Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach

Would you believe me if I told you I’d never had ramen before making the recipe I’m sharing with you today? Well, it’s true! Even on a college dime I never tried it. I’ve always been a macaroni and cheese kind of girl, ever since I was a wee one. The kind in the blue box that’s 98 cents. Or if I’m feeling fancy, the liquid gold kind for 2 dollars a box. A guilty pleasure that I haven’t indulged in since we moved into our new place.

When we moved we decided that we’d go ahead and alter our diet a little bit. I don’t care much for a strict diet – there isn’t any gluten-free, paleo, or vegan-style eating in my house. What we discussed doing to eat a more healthy and balanced diet is to start cutting out processed foods. It’s a slow transition that’s taking place in my grocery shopping and until I feel completely settled in, it won’t be in full force. But, I haven’t bought those childhood favorites of mine. And I’m not buying those canned cinnamon rolls that we require every Sunday morning, either!

I feel like there are a lot of changes taking place and definitely a lot of “firsts.”

img_1624I just spent my first week “home alone” with the two boys while my husband was in Denver for work. To say I was scared would be an understatement. I’m happy to report that the three of us did survive, and with very minimal scarring. Treat decided it was high time to learn to stand the day Stuart left. At six months old! I expected the second child to do things more quickly to be able to keep up with the older sibling, but I was not prepared for things to happen this fast! He seems to only half master a skill before careening head first into the next milestone. At the age of 6 months he started to sit, started to army crawl, started to hands-and-knees crawl, mastered the army crawl, mastered sitting, pulled himself up, and started to scoot along the couch. If you ask me, that’s way too many things to discover in 4 short weeks. He needs to stop trying to be a toddler and just be a baby!

Among the “firsts” is my first taste of ramen noodles (not including the flavoring packet, just the noodles) and my first usage of miso in my own kitchen. Due to the enormous size container of miso, you’ll be seeing a bit more of the Japanese product on the blog in the future.Pork Ramen (components)

I loved the flavors of the roast pork tenderloin, sweet from the honey with the warm spiciness (not heat) from the Chinese 5 spice powder. It paired nicely with the subtly salty broth. I even actually ate the mushrooms in the soup – gasp! As for the ramen, I don’t think I’ve met a noodle I don’t like. For 12 cents and a 3 minute cook time, I’ll be looking to the Chinese noodle more often.

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, divided use
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 portabella mushroom cap, thinly sliced
  • 7 C chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 6 C baby spinach
  • 3 pkgs (3 oz) ramen noodles, soup mix discarded
  • sliced scallions, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Put the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt. Pour 2 tbsp of the soy sauce and the sherry over the pork as well. Let marinate at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Place pork on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Flip and roast another 15 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 145 degrees F is reached. Brush the pork with the honey and roast about 5 minutes, until pork is 155 degrees F. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the onions until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce, and the miso. Bring soup to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach to the soup until wilted.
  5. Cook ramen according to package instructions.
  6. Assemble: Divide the ramen among 4 shallow bowls, ladle soup over the noodles, and top with sliced pork. Garnish with scallions.

*This recipe is adapted from CookFresh Spring 2016*

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach  Sew You Think You Can Cook

SRC: Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad

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Good morning and welcome to another edition of The Secret Recipe Club. For a little “behind the scenes” information, The Secret Recipe Club (SRC) is divided into three groups. Each group posts on a different Monday of the month. I am in Group C and always post on the 3rd Monday of the month. Which meant that during those special months with five Mondays there’d be two weeks without any fun reveal day! So now, on the 5th Monday of the month there is a themed reveal and it’s a “free for all,” which means that there aren’t any group restrictions. I’m looking forward to getting to know some of the other bloggers in the club.

The end of May unofficially marks the beginning of barbecue season and so today, the Secret Recipe Club is sharing recipes that would be perfect for your upcoming summer picnics and barbecues.

I was assigned the blog An Affair from the Heart written by Michaela. Michaela and I sound like we could be great friends! She describes herself as a “party thrower, gift giver, wish I were craftier, liver & lover of life” kind of gal. It’s that “wish I were craftier” bit that made me smile as I can relate completely. She is a stay-at-home mom to four children and has been married for 25 years this year!

