Posts tagged ‘Food’

February 22, 2011

Vietnamese Shrimp Spring Rolls

My mom has a fabulous friend named Thuy. Thuy makes really, really good spring rolls. Thuy is also a hairdresser. And she does nails.

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This weekend I went home to spend time with the fam and Thuy taught me how to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls, painted my nails and put highlights in my hair! Thanks Thuy.

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Now my friends. I will teach YOU how to make the best Vietnamese Spring Rolls you will ever lay your mouth on. It just might be impossible for you to order these at restaurants ever again after you make your own.

Mint, basil, cilantro, spicy chives, cucumber, carrot, lettuce, bean sprouts, and shrimp. All these ingredients are so fresh and crispy, it just might make the most perfect lunch ever.

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And the dipping sauce. Oooo that sauce. It was so zesty and flavorful. The perfect pairing for the fresh veggies and shrimp that are all rolled up in rice paper.

I was scared to try it after Thuy told me where fish sauce comes from. Don’t Google it – you will regret it. Don’t smell it either. Just know that it tastes good and use it.

Boil your shrimp and toss them in ice water to stop the cooking and create the crunch factor.

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Slice the shrimp in half.

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We also split the lettuce down the middle so that it laid flat inside the roll.

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Rice noodles are also traditionally added to these rolls. I opted out this time because the noodles are filling and frankly, I needed to to save room so I could eat more of spring rolls.

Shrimp Spring Rolls

makes approximately 12 rolls

Ingredients

24 shrimp, split length-wise

1/2 cucumber, julienned

1 carrot, julienned or grated

2 cups bean sprouts

1 bunch mint

1 bunch cilantro

1 bunch basil

1 bunch spicy chives

6-8 leaves lettuce, split down the middle – romaine or red leaf

10-12 sheets rice paper

Directions

Boil a pot of water. Add the shrimp and boil for 2-3 minutes, until pink. Pour into an ice bath. Remove the tail and halve the shrimp.

Wet your rice paper. Layer on the veggies. Typically, lettuce is first then the herbs – stems and all. Then add the cucumber and carrot. Top it off with your halved shrimp pieces and roll it up.

Dipping Sauce

6 servings

Ingredients

2-3 cloves of garlic

1 small jalapeno

1/4 cup lime juice

2-3 tablespoons sugar

1/4 + tablespoon cup fish sauce

Directions

Mash garlic and jalapeño together with mortar and pestle. Add sugar. Pour in fish sauce and mix.

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From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

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February 22, 2011

Pumpkin Spice Snickerdoodles

Get excited. Some steamy snickerdoodles are coming at ya! This is the classic snickerdoodle recipe, with a slight spin on it. By kicking up the cinnamon sugar coating with some pumpkin spice, these snickerdoodles truly come alive…and leave you with the reminiscent taste of the holidays. What could possibly be better? I don’t know about you, but I am obsessed with all things spice. For example, I am really not a fan of fru fru drinks at Starbucks–normally I stick with the Americano or drip coffee–but as soon as the holiday season comes around and the Pumpkin Spice Latte and Gingerbread Latte hit the menu, I can’t help but to drag myself in there and order the ridiculously overpriced, and over-caloried drink. Why? Because they are just so darn delicious, end of story. Anyways, as I put an end to my tangent, I do love the holiday spice, which is why these snickerdoodles are near and dear to my heart…or should I say sweet tooth?

Here’s the method:

First, combine all the wet and dry ingredients, as described in the directions below. The dough should be firm, before rolling into balls. If it’s not, just cover it with plastic wrap and throw it in the fridge for an hour.

Next, combine the sugar and spice, and drop the dough ball into the heavenly mixture.

Now, get the ball rollin’. As Spongebob Squarepants would say, “bring it arrrround town.” Yes, that show is still a favorite.

Completely coat the dough with sugar and spice. Sometimes, I even dip it twice to make sure every inch is covered. But shhhhhh that’s a secret. No one has to know.

Finally, place on the cookie sheet and pop in the oven for 8-10 minutes and look just how lovely they will turn out!

Just an FYI, these little beauties may tempt you to eat them all up right off the spatula, so brace yourself. Snickerdoodles are always the best right out of the oven! However, the great thing about this recipe is that even after a few days they stay soft and chewy, so they will be tasty up until the last one in the jar.

Ingredients:

  • 2 3/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups  sugar
  • 2 large eggs

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Coating:

  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

*Little Yellow Note: I halved this recipe to make a small batch so I would have half as many reasons to eat junk food. I just made sure to keep the same amount of vanilla, because it is such a lovely ingredient.

Directions:

1. preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2.  In a bowl mix together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Sifting these into the bowl is a grand idea, to chase away those clumps!

3. Beat the softened butter and sugar until smooth, a couple minutes will do. Add each egg one at a time, beating well. Add the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat until the dough is smooth. If the dough is soft, cover and refrigerate until firm (about an hour)

4. Shape the dough into 1 inch round balls, or whatever size you would like them to be, just make sure that they are consistent, to ensure even baking.

5. Once shaped, drop them into the bowl with the combined sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin spice.

6. Roll the dough balls in the sugar spice mixture and place on the cookie sheet, spacing them an inch or two apart.

7. Bake the cookies for about 8 – 10 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. The edges will be firm and the centers will be a little soft, this is what you will want. Remove from oven and place on a torn open brown paper bag (or wire rack, if you are fancy and have one of these).

