Monday, March 28, 2011

as easy as thai-ing your shoes

I make pretty much everything from scratch. I try not to use pre-fabbed foods, but I am only human...and some products are great. I love the Thai Kitchen products when I am in a crunch. One of my favorite things to make is Sweet and Spicy Pork Noodles. I make it with the Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai*. The pad Thai package is pretty has the noodles and sauce in it,so alone, in my opinion, it needs some pizazz. That's where I come in. This is a great fast and family friendly dish. It is elegant enough to serve at a dinner party, but simple enough to serve for Monday night dinner.

Sweet and Spicy Pork Noodles

2 packages Thai Kitchen Original Pad Thai

1 pound ground pork

2 teaspoons chili garlic sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon Chinese 5 spice

1/2 cup onion, minced

1 cup red pepper, diced

1-2 cups asparagus, diced

1/2 cup water chestnuts, chopped

1/4 cup green onion, diced

1 lime

1/4 cup cilantro, minced

1/2 cup peanuts (optional)

In a skillet, brown the onion and pork together. Season with salt and pepper and five spice. Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil. Once the water is boiling, add the Pad Thai Noodles and remove from the heat and let rest. Next, in the skillet, add the peppers, asparagus, water chestnuts and chili garlic sauce. Saute the mixture for five minutes. After five minutes, drain the noodles and add them to the meat mixture and toss with the flavor packets included in the boxes and cook for an additional two or three minutes. Toss in the green onions and cilantro. Finally, squeeze the juice from the lime into the noodles and toss one more time. Serve immediately.

*I did not receive any product or compensation for mentioning Thai Kitchen products in this post.

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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

caramel popcorn

If you ask me, some of the best and most treasured recipes I have, are actually from my neighbors. I have coveted some recipes, and spent many a day in the kitchen trying to replicate them. Sometimes, if you are lucky, they share...I mean actually give you the real recipe and not some "not quite right" version. I think it is important that when you are gifted with a recipe, that you give credit where credit is due. It drives me crazy when I partake of a dish that I know is a shared recipe and the cook doesn't acknowledge the creator. What do you think?

I love this caramel corn. It is so easy and is totally decadent. My neighbor, Christine Lewis, many years back, made this for a candle party. She was forever my favorite neighbor after that. I am not positive that this is exactly her recipe...but I think it is close. I rarely use pre-packaged products, but the popcorn that is pre-popped works best. The reason is, that it doesn't have all of the stray kernels and smaller kernels and it makes it extra buttery and salty...but twice as bad for you. In the picture above you can see that I didn't use the pre-popped stuff, but rather I popped my own white corn. It is a bit healthier that way...but the kernels were definitely smaller and you get some harder kernels inside the puffed corn. Either's yummy and the bowl will be gone quickly!

STICKY SWEET CARAMEL CORN - graciously shared by Christine Lewis

printable version
¾ pound butter (yes really)
1 bag mini marshmallows
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 bag of pre-prepared popcorn (2 lb.)
2 grocery paper bags

In a saucepan melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and stir until dissolved and bubbling. Remove from heat and add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Next add the vanilla and mix well. Now split the popcorn into the two grocery bags and then pour half the marshmallow mixture in each of the bags. Shake and manipulate the bags until well mixed. Form into ball or serve in a bowl.