I searched for great side dishes to accompany any summer picnic barbecue or family reunion. I always love a good pasta salad to eat alongside my grilled burger or dog and her Creamy Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad is definitely on my radar. Any family reunion isn’t complete without my Aunt’s 7 Layer Dip and Michaela’s Not Your Average Mexican Layered Bean Dip looks like it could compete (because it’s avocado free, an allergy I developed while pregnant with Firecracker that I won’t try again until I’m done breastfeeding Treat). Ultimately I went with a fruit salad, after being distracted by a Shirley Temple Float, because how could I not be?!

I altered her recipe to use fruits that were available to me and that met my family’s taste preferences. That’s the beauty of fruit salad – make it however you want! Because of my overall volume of fruit, I only ended up using one carton of yogurt instead of two. I didn’t adjust the honey accordingly and my local variety of Eucalyptus honey was quite over powering. I would of course make this fruit salad again (and use a sweeter honey). My husband loved having it as his mid morning snack in his lunches all week. Truth be told, this fruit salad was part of the very first meal we cooked in our new home!

P.S. I know I said in my SRC Reveal Post two weeks ago that I was supposed to get internet that day, well, it didn’t happen and now today’s the day! Theoretically. I’m not holding my breath on it though, that’s for sure. So, once again, I’m sorry to my fellow club members, but I promise I’ll be stopping by all your picnic worthy posts soon!

Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 2 C grapes, halved (I used red)
  • 2 C cubed fresh pineapple
  • 1 ½ C chopped strawberries
  • 2 tangerines, segmented
  • 1 Granny Smith apple, cubed
  • 1 container (6 oz) lemon yogurt
  • ¼ C honey
  • Juice ½ large lemon

Steps:

*This recipe is adapted from Michaela at http://www.anaffairfromtheheart.com/2015/08/honey-lemon-fruit-salad/*

Honeyed Lemon Fruit Salad for Secret Recipe Club from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the themed Secret Recipe Club this month click here:

CIC: Chickpeas & Honey

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This month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge was to combine chickpeas aka garbanzo beans and honey. Two ingredients that were already in my pantry. How was I to turn down the challenge!?

I kept it really simple this month and added only a few more ingredients, cinnamon sugar and olive oil. The result was a snack that we devoured within the hour! Roasted chickpeas will become a new snack staple and I can’t wait to play around with some other flavor combinations.

These chickpeas would be beautiful atop a salad, too. Much like the one I shared yesterday!

Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Chickpeas

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp cinnamon sugar

Steps:

  1. Lay chickpeas out on a clean towel and pat dry. Remove any lose skins. Leave chickpeas out until completely dried, about 45 minutes.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Lay chickpeas out on the prepared baking sheet. Roast 40 minutes, or until crunchy.
  4. Toss roasted chickpeas in oil. Add the honey and cinnamon sugar. Place chickpeas back on the baking sheet and roast another 5 minutes.

*This recipe is adapted from Debbie at http://www.madefrompinterest.net/roasted-chickpeas-recipe/*

Cinnamon and Honey Roasted Chickepeas for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

Blogger CLUE: Honey Sriracha Sweet Potatoes

blogger CLUE

Today Blogger CLUE is continuing with our Fall celebrations with a wide open theme of “Autumn” for October’s reveal day.

This month I was assigned the blog Eliot’s Eats. I actually had Debra’s blog for the berries reveal day. Her blog is named after her cat (and favorite poet). I had fun searching through Debra’s blog this time with another season in mind. And I was ecstatic to find a plethora of sweet potato recipes!

When it comes to Autumn recipes the blogosphere becomes filled with pumpkin this and pumpkin that. Thanks to a pumpkin allergy (which I developed at the ripe old age of 21) Fall cooking has become quite disheartening. Luckily there’s the lovely sweet potato to make me pretend I’m in on the craze. 🙂

I made two dishes from Eliot’s Eats this month – one I made a fair number of changes to and will be sharing with you at a later date and this simple side dish. These sweet potatoes are doused in a honey sriracha sauce before being baked until tender. This sauce would be fantastic for any number of vegetables and even chicken. Actually, while I was mixing up the concoction I couldn’t get wings off the brain – probably because of the melted butter and the smell of vinegary heat. Yum!

