Friday, June 26, 2015

Slow cooker spinach artichoke dip

With my tot's camp and busy schedule, this week has gone by so fast. It's been almost a week since we celebrated Steve's 4th father's day. How was everybody's father's day? It was supposed to be a wash-out where we live. So the whole exciting BBQ idea was out the door. We had to go a different way and made Italian father's day. Steve's family's Italian, so it suits anyway. Since there was a huge chance everything would be inside, we changed the appetizer menu entirely too. We ended up getting lucky and had a few hours of beautiful sun, which means kids stayed in the pool, no craziness in the house! Yay!

So, we served homemade Italian plus costco lasagna. I know it's cheating but their lasagna is just so darn good! But their spinach artichoke dip, I didn't find very good. So I decided to make yummy and super easy spinach artichoke dip. You just need to dump everything in the slow cooker and "fugetaboutit"! How easy is that. Even though it's very cheesy, it's got vegetables, and I made it with Greek yogurt and low fat cream cheese to lower the calories. Our au pair Lari doesn't like vegetables but even she said it's delicious! Since she's not familiar with this dip, I didn't tell her what it was in detail. =P 

Thinking we were totally lucked out with the weather, after a huge meal, we put out all sorts of desserts outdoor. Half way through dessert, it started to pour like the end of the world. Lucky everything was served in the covered patio but it was so crazy that everything was still getting wet. CHAOS. We managed to save all of our delicious desserts though. Phew! In that chaos, our mini slept through. Actually she pretty much slept through all afternoon. Everyone wanted a chance to hold her, moving from one person to another, it didn't even wake her. She totally gets spoiled when the family's over. =) 

Hope your father's day was a dry and fun one. 

Slow cooker spinach artichoke dip

Printable recipe

Ingredients :

1 (14oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10oz) pack frozen spinach, thawed
1/2 cup crumbled feta
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1 small onion, chopped
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 fresh ground black pepper
1 (8oz) block reduced fat cream cheese

Directions :

1. Squeeze the thawed spinach and drain most of the liquid. In a slow cooker insert, add all the ingredients except cream cheese.

2. Cube the cream cheese and place on top of everything else. Cover and cook on low for 2 hours.

3. Stir to mix everything. Serve warm. 

*Adapted from some the wiser.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ground beef stroganoff

While my mom's staying here, she helped me with everything. Her being here alone gave a lot of support but on top of that, she wouldn't just sit down and rest. She cleaned out my totally stuffed fridge/freezer to sort things perfectly - the way my mom organize things is just awesome. I guess moms will always be moms. No matter how old I am, she would always want to take care of me and help me. 

So she found this organic grass-fed ground beef we had in the freezer. We recently had Korean taco and meatballs. I wanted to use this meat but do something different. Then I remembered I had mushrooms in the fridge. That's it, beef stroganoff! All three of us love beef stroganoff but my tot doesn't like big chunk of beef. So whenever we make it, he would just eat mushrooms and noodles or I have to cut the beef into tiny pieces. With ground beef, I knew he would definitely devour it.  

And yes, I was right. He said, "Mommy, you make really yummy meals". Adding noodles to the sauce and tossing it, rather than pouring sauce over it worked like pasta with meat sauce. Using Greek yogurt instead of sour cream makes you feel less guilty. I thought Steve would complain because it's not strips of beef but he loved it too. I love it when I have all the ingredients for a meal when I didn't plan it, especially if it means I'm cleaning out the fridge too!
if you like creamy sauce or traditional beef stroganoff, try this shortcut/ground beef for a change. 

Ground beef stroganoff

Ingredients :

1 lbs ground beef
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 medium sized onion, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
3 Tbsp flour
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1 1/2 cup beef broth
8 oz mushrooms, sliced
1 cup Greek yogurt
2 cups egg noodles 
2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

Directions :

1. In a skillet heat the olive oil and saute onion and garlic.

2. Add ground beef, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Cook until meat is brown. 

3. Add broth, flour and mushrooms. Stir and bring it to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes or reduced a little. Meanwhile, cook the egg noodles according to package directions.

4. Stir in Greek yogurt and cook until just heated. Add cooked egg noodles and parsley. Toss well and serve.

* Adapted from my mommy style

Monday, June 8, 2015

French toast cups

Long time no post! It has been a busy and exciting month for us. Our tot is promoted to a big bro as we welcomed our new baby daughter. It has been pretty hectic but good hectic. =) Foodwise, I have been consuming a whole lot of seaweed soup thanks to my Korean custom. In Korean culture, we eat/drink seaweed soup after giving birth as they believe seaweed soup cleanses your body and helps you recover. Good thing I actually love seaweed soup.

Anyway, now I guess we are two foodies and a tot plus one! She is so precious. My tot has always been big for his age but I still thought he's like a baby. Now that we have a wee one, he looks so big. He totally adores his baby sister and my heart just melts when I see the way he looks at his sister and cares for her. He's such a great big brother to her. Our mini's lucky and has nothing to worry about since her bro's got her back! =)

With a newborn at home, I haven't really cooked anything. Luckily, my mom stayed with us for a while so that was a big help. Cooking, caring for the baby and all the support. Now that everything's back to normal, I started to cook. My favorite breakfast of all time, French toast. But I wanted something different. A, I didn't feel like standing by the stove flipping french toast. B, I felt like making something cute. So there you go, french toast cups. 

 Mmm...Soft center and crusty top. Cinnamony sweet bites with fresh fruits. It is a very cute variation for french toast. I am a sucker for any kind of french toast so I am kind of bias but this is great if you like a little bit of bite. When I'm not using challah, I like using stale baguette for french toast because of its crust. And this muffin pan cup version definitely showcases the crust. 

Kids will love these and it'd be great to serve a crowd for a snack or part of a brunch menu since you don't have to stand by the stove. Another happy morning with yummy breakfast! =) 

French toast cups

* Makes about 10 individual cups.
Printable recipe 

Ingredients :

4 cups cubed bread(a day old bread is the best)
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp sugar
pinch of salt
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg

powder sugar- optional

Directions :

1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a muffin pan. You can line it with cupcake liners too.

2. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, sugar, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Soak the cubed bread in the mixture for a few minutes.

3. Scoop the bread and fill each cup of muffin pan. Drizzle leftover custard over the bread. Bake for 25 minutes.

4. Plate them and dust with powdered sugar.