Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

I am not supermum, I am not supermum, I am not supermum. I have to keep telling myself this every day when yet again I fail to complete all of the tasks I have given myself. There is no way I can realistically get everything done that I “need” to in a day. So why do I get so upset with myself when I fail to do so?

Please tell me I am not alone in this?

As if being a mum wasn’t hard enough, we then have to deal the the constant nagging voice in our heads that tells us we need to give more. But you know what, that nagging voice needs to be quiet because it is time to believe I am a great mum and wife and that I already give my all and that is all I can expect from myself.

So in the spirit of being kinder to myself I have dusted off the crock pot and started looking again to easy meals for the week days. And what a way to start my easy meals, this makes enough for 4, so the plan was it was going to be an even easier meal idea for the following day as reheated leftovers. I am happy and sad to say this didn’t make it to the next day leftovers. I am afraid I will have to do a few more hours on the treadmill for this because both hubby and I polished off two helpings of this amazing dish. But trust me once you try it you will understand. The compliment I got from Chris was that I had finally captured that amazing smell you always smell when you go into a Chinese restaurant that you always want but you can’t seem to find a dish that tastes like it on the menu.

Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef

500g (1 lb) flank steak, cut into bite-size pieces
25g (1/4 c.) cornstarch
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 large green onions, sliced diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
120mL (1/2 c.) soy sauce *I recommend using reduced sodium
120mL (1/2 c.) water
110g (1/2 c.) soft brown sugar
1/2 tsp minced fresh ginger root
120mL (1/2 c.) hoisin sauce
recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com

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Strawberry & Vanilla Cupcakes

Morgan is a year and a half, it is such a fun age. She is so much fun to interact with and watching her grow and learn is so exciting. But one thing that I have been anxious for is for Morgan to be old enough to start cooking with me. But even though she is still young I have decided it is never to early to start. So last week we embarked on our first baking adventure together. And Baking Mad was kind enough to provide Morgan and I some great cupcake accessories to play with.

Baking Mad is a fantastic website that you really should check out. Not only does it have wonderful cupcake recipes, but it also has other fantastic meal ideas and videos that actually teach you basic cooking methods. There is even a fantastic video on how to make cupcakes. They also have a wonderful section on their website all about baking with your kids.

My first baking experience with my daughter wasn’t quite as engaged as I would like, but being that she is a year and a half I can’t expect too much help coming on her end. But we had fun and the cheeky monkey even snuck a few cupcakes off the counter when her mummy wasn’t looking so I know she at least enjoyed part of it.

Strawberry & Vanilla Cupcakes

200g (1 c.) Caster Sugar
76g (1/3 c.) butter unsalted, softened
240g (2 c.) plain white flour
pinch of salt
3 tsp baking powder
240mL (1 c.) milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg

125g (1 c.) icing sugar
15mL (1 Tbps) warm water
100 grams (1/2 c.) butter unsalted, softened
Strawberry Flavour Buttons (Silver Spoon Create)
Recipe adapted from Baking Mad

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Bacon Cheese Burger Soup #SundaySupper

This week was meant to be my week to get caught up a bit on life. I am working two part time jobs at the moment, well I say part time, one of them is my freelance work and that can vary with how much work comes so sometimes it feels more like I am working a full time job while juggling a part time one. But this week I was off from my part time job and I really thought things would be looking up with more time to get caught up with life. But sadly that just wasn’t how it went, my freelance work piled up on me and yet again the rest of the house and life seemed to get pushed to the side and forgotten. And to top it off, this week has been a major stressful work week for my husband.

What do you do at the end of a very stressful week?

When we were living in Texas we had this pub down the street that had the best burgers and our favourite beers. It was our bad week retreat. But these days having a toddler and trying to save money and eat out less means that having guilty treats like that for bad weeks doesn’t work so well. So instead we opted for hubby picking up some beers and I gave my Bacon Cheese Burger Soup idea a try. It was amazing!

Coming from such a healthy weekend last week this might seem like a calorie loaded meal but hey everything in moderation, right? This soup has all the goodness of a burger in a warming soup form. And after the rough work week it turned out to be a perfect substitute for our pub burger and beer night.

This week Sunday Supper is all about soup. While I do love soup all year round I go a bit soup mad during winter because there is just something about soup that warms you from the inside out on the cold winter days. My thing with soup is it is so easy to throw together a soup that there really is no excuse for tinned soup. So if you have found yourself stuck in a boring soup rut you need to check out the amazing recipes the Sunday Supper crew have put together, we have more then 40 ideas to hopefully last you the rest of the winter.

Bacon Cheese Burger Soup

500g (1 lb) minced beef
1 Tbsp worcester sauce
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 rashers of bacon
1 onion, chopped
31g (1/4 c.) flour
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
120mL (1/2 c.) cream
960mL (4 c.) chicken stock
125g (3/4 c.) carrots, diced
1-2 jalapenos, chopped
113 (1 c.) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

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Fried Cabbage with Bacon over Buttered Noodles

I love cabbage and it is a lot more versatile then I ever gave it credit for. Braised, cooked in a stir-fry, steamed. Or even used as a wrapper like I did with my Napa Cabbage wrapped Chinese Spring Rolls. I have to confess until recently I had only ever had it steamed, which I do love. But now that I have been playing around with it more I find it is making its way to my table a lot more frequently.

Recently I have stared researching more recipes from Eastern Europe. I don’t have much experience with the cuisine from this region of the world and I am wanting to branch out more. I found what I thought was an odd idea from Hungary, cabbage served over noodles. It seems to be quite a comfort dish in that region. So I thought why not cook up my fried cabbage and bacon and serve it over noodles. This turned out to be a great comfort dish and it takes less then 30 minutes to put together. It might seem like an odd complete meal but it is full of flavour and very filling.

Fried Cabbage with Bacon over Buttered Noodles

450g (1lb) shredded cabbage (any variety)
50g (2 oz) bacon, de-rinded and cut into lardons (tiny cubes), or streaky bacon, chopped small
1 medium leek; white only, finely chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
salt and freshly milled black pepper
113g (4oz) wide noodles
30g (2 Tbsp) butter
Recipe adapted from Delia Online

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Roasted Beet Risotto

I love beets and I have loved them since I was young. I remember going to a friend’s house when I was about 10 and her mom served beets, something that I had never eaten before. I was raised to always at least try everything on my plate, especially if someone else served it to me. And to my shock I loved these purple roots. So I did something that I regretted at the time, I asked for more. This sadly prompted my friend’s mom saying to her kids, “See Laura likes beets”. This resulted in my friend not talking to me for almost 30 minutes. Not a very comfortable thing to happen to a young girl on a sleep over. But despite the awkward memory of my first beet experience it hasn’t tainted my love for them. My favourite way is to just roast them but I have been experimenting with more ideas lately and this one popped into my head to try.

All I can say is WOW! Not only did the flavour work beautifully but because beets are so hearty this dish was so filling as a main course. It serves 3 servings for a main course and about 6 portions for side dishes.

Roasted Beet Risotto

250g (1/2 lb) beets, well scrubbed
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced
180g (1 c.) Arborio rice
120mL (1/2 c.) dry white wine
710mL (3 c.) reduced-sodium vegetable stock, heated
250g (1/2 lb) Beets, well scrubbed
25g (1/4 c.) grated Parmesan cheese
Coarse salt and ground pepper
recipe adapted from Martha Stewart

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