Easter Breakfast – Eggs in Nests

This morning we had a yummy Easter breakfast with our beloved Pink Bunny.
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I made a egg sandwich for myself with some dried fruit – this is  my everyday breakfast that I love dearly.  For Matthew I had a eggs/hash brown recipe I’ve been wanting to try so I thought it would be a perfect time.
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The recipe is simple.  It’s just potatoes, eggs and salt + pepper.  The entire “nest” is made out of grated potatoes and then you put eggs on top.
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Then we split some chocolate covered pretzels for breakfast “dessert”. I only had one. HAHAHAHAHAHA.  I’m lying.
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Pink Bunny got this card for Matthew.
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Pink Bunny made this card for me – which is now attached to the side of my monitor.
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If you want to know more about the egg recipe – click behind the cut.

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Pork and Soy Bean Stir Fry

I wasn’t going to post this recipe but then after dinner Matthew proclaimed it was one of the best meals I ever made, so I feel obligated to share it.    This took use of 4 bags of edamame I had frozen… WP_20130318_009
I have been popping soy beans out of their pods like a crazy woman.  Nice to see it being used in this delicious dish!
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Beautiful colors… Feel free to add additional vegetables if you’d like.  Carrots would be good!WP_20130318_026
You can serve this over rice which would complete the meal…WP_20130318_028
Or pick the pork out and just load up on the soy beans for a meatless option.

Ingredients:
1/2 pound pork loin cutlets– cut into 1 inch strips
16 ounces soybeans
1 can bean sprouts
3 cloves garlic – cut up
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
Additional:
2 cups cooked rice

Directions:
Mix pork, cornstarch, soy sauce and sesame oil in a bowl. 
Heat vegetable oil over medium high heat in a large pan.
Add garlic, sauté until it’s slightly brown.
Add pork to pan, fry until it’s fully cooked.
Add soybeans and bean sprouts and sauté for 3 minutes.
Serve over rice.
Enjoy!

Deshelling Soy Beans

If you remember we got a whole lot of edamame this past summer.  Thankfully it freezes great so I have been able to snack on it throughout the winter.  Today though I wanted just the soy bean itself to put in a pasta dish I’m going to make, which meant I was going to have to roll up my red fleece cardigan sleeves and pop those beans out – one at a time.   This is a really great reason why a little kid would come in handy.  I would teach that child to be a bean deshelling master, then I would tell them mama needs to work on something and put them to work to deshell all these beans.  I would then go into a room, lock the door and take a nap.   But there is no child, so I had to do it.. :(
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This is 16 oz of frozen edamame. 
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I boil it for 5 minutes, then run cold water so I can touch them.WP_20130317_020
Then I grab a seat because this is going to take a while….WP_20130317_021
One at a time, I push the beans out of the pod.WP_20130317_022
Eventually this would collect almost 1 cup of soy beans.WP_20130317_023
And lots of pods to compost!
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Hard work, but worth it.  Feel free to snack as you go along.

Sweet Potato Chili

I was not a sweet potato fan prior to this.  I don’t think I ever bought a sweet potato.  I was so confused in the potato section that I googled “difference between a sweet potato and yam”. Google tells me it’s very different.  The supermarket employee told me there was hardly any difference.  So much confusion.

Anyways – I am now a fan.  I enjoy you sweet potatoes.  I enjoy you very much. 

Last night I wanted to make a meatless chili, so I used this recipe that had sweet potatoes tossed in.  If you want you can use a ground meat (beef? turkey? chicken?) but it’s good without it too.  I was able to use up my last bag of whole tomatoes frozen from garden season for our crushed tomatoes – man I love those tomatoes.  Serve with some buttered bread or cornbread. 

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Ingredients:
28 ounces crushed tomatoes
14 ounces diced tomatoes
2 large sweet potatoes – peeled and chopped into 1 inch pieces
15 ounces kidney beans
15 ounces navy beans
1 green pepper – chopped up
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons paprika
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 teaspoon onion powder (or a actual onion if you want)

Directions:
Put your slow cooker on low.
Combine all your ingredients, mix it all together.
Cook on low for 10 hours.
Enjoy the smells!