From the Little Yellow Kitchen

-Chrissy

February 20, 2011

Baked Ham & Egg Cuplet

These just might be the cutest little breakfast cuplets ever. Not to mention how tasty they are. My dad probably would have eaten 5 or 6 if I had made enough of them.

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Adorable, right? And so simple. My friend Carolina sent me a link to this recipe from Yumsugar and I have literally been thinking about them all week.

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You can make these in little ramekins or a muffin tin. I’ve been using ramekins a lot lately…why is everything in a ramekin so adorable? I love mini foods.

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Cheese and green onion were the only toppings my mom had on hand. Next time, I want to add a layer of sautéed mushrooms and maybe a little wilted spinach. They shall be called omelet cuplets. Let me know if you test it out!

 

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INGREDIENTS

1 egg

1 thin slices of deli ham (preferably round- I only had rectangles on hand)

sprinkle of cheese

sprinkle of diced scallions

Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS

Preheat the oven to 400.  Spray a muffin tin with cooking spray.  Lay a piece of ham in the ramekin of muffin tin.  Crack one egg into the hole and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bake the egg for 12-14 minutes, cover with foil if the ham begins to burn on the edges- although I found the crispy part to be particularly tasty. Remove the egg and top with grated cheese and scallions.  Add a layer of sautéed mushrooms and/or spinach for an extra little zest.

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From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren

February 19, 2011

Rosemary Parmesan Kale Chips

While we all know chips aren’t healthy, these green crispy things stand up to the challenge. I guess by the time the olive oil and salt are added, it may not be as healthy as we may wish, but all things in moderation, right?

Kale chips, you will find, are great substitutes for fries or regular chips and can be served with (almost) any meal or be saved in an air-tight container for some midday snackage.

I owe the credit for the idea to my big little sister, Jen; she is my “big little sister” because she is 8 1/2 years older than me, but has been shorter than me for a good majority of our lives. We’re best pals. Every time that I go visit her and her husband, Josh, we end up cruising to TJ’s stocking up on a good bottle of wine (which takes us forever to pick out), a new type of cheese we want to try out, and ingredients for a dinner feast.

Little Yellow Note: TJ’s doesn’t sell kale, so make plans to find it elsewhere. Jen normally has some on hand from the CSA veggie box she gets from the local Ventura farms. If this program is an option near you, you should definitely look into it for great organic produce and the support of local farmers.

Jen’s kale chips are simple and delicious: kale, olive oil or grape seed oil, sea salt and fresh shredded parmesan cheese. We added a little fresh rosemary and garlic to zest it up.

Here’s the scoop on the Rosemary Parmesan Kale Chips:

Ingredients:
1 bunch organic green kale, washed
3 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1-2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, preferably freshly shredded
sea salt

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Wash kale leaves and pat dry.
2. Strip kale leave from the middle stem part (see video clip), and tear into big pieces.
3. Put leaves in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, add minced garlic and mix well with hands. You want to distribute the garlic and oil evenly.
4. Arrange kale in a single layer on a baking sheet covered with foil. (we filled up 3 sheets of kale). Sprinkle with rosemary and sea salt.

5. Pop in the oven for 12 minutes, until nice and crispy. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over kale, and let cook for the remaining 3 minutes (15 minutes total).

From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Chrissy

February 18, 2011

Chicken & Shrimp Stir Fry

Yesterday we had a surprise visit from our favorite neighbor and ultimate LYK fan, Russell. He waltzed into the Little Yellow Kitchen with a gigantic smile exclaiming that he held in his hand what was soon to be our new favorite evening activity, Julia. No, not the recent film Julie and Julia, but the real Julia — The French Chef with Julia Child: Disc 1. Never have I ever been a fan of black and white films, but Julia my friends, can entertain with the best of them.

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
Julia Child

We immediately began watching Julia create her classic Bouillabaisse Marseillaise with the head of a giant cod sitting front and center on the screen the entire time. This woman has no fear. She chops hacks fish in half like it’s an everyday activity – maybe it was? She is so much more real than what we see today on cooking shows. She cooks on a electric stove with switches for goodness sake! Needless to say, if you get the chance watch some of her infamous episodes, do it, and take copious notes.

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Onto the stir fry…

We cheated a little on this recipe because of time constraints but it gives me the chance to tell you about more great products from Trader Joe’s – I promise they don’t pay us to use their name so much, we just basically live there grocery shopping and love it.

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If you want a quick and delicious stir fry then this is the way to do it. Use Trader Joe’s Ginger Soy Marinade and their bag of fresh stir fry vegetables. If you can’t get to a Trader Joes, then use the vegetables listed in the ingredients of our recipe below.

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Stir Fry

(4 servings)

Ingredients:

1 chicken breast

8-10 shrimp

1 bag of Trader Joe’s stir fry vegetables (snow peas, bok choy, cabbage, carrots, celery, broccoli)

1/2 cup ginger soy marinade

1 zucchini, thick slices

1/2 onion, sliced

1/2 cup sliced cremini mushrooms

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Directions

Marinate the chicken and shrimp in the ginger soy marinade for 30 minutes. Pour oil into a fry pan with fresh ginger and add the vegetables, sauté about 15 minutes or until cooked down. Add the chicken and shrimp with the marinade and cook through.

Remove from heat and mix in the soy sauce, red pepper flakes, and sesame seeds.

Serve with brown rice.

Buon Appetit!

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From the Little Yellow Kitchen,

Lauren