I used half of the amount of sriracha Debra used on the off chance my little man would give them a try. (And because I’m a wimp.) I’m happy to report my 15 month old showed a little interest and worked on fork stabbing practice with these potatoes. He even licked a couple, but wouldn’t actually eat it. (…I’m trying to remain calm and patient while he goes through this stage of eating…)

Honey Sriracha Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 small or 1 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite size cubes
  • 2 tbsp melted butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1-2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and lightly grease with cooking spray.
  2. Place sweet potatoes in a bowl.
  3. Whisk together butter, honey, sriracha, and olive oil. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat. Season with salt.
  4. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes until tender, flip the potatoes halfway through the cooking process.

*This recipe is adapted from Debra at http://eliotseats.com/2015/04/12/roasted-sweet-potatoes-with-honey-and-sriracha/*

Honey Sriracha Sweet Potatoes for #BloggerCLUE from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Here’s a list of the other players of Blogger CLUE this month:

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this yet – but I have really loved spring and summer here in Ohio. (Despite Monday’s post complaining about the rain.) The weather barely gets above 90 degrees and the sun doesn’t set until 9! This extra sunlight has really taken a lot of pressure off me when it comes to preparing meals for the blog. And no snow on the ground means I can take my photos outside again!

IMG_3575This particular salad I made at the end of May when my little man was almost 11 months old. At this point he was an expert crawler and good at pulling himself up. His mobility skills allow me to bring him outside with me while I photograph food, which means I’m not putting it on the floor by the window and playing defense. It also means I don’t have to wait until nap time or for my husband to come home first!

I followed Renee’s suggestion and served this vinaigrette over a spinach salad with apples, shallots, and feta cheese.

Honey Orange Vinaigrette

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 C fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp minced shallot
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • 2/3 C extra virgin olive oil

Steps:

  1. Place orange juice, honey, vinegar, shallot, mustard, and garlic in a small blender. Pulse until combined.
  2. While the blender is running slowly add the olive oil. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Store in the fridge until ready to serve. Separation is normal, shake before using.

*This recipe is adapted from Renee at http://magnoliadays.com/2015/spinach-salad-honey-tangerine-dressing*

Honey Orange Vinaigrette | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn

When we went to the Farmer’s Market in Virginia we picked up a carton of cinnamon peanut butter. If you’re a frequent reader then you know of my cinnamon obsession. How was I to pass up cinnamon peanut butter?! This peanut butter created by Sprelly is thick in texture so I thought the best way to use it would be to heat it up to make it more spreadable. I thought about making an ice cream with it (and still might!) but when my friend was hosting a “Going to the Movies” game night I knew immediately that I’d make popcorn! Funnily enough, she was also providing four different popcorn flavors to munch on – one of which was a peanut butter and honey. I’m pretty sure we followed the same recipe! Her peanut butter coating did coat the popcorn better, and I’m going to guess that’s because she used a creamy peanut butter. This popcorn can be stored in an air tight container and will stay fresh 2-3 days.

Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn

Ingredients:

  • canola oil, enough to coat bottom of pot
  • 1/2 C unpopped popcorn kernels
  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1/4 C cinnamon peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)
  • salt, to taste

Steps:

  1. Put canola oil in pot over medium high heat along with 2-3 kernels of popcorn. Cover and stand by. Once you hear the kernels pop, add the 1/2 C of popcorn. Cover and cook over medium heat until popping slows. Gently shake the pot during the popping process so as not to burn the popcorn at the bottom. Remove from heat and remain covered until popping has ceased, unless you want to be pelted with popcorn. (If you have another method of popping popcorn, feel free to use it.) Place popcorn in a large bowl. Note: It is highly suggested you remove any unpopped kernels as they’ll be hard to pick out once mixed with the peanut butter coating. 
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine honey and sugar. Allow to simmer two minutes. Immediately add the peanut butter and vanilla. Whisk until smooth, if the mixture hardens simply reheat. You can also add some more honey if needed.
  3. Pour peanut butter mixture over popcorn and toss to coat.
  4. Spread popcorn onto baking sheets to allow it to set. Store in an air tight container for up to three days.