Easy Roasted Garlic Cauliflower

I have had this roasted cauliflower 2 times in the past 4 days.  It’s simple, it’s relatively quick and it’s delicious.   There’s not much more to say, except please make it.
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Ingredients:
one head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
fresh parsley to sprinkle on top

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 425.
Chop your cauliflower into florets.
Take a big plastic ziploc bag and pour in the olive oil and minced garlic.
Add the cauliflower and shake it around.  SHAKE IT.  GET THE GARLIC AND OIL ALL OVER IT!
Here you have 2 options: Put in refrigerator and let marinate for an hour or cook right away.  It’s up to you.
Pour cauliflower into cooking dish. 
Add salt + pepper on top.
Cook for 25 minutes.
Take out, sprinkle fresh parsley on top.
Cook for 3 more minutes.
Serve and enjoy!

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Easy step by step behind the cut.

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Irish Potato Candy

Irish potato candy is a favorite where I’m from in the coal mines of Pennsylvania.  There used to be a candy store in the mall that sold these that I would crave every time we walked by.  The candy has the sweet smell of cinnamon.  They are best serve chilled, and when you take a bite you will taste the sweetness mixed in with coconut.  Irish potato candy is a magical experience to eat.  As a kid I used to actually think they were made of potatoes, but boy was I wrong.  There is nothing healthy about these, warning.  But they are very good, so have one or two for dessert.  If you make these there is a strong chance you will declare your love for me, so give them a try.

These are easy to make – there is no cooking, just chilling involved.  There is also some mixing involved so you will have some bowls to clean (preferred to clean by mouth first).
Why are they called potato candy?  Because they look like little cute potatoes!  These would be extra cute to make for St Patrick’s Day!
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Hey little beautiful spud.
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And when you take a bite…. just wait!
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Recipe:
1/4 cup butter softened
8 ounce cream cheese
4 cups confectioners powdered sugar
2 1/2 cups flaked sweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
few tablespoons of ground cinnamon to roll them in

Directions:
Beat your softened butter and cream cheese together with a mixer until it’s smooth. 
Add your powdered sugar and vanilla. Keep beating until this is smooth.
Mix in the coconut, with a spoon or your hands.
Roll into potato shapes with your hands.  I like to keep them about 2 inches big.
Roll in cinnamon to make them brown.
Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet and chill for a few hours in the refrigerator.
When chilled, store in a container in refrigerator.
ENJOY!

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Hello Halupkies

I grew up in Pennsylvania.  I am Polish.  The result of these two things is that I love halupkies.  Growing up halupkies was one of  my mother’s specialties.  I would help her peel the cabbage and roll them up, sneaking bits of cabbage into my mouth when she wasn’t looking.  Look at how good of a kid I was, I was snacking on vegetables!   You might call them halupkies or you might call them stuffed cabbage or maybe you call them something else, either way, these are pretty easy to make and I hope you love them!  By the time dinner was over, these were cleared out and the pan was empty.
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Ingredients:
1 head of green cabbage – 8 to 10 leaves
1 pound ground beef
1 egg
2/3 cup water
1/3 cup uncooked white rice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 (10.75 ounces) can condensed tomato soup
16 oz tomato sauce of your choice

Directions:
Peel your cabbage to get 8 to 10 leaves.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add cabbage leaves and boil for 3 minutes.  Drain, set aside.
In a saucepan, bring your 2/3 cup of water to boil.  Add rice, stir.  Reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes.
In a mixing bowl combine ground beef (uncooked), onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, your cooked rice, egg, salt and pepper, 2 tablespoons of tomato soup.  Mix it all together.
4.  Spoon the beef mixture into your cabbage leaves evenly.  Roll them up, secure them with a toothpick.
5.  Put the cabbage rolls in a large skillet over medium heat.
6. Pour the rest of the tomato soup on top of the rolls.
7. Pour the 16 oz of additional tomato sauce on top of the rolls.
8.  Cover and bring to a boil.
9.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 40 minutes until the meat is cooked thoroughly.
Enjoy!

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Super Easy Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is a big part of my childhood.  I remember my dad would make homemade macaroni and cheese after school for me and we would sit there and eat it while talking to one another.  The two negatives about this was I was eating dinner at 3:30PM (which would result in me eating a box of cake mix at around 11PM) and eating macaroni and cheese 3 times a week probably isn’t the best.  But man those were good times…thanks Dad!
I had a block of Velveeta left in the fridge and came up with this super easy macaroni and cheese.  From boiling the pasta to melting the cheese, this is a 20 minute meal.  Also it’s really good macaroni and cheese, honestly!  Some people frown on good ol Velveeta, but not me, I worship them. This is cheesy goodness.   Serve this with some bread and enjoy!  There were leftovers, but someone during the night… (not me, I swear!).
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Ingredients:
2 cups elbow macaroni – uncooked
12 oz Velveeta – cubed
2 slices Muenster cheese – ripped up in pieces
1/3 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Optional: Adding broccoli or peas would be great too!

