bags to freeze.
A warm and healthy Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie loaded with so many beautiful flavors….where do I start? The beautiful beefy filling? The crispy Parmesan cheesy top? Or the creamy layers of pumpkin?
This recipe has been handed down to me by my one and only mother. I may only ever change a couple things, but really, this is perfection.
The beef mixture inside this Beef and Pumpkin Shepherd’s Pie is like beast mode a la Arnold Schwarzenegger. The Terminator of Shepherd’s Pie…or Cottage Pie. Whichever one rocks your socks. So much happening it may not be like your normal average Shepherd’s Pie, but since when are we normal anyway?
One slice of this mountain of glory and you’ll be so full and fulfilled in every way possible, you won’t want a nothing else after it.
1 kg | 2lbs butternut or kent pumpkin , washed, peeled seeded and cubed (I usually use 1/2 a kent pumpkin)
2 tablespoons gravy powder , whisked in 1/4 cup boiling water (until free of lumps): or you can substitute the gravy
powder with cornflour/corn starch.
4 cups baby spinach leaves , washed
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 200C | 400F. Combine pumpkin and potatoes with just enough water to cover them, in a large saucepan/pot over medium heat, and boil until tender. Alternatively, microwave or steam them until soft. Drain well, add the butter/spread and mash until smooth and creamy. Season with salt to suit your tastes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a separate large pan over medium – high heat. Add onion, carrots and capsicum, and cook stirring for about 5 – 10 minutes, or until onions become transparent. Add the garlic and cook stirring again, for about 2 minutes. Add beef and fry until meat is browned on all sides (break up all lumps with your wooden spoon). Add the tomatoes, cover pot with lid, reduce heat and simmer until tomatoes soften. When tomatoes are soft, add the peas, salt and vegetable stock powder, and simmer again covered with lid for about 10 minutes, or until all vegetables are soft and cooked through. Add gravy powder or cornflour/corn starch mixture. Cook stirring to combine all ingredients together until a sauce forms, reduces and thickens. Stir the spinach and parsley through, and take off heat.
Evenly spread half the pumpkin/potato mash into a large oven proof baking dish. Spoon the beef mixture over the top, and spread remaining pumpkin mash over the top of the beef.
Sprinkle evenly with parmesan cheese.
Bake until the top of the pie turns a golden brown and sauce is bubbling underneath (about 20 minutes).