*This recipe is adapted from Rachel at http://www.rachelcooks.com/2013/07/08/peanut-butter-popcorn/*

Cinnamon Peanut Butter and Honey Popcorn  Sew You Think You Can Cook

*This recipe is adapted from Rachel at http://www.rachelcooks.com/2013/07/08/peanut-butter-popcorn/*

The D.C. Zoo + Honey Aebleskiver

Yesterday I mentioned that over Memorial Day weekend we took a road trip to D.C. to visit Tara (of Tara’s Multicultural Table) and her family. We’ve known this wonderful family for almost 10 years! Tara’s husband went to Auburn with my husband and me. It wasn’t until we were both stationed in the FL panhandle together that we became close friends. This year will be the first 4th of July since 2010 when we won’t be together, so we had to fast forward that weekend to Memorial Weekend instead!

family photos

On Saturday we headed into the city to check out the zoo. Did you know that there are a LOT of people in D.C.?!

It was a beautiful, warm day and a lot of the animals were finding shelter away from prying eyes. The first half of the day was spent trying not to run over toes with the strollers and seeing empty habitats. But then all the frustration was forgotten when the tiger was highly active, running around his habitat and jumping in the water. We really felt sorry for him – as the only active animal at the zoo he received a lot of attention from “roaring” and yelling children. His tail was twitching and his gaze kept moving up towards the source of the noise. We were able to get some incredible pictures though and the little man woke up in time to see the tiger. I got the moment I was hoping to have watching him notice the tiger and like it! (War Eagle!)

tigerOn Sunday after a trip to the farmer’s market (documented yesterday) I got to do what I’ve missed most – cooking with a friend. I’ve been watching Evan help Tara in the kitchen via text messages and blog posts and it was so sweet to see him in action. He helped us whisk the eggs, pour the vanilla, and manned the stand mixer. All while my little man was being entertained by alphabetic fridge magnets.

cooking

During #BrunchWeek one of my fellow bloggers posted a recipe for Nutella Aebleskiver. I immediately shared the recipe with Tara because (a) she loves Nutella anything and (b) I thought she had one of those fancy aebleskiver pans. She didn’t… at the time. Within half an hour she’d ordered one, saying it’d been on her Amazon wish list for quite some time. Happy Mother’s Day to her!

aebleskiver pan

We made two different flavors, the suggested Nutella and honey. We decided that I’d photograph and blog the honey and she the Nutella. That was another fun moment for me, getting to use her photography set up! Their house doesn’t let in much light and the window that lets in the most light is upstairs. Right by the window she has a table set up and has made a few different painted boards. She has a butcher’s rack complete with different napkins, placemats, and other specialty cookware. Evan even has his own space out of the way where he can color while Tara takes her wonderful food photography. Tara has much more patience and dedication than I when it comes to photography (I just step outside, weather permitting, and snap up to 5 photos).

honey aebleskiver | sew you think you can cook

For the Aebleskiver recipe, please check out Tara’s post from yesterday.

BBQWe had such a great time going to visit Tara and her family, and getting to meet our Goddaughter, Claire! We’d been needed to get away and a road trip was just what we needed. The drive to Virginia was beautiful, lots of hills, mountains, and greenery. On the way back, in the middle-of-nowhere WV, we stopped for BBQ on the side of the road. It was so good, and it was the little man’s first BBQ – he absolutely loved it and ate about a quarter of my pulled pork.

girls and boys

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken and Cabbage

Don’t call the doctor, you’re not experiencing dejavu. Yes, I posted a Honey Sriracha Chicken dish yesterday. Yes the ingredients in this slow cooker dish are the exact same. But here’s why.

When we had our friends over for that Honey Sriracha Chicken Stir Fry she asked me if I thought it could be done as a slow cooker meal. Because we loved the stir fry enough, I happily answered her question by testing it out!

The result was yet another wonderful sweet and spicy dinner. While we did prefer it as a stir fry, this version is a perfect alternative for those busy days. I doubled the sauce to ensure there was enough liquid in the slow cooker. Doing so also created that extra heat we were missing. The heat didn’t hit you right away but built with every bite. No extra sriracha or chili flakes needed. Not that that means you can’t add more!

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken and Cabbage

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 3 large chicken breasts
  • 1/2 C honey
  • 2 tbsp Sriracha
  • 2 tbsp sherry cooking wine
  • 2 tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 2 tsp corn starch
  • 1/4 C chicken broth

Steps:

  1. Place chopped cabbage in the bottom of a slow cooker. Place chicken on top of the cabbage and season liberally with S+P.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the honey, Sriracha, sherry, and vinegar. Pour over chicken. Cook on LOW 6 hours.
  3. Remove chicken from slow cooker, cover.
  4. Make a slurry by whisking together cornstarch and chicken stock. Add to the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cook on HIGH 15 minutes.
  5. Cut or shred chicken and return to slow cooker. Keep WARM until ready to serve. Serve over rice.