Directions:
Boil your macaroni noodles as instructed on the box.  Drain.
Put back in pot over low/medium heat.
Add your cheeses, milk, pepper.  Mix.
Keep mixing. 
It will take a few minutes for the cheese to melt.
Keep mixing.
Eat it up!

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Cauliflower + Cheese Soup

Do you love cauliflower? We do!  This week I bought 2 heads, one for dinner and one to snack on.  I was going to make yummy Mexican cheese cauliflower but then I remembered I have been wanting to make cauliflower soup.   So tonight we had this delicious, creamy soup which was just perfect for the snowy world we see outside right now.  I would serve this with some crusty or garlic bread, it’s great for dipping.  Feel free to put your own spin on it as well, you can really use whatever additional vegetables you want in it.  Corn would be great. So would broccoli.  Onions if you are into that sort of thing.  Even tomato slices on top would be good (and pretty!).    Give this a try next week…
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Ingredients:
3/4 cup water
1 chicken bouillon cube (or vegetable if you like)
1 1/2 cup chopped cauliflower
1 medium sized potato – peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
4 ounces Velveeta cheese (I used this) or cheddar cheese – cubed
salt + pepper

Directions:
In a large pan add bouillon cube to your water.  Add cauliflower, potato, celery and frozen peas.  Boil for 10 minutes. 
In a saucepan melt your butter over medium heat. 
Stir in flour a little bit at a time and stir until combined.  Remove from heat.
Stir in milk a little bit at a time, you want it all to be blended.
Return to medium/high heat and keep stirring until your milk sauce thickens.
Add your vegetables and season with salt + pepper.
Stir in your cubes of cheese and stir until melted.
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Serve, enjoy!
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Chicken Pot Pie: Please Make This

I have to tell you about this Chicken Pot Pie recipe. If I don’ tell you about it I will forever feel like a horrible friend.  This is one of those recipes you need to save, laminate, cover in love, cherish forever.  Do you know how to tell  when you have a killer recipe?  When you spot someone in your house, eating all the leftovers during the middle of the night.  That pushes it over the edge of just good, this is amazing.  When I was making the sauce to pour in the pie, I took a spoon and almost fainted.  I then called over Matthew to taste it before first proclaiming “This might be the best thing I ever tasted in my life”.  During dinner I kept getting praises on how good it was.  Ok, I will stop. ITS REALLY GOOD!  Just be careful.  If you take it to a dinner or have friends over, you will forever be the friend who makes chicken pot pie.   People will demand it! It will change lives!

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The recipe I used is here, but I want to tell you about  my tweaks.
-I did not use a onion.
For extra vegetables:
      -I used 1/4 cup of frozen corn.
      -I used one medium sized potato – peeled and cubed.
-Instead of boiling my vegetables and chicken in water, I boil them in chicken broth.  Save it for the following step in the recipe!
-For chicken broth I just use chicken bouillon cubes.
-I had quite a bit of cream sauce left over, which I kept hot and then you could spoon it on top of your pot pie if you want to when it’s done.

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Rainbow Cupcake Party

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This past weekend we had to get our portrait taken for a project we were releasing.   The photographer shooting us asked if I could  make cupcakes for the portrait so of course I agreed.   I hit up NYCake which is my favorite baking store in the city for pastel dye, sprinkles, cupcake wrappers and more.  I love that place, but it is a dangerous store.  Every time I come out of it I have enough supplies for a elementary school party for the entire first grade.   So the night before (much later than expected – Xanadu had to go to the emergency clinic – more about that in another post) I got some Funfetti cakemix and made some cupcakes.  Can we just talk a minute about how good Funfetti is?  I know you are not supposed to eat raw cake mix, but whatever, half of the time I just want cakemix instead of actual cake.  After about 10 spoonfuls of raw cakemix (which is probably close to 8 cupcakes) I needed to tell myself to calm down, but it’s hard, it’s so good!
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Pillsbury Dough Friend – I love you and your Funfetti magic.WP_20130202_088.jpg
Beautiful cakemix. If I stare at the screen hard enough, I can smell it.WP_20130203_010.jpg
Mixing the whipped icing with some pink…WP_20130203_006.jpg
Mixing the whipped icing with some sky blue…
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I used a piping bag for the icing.  Note to self: If using a piping bag you need double the icing. I also used some sprinkles for more rainbow  magic.WP_20130203_045
I found these cute little cupcake wrappers that had lions, elephants and seals dressed up in party hats.  NYCake store has every type of wrapper you can think of.  That aisles causes me happiness and stress at the same time.
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For the actual portrait, they were decorated with more sugary sweets like cookies and candy. 
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Here’s Matthew while we were getting our portrait taken.  He said they needed to be a little more “boyish” so he added a Storm Trooper and some Pokémon plastic decorations I got.

