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Peanut Butter Noodles

Peanut Butter Noodles

Let us start by addressing the elephant in the room, you probably think this sounds like a bizarrely weird food combination, right? I promise it super tasty! And I don’t just say that because I love the sweet creaminess of peanut butter either! I would 

Bone in Beef Ribs vs Chuck Roast