Slow Cooker Honey Sriracha Chicken and Cabbage | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Honey Sriracha Chicken Stir Fry

Friends of ours from Florida moved up here to Ohio the summer before last. (Their going away party then was actually one of my first blog posts – my blueberry bars! It’s still my most popular recipe.) Well, they’re now leaving us again.

I’m really bummed about their move this time because they have a beautiful baby boy who is only one day older than my little man. I was hoping to have more than only a few months worth of play dates with these two. I loved having someone I could easily relate to locally as well. But, that’s what phones are for!

We had them over for dinner before they left and they happily experimented a new Stir Fry Day Friday recipe with us. I suggested a couple recipes and this one won the vote. It was a huge it! She took the recipe home with her (of course, she can also catch it here!).

I promise you this stir fry has much more flavor than it looks. I was so bummed when I realized how bland this dish appeared to be. My tastebuds happily disagreed with my eyes, and we will be making it again.

The honey balanced the Sriracha very well and this dish wasn’t very spicy. If you want some more heat I suggest adding a little more Sriracha to the sauce or tossing in some red pepper flakes. But this gentle back note of heat is perfect for every palate. You can always put the Sriracha bottle on the table for those wanting more pizzazz.

Since we both have kiddos who are just now starting to experiment with solid foods, I’d like to add the disclaimer that this dish is not one that’s safe for infants. Once they really are eating off our plates forgo the honey and try using maple syrup, agave, or maybe even brown sugar instead.

Honey Sriracha Chicken Stir Fry

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 C honey
  • 1 tbsp white distilled vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sherry cooking wine
  • 1 tbsp Sriracha
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced
  • 1 tsp grated ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 head green cabbage, chopped
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 C chicken broth
  • 3 scallions, chopped

Steps:

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the honey, vinegar, sherry, Sriracha, and salt. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Remove and set aside.
  3. In the same skillet, stir fry the ginger and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the cabbage and toss to coat. Stir in the sauce from step 1. Cover and cook 2 minutes, until cabbage is wilted.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch and chicken broth. Add it to the skillet. Bring to a simmer and return the chicken to the pan. Cook another 3 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked.
  5. Garnish with chopped scallions and serve with rice.

*This recipe is adapted from Katie at http://www.healthyseasonalrecipes.com/honey-sriracha-chicken-cashew-stir-fry/*

Honey Sriracha Chicken Stir Fry | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Brown Sugar Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

I have one more (at least to date) #10DaysofTailgate sponsor bonus feature for you today.

Today we’re using El Diablo Jalapeno Mustard in place of Dijon in one of Bobby Flay’s recipes. And thanks to Gourmet Garden I don’t have to grate the ginger myself!

My husband has a man crush on Bobby (yes, we’re on a first name basis over here… okay, maybe we’re not.. but we can pretend!) and this recipe looked like the perfect way to polish off the frozen salmon in my freezer. And the perfect way to use some of the wonderful Hot and Spicy Mustards from El Diablo. I imagine that the Mango flavor would work perfectly in this dish, but as I’m allergic to mango I opted for the Jalapeno flavor. It added a great bite to the salmon and complimented the ginger pretty well!

Judge all you want, but frozen fish is a great option. Especially now that we don’t live down the street from a seafood market. Or by the sea. I also love that buying frozen seafood means that it won’t go to waste. I can’t tell you how many times we’d purchased fresh fish to find that something else came up and it went bad before I cooked it up.

Brown Sugar Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

Ingredients:

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat melt butter into brown sugar and honey. Remove from heat and whisk in soy sauce, olive oil, mustard, and ginger.
  3. Place salmon in a baking dish and brush with the glaze. Bake 8-10 minutes, or until salmon is cooked through.

*This recipe is adapted from Bobby Flay at http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/bobby-flay/salmon-with-brown-sugar-and-mustard-glaze-recipe.html *

Brown Sugar Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon

Disclaimer: I received El Diablo Hot and Spicy Mustards and Gourmet Garden herb pastes through the #10DaysofTailgate event, however all opinions are my own.