I didn’t want to keep 2 dozen of cupcakes around so I sent them home with the photographer as a treat for her and her roommate.  The one cupcake I had while sitting for the portrait (and the spoonfuls of raw cakemix) were delicious!

I will share the rest of the portrait session soon!

Chicken Noodle Soup

There used to be only one chicken noodle soup recipe in my life.  But now there’s 2.  Let me introduce you to my new friend chicken noodle soup. You guys will probably get along good.  Chicken noodle soup is really nice and makes you feel special.  It takes care of you when you’re sick.   When it’s winter it warms you up.  It really is a great friend to have.  Please get to know one another.

You can find the recipe I used here.  Print it out, bookmark it, cherish it forever.

Also, I am obsessed with the new video service Vine.  You should follow us on it.  I made a Vine for this recipe.

There is a few things I would like to say about this recipe:
1.  I will make homemade egg noodles whenever I can for the rest of  my life.  Honestly, these are the star in this recipe. I could just eat them by themselves.   They are so good.
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2. I will make homemade chicken broth whenever I can for the rest of my life.  No more bouillon cubes or broth in a plastic box.  No way.  Give me chicken bones, let me simmer and magic will happen.
3. Homemade chicken broth does stain.   Example, if you are using a white spoon, it will turn yellow.  Mine did.  The good part is that it looks like a dip dyed spoon that I would probably buy for $20.  Instead  I got it for free.  And chicken broth.
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4.  This recipe will make 4-6 servings.  So if you are cooking for 2, this will easily make 2 meals.  We had it Friday and Saturday which was great because those days were brutally cold.
5.  Serve it with a warm roll with butter.  Everything is better with warm rolls.
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6.  I did not know white pepper existed.  Then I saw this recipe and had to find it at the Supermarket.  My soul told me if it was less than $3 I could buy it.  It was only $1.79 so I bought it.  I’d say white pepper is more tangy, but less milk than black pepper. White pepper consists of the seed of the pepper plant alone, with the darker colored skin of the pepper fruit removed.  Some people use it when they don’t want to see black pepper flakes for aesthetic reasons, like in white sauces or mashed potatoes.  Try it.
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7.  If you are lazy and don’t want to cut up your own chicken you can buy a chicken already cut up for you $0.20 more per pound.  I totally did this.
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8.  I didn’t use a onion in this.  Of course not.  I cut up carrots and celery.  These are the same carrots from our garden from the Fall.  Man, carrots store amazing.   I heard someone once say that carrots only last them a few days in the refrigerator.  I turned to stare at that person in disbelief and might have rolled my eyes.  Don’t be mean to carrots.  They are the warriors of your crisper drawer.
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9.  I never call it a crisper drawer.  Only when I want to make myself giggle.
10 .  Make this chicken noodle soup.  People will cheer for you.  I got told by Matthew about 10x that I won a life award with this soup.  I have no idea what this life award is, but when someone says you win at anything you hold your head high and smile.
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Homemade Egg Noodles

Tonight I am planning a delicious chicken noodle soup where I will eat it in my pajamas, with a blanket on top of me and then afterwards not get off the couch for hours.    You see it’s very cold here to the point of where I text before I get home so someone can have a hot cup of tea ready for me.   Also today I hurt my shoulder blade (I call it my “angel wing” which confuses everyone) carrying a 24 pack of Fancy Feast.  Dont ask.  Just know I love cats so much I injure myself while freezing out on the street.  Where was I?

Egg noodles! So I went to the store because I was looking for frozen egg noodles – something more tasty than the bagged ones.  Something that just has flour, eggs, salt and butter in it.  Something that doesn’t have ingredients like FERROUS SULFATE (IRON), THIAMINE MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID in it which honestly I don’t know what they are.  You know what I mean?   Something that my mom would have made.  Well actually I don’t think my mom ever made noodles from scratch.  But you know what I mean, I know you do.

So after I struck out at the supermarket where they don’t sell frozen egg noodles I set off to make my own.  I’m so glad I did, I’m not sure if I can ever buy them again!  Please try these! You can use them right away, refrigerate for later in the day, or freeze for whenever you want!

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Full recipe and walk through behind the cut.

PS. This post brought to you by one covered in flour phone.
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