Monday, February 23, 2015

Mulan Dinner

Happy Chinese New Year!!!!!!!!!!  We celebrated with Mulan!  I LOVE MULAN!  I can't help punching the air during the "Be A Man" song!  LET'S GET DOWN TO BUSINESS…. (you wanna sing "to defeat the Huns"  just admit it!)

 Tonight's dinner was a Chinese Extravaganza!!!  It was sooo good!  (I'm a little biased…because I LOVE all Chinese Food!)  I went a little crazy on groceries… I bought a ton of stuff.  Here is the table of ingredients we used for tonight's dinner…

Pretty crazy!!! Huh?!?

For dinner we had Cri-Kee's Lucky Cucumber Salad, Mushu's Moo Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chien Po's Beef (Firecrackers), Pork (Potstickers), and Chicken (Potstickers), Shan Yu's Warlord Cocktail, and Mulan's Fortune Cookie Green Tea Cupcakes.  Needless to say, it was a lot of food. 

Cri-Kee's Lucky Cucumber Salad
I found this recipe and adapted it a bit.  Original recipe can be found in this cook book:

1 1/2 Cucumber, sliced thin
3 Tbsp Rice Wine Vinegar 
1 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp toasted sesame seeds
1/8 Thai Ginger infused salt
1/8 Red Pepper Flakes 

Mix them all together and serve in a bowl.

Mushu's Moo Shu Chicken Lettuce Wraps

1 Tbsp EVOO
1 pound of ground chicken
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1 Tbsp Rice wine vinegar
1 inch of freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon of Sriracha 
1 8oz can of water chestnuts, sliced
4 green onions, chopped
1 head of butter lettuce
Dash of Thai Ginger infused salt

1. Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium high heat and add ground chicken until brown.  5 minutes.  

2. Stir in garlic, medium yellow onion, hoisin sauce, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and Sriracha for 2 minutes.  

3. Stir in chestnuts and green onions until chestnuts are tender.  Season with salt and pepper. 

4. Pull leaves off of the head of lettuce and place mixture inside.  Serve taco-style.

Chien Po's Beef, Pork, and Chicken appetizers.

I bought three kinds of appetizers that were easy to make in the oven or stovetop to fit the song "A Girl Worth Fighting For" when Chien Po sing, "I couldn't care less what she wears or what she looks like.  It all depends on what she cooks like.  Beef. Pork. Chicken."

So I got Beef Chinese Firecrackers.

 Pork Potstickers

 And Chicken Potstickers

I also served it with some brown rice

 I included three different types of sauces to use with these: a Ginger Wasabi sauce, a Citrus Teriyaki Sauce, and my favorite, the thai peanut sauce.  

Shan Yu's Warlord Cocktail:
Found on this site but we added our own measurements:

2oz Sake 
2oz Ginger Liqueur 
1 full bottle of Angry Orchard Cider

This one is my favorite drink so far!

Mulan's Fortune Cookie Green Tea Cupcakes
Found on this site but I adapted a bit:


3/4 cup of all purpose flour
3/4 cup of cake flour (apparently they are different… so just trust me… k? )
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/2 stick of melted unsalted butter
2/3 cup of Sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
Zest of 2 lemons 
2/3 cup of green tea

8 oz of cream cheese (room temperature)
1/4 cup of unsalted melted butter 
2 cups of Powdered Sugar
1 tablespoon of Matcha Powder (hard to find!  I bought Matcha powder tea packets and cut them up and measured a tablespoon)
Zest of 1 lemon
9 fortune cookies

*yes that means you will have 3 lemons without their zest at the end of this dessert… it's worth it!

1. Start boiling water in your tea kettle.  When your tea kettle starts whistling, pour a cup of water and steep the green tea bag for a few minutes. 
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line your cupcake tin with paper liners.
3. In your electric mixer bowl (paddle attachment works best), beat melted butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy.  
4. Beat in eggs and then add vanilla and zest of two lemons until well combined.  
5.  Add in flour, cake flour, baking powder, salt, and 2/3 cup of the green tea.  Slowly.  After each ingredient, mix well.
6. Pour batter evenly (as best you can) into muffin tray and bake for 15 minutes.
7. For the frosting: rinse out bowl and beat the cream cheese and butter on medium speed until light and fluffily for 2 minutes.  Add in powdered sugar until fully incorporated.  
8. Add Matcha powder and lemon zest for 2 minutes.
9. Once muffins are out of the oven and cool, use a spatula and smother the cupcakes with frosting and place a fortune cookie on top!

They were amazing!

It was a fabulous dinner!  With TONS of leftovers!!  YUMMM!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Princess and the Frog Dinner

YAY FOR MARDI GRAS!!! We had a Princess and the Frog theme dinner to prepare for Fat Tuesday tomorrow!

We had our little Masquerade party with Tim's brother Bill and his girlfriend Megan!  

This coincided with a visit from Bill and Megan perfectly since The Princess and the Frog is Megan's favorite Disney Movie!  We have done Bill's (Aladdin) and Tim's (Lion King) favorite movies too!  I guess mine is next!! 

For dinner we had a Southern Smorgasbord!  We had Naveen's Quick Jambalaya, Southern Spoon Bread, Ray's Confetti Corn, Tiana's Green Bean Casserole, a Bayou Beauty Cocktail, and Beignets with Chicory Coffee for dessert!

Naveen's Quick Jambalaya
The recipe we found in one of our cookbooks but we varied it quite a bit.  Here is the link:

Vegetable Oil 
1 lb of cubed chicken
1 lb of kielbasa sausage, sliced
1 medium yellow onion
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped (remove seeds)
1 medium stalk of celery, sliced
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of flour
14.5 can of whole tomatoes, undrained
2 tablespoons of steak sauce
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce
2 cups of cooked rice

1. Cook rice in rice cooker

2. Heat oil in a large pot and add chicken and cook for 8-10 minutes until light brown.

3. Stir in sausage, onion, bell pepper and celery.  Cook until vegetables are tender.

4. Mix water and flour.  Then stir into chicken mixture.  Cook until thickened.

5. Stir in tomatoes, steak sauce and pepper sauce.  Heat until boiling, reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes.  

6. Stir in rice and enjoy!

Southern Spoon Bread
We based our recipe off of the Disney cook book we got!  Link here:

2 cups of milk
1 cup of water
1 tablespoon of butter
1 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of cornmeal
2 eggs (separated)
2 tablespoons of honey
2 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9x11 pan with Pam.

2. Heat milk and water in a large saucepan over medium heat.   As soon as it begins to boil, turn heat to low.  Add butter and salt.

3. Slowly whisk the cornmeal into the milk mixture.  Stir until it thickens.  Remove from heat.

4. Separate egg yolks and egg whites into two bowls.

5.  Beat the egg whites with a mixer until they are foamy.

6.  Beat yolks, honey, and baking powder with a fork.  Then add it to the milk mixture.  Then fold in the foamy egg whites.

7. Pour the batter into the 9x11 pan and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown.

8. Serve with honey.

Ray's Confetti Corn
We based our recipe off of the Disney Princess cook book we got!  Link here:

1/2 of a diced red bell pepper (seeds removed)
2 cups of corn
4 strips of bacon
1 tsp of dried basil
1 tablespoon of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp of Cajun Seasoning


1. Cook bacon in a small skillet until cooked.  Remove from pan. 

2. While bacon is cooking, cook corn in a 1/2 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat.  Simmer for 6 minutes. Set aside

3. Add red pepper to the skillet (with bacon grease) and let cook for two minutes.

4. Add cooked corn, bacon (cut up with kitchen scissors), basil, butter, cajun seasoning, salt, pepper.  

5. Stir and serve

Tiana's Green Bean Casserole

3 cups of green beans
10.5 oz of can of mushroom soup
1/4 cup of milk
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
2 cups of texas toast fried onions
1 cup of cheddar cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Cook green beans in a bag.  Poke holes into the bag and stick in the microwave for 4 minutes.  Then cut beans in half.

2. Add beans, soup, milk, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and 1 1/2 cups of fried onions in a casserole dish. Then bake for 15 minutes.

3. Open the oven and add in last 1/2 cup of fried onions and shave cheese on top.  Return to the oven for 5 minutes.

Bayou Beauty Cocktail
I found the idea on this site (but we came up with our own measurements):

1 part of Cruzan Rum (no flavor)
3 parts of Ginger Liqueur 
Slices of Cucumber 

Beignets and Chicory Coffee
We got pre-made mixes to use for this meal for Christmas.  We followed the directions accordingly.

For the coffee, we heated up some milk to serve the coffee cafe au lait.  

And here was our glorious dessert!!

It was a fabulous dinner!!!!

And in case you were wondering…. we have discussed who we love from our favorite Disney movies:  My disney crush is John Smith from Pocahontas.  Megan's is Prince Naveen but not as a frog from Princess and the Frog.  Bill's crush is Jasmine from Aladdin.  Tim, refusing to play, chose the magic carpet from Aladdin. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Lady and the Tramp Dinner

In light of Valentine's Day, we did a theme dinner to Lady and the Tramp!  

We had a fabulous, fancy dinner!  We had Shared Spaghetti and Meatballs, Lady's Caesar Salad, Garlic Bones, The Darling's Chianti, and Tony's Tiramisu! 

Our Shared Spaghetti and Meatballs:

I found an awesome recipe for the Meatballs that I tweaked a bit.  The original recipe can be found here!

Meatball ingredients:
1lb Hamburger
2 eggs
1/2 cup of Milk
1/2 cup of Panko crumbs
1/2 a medium large onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon of italian seasoning
1 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground pepper
1/8 cup of minced basil

Meatball Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Combine eggs and 1/2 cup of Milk with a fork
Add in hamburger, panko crumbs, onion, garlic, italian season, salt, ground pepper, and basil in a large bowl.  
Add in milk/egg mixture
Form into golfball sized meatballs
Place meatballs on a non-stick cookie sheet and put in the oven.
Bake for 30 minutes

Cook half a box of Spaghetti according to box instructions

Top spaghetti with meatballs, parmesan cheese and some Bertolli red sauce.

Caesar Salad ingredients:
Italian Croutons (store bought)
Parmesan Cheese
Paul Newman's Caesar Salad Dressing

Garlic Dog Bones were sooo easy to make!  I made them to directions on Pillsbury Crescent Rolls but I cut them in half and rolled them out.  I knotted them at the end and sprinkled some garlic salt on top.  

The Chianti was bought at our Albertson's for like $6.00.  I don't judge wine.  Wine is wine. And wine is good. 

The Tiramisu was also store bought and pretty dang tasty!  I put it on a serving tray and decorated it with chocolate syrup.

It was a very romantic way to start off our Valentine's week!  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Groundhog Day Dinner

In honor of quite possibly the weirdest holiday, we watched Groundhog's Day with a theme dinner! 

Tim was feeling a bit under the weather so I made some comfort food.  Punxsutawney Patties, Phil's Spud-Burrows, Groundhog Nut Mix, Six More Weeks of Winter Hot Chocolate, and Surprise Shadow Dessert.  

Punxsutawney Patties were just cooked up sausage patties from the store.

Phil's Spud-Burrows:

I got the idea for this site but she didn't list directions or ingredients so I got a little creative!

Two large Potatoes
Garlic Salt
Olive Oil
Lemon Juice

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
Cut the potatoes in half
Slice the potatoes in small slivers that can stack on top of each other
Put the potatoes in their stacks in your pan (I used a casserole pan)
Cover lightly with Olive Oil
Season to your own taste with pepper, salt, chives, and lemon juice
Put in the oven to 40 minutes

Groundhog nut mix just a prepackaged mix!

Six More Weeks of Winter:
Hot Chocolate Mix and prepare accordingly
Add a splash of Vanilla Vodka, Creme de Cacao, and Malibu

It will literally make you want to sleep for six more weeks! 

Surprise Shadow Dessert:

Chocolate Vanilla Swirl Pudding
Teddy Grahams

Using a food processor, crush up about 10 oreos
Open your pudding and top it off with the oreos 
Then stick a teddy graham in!  

I found a picture on Pinterest and got inspired!

It was a fun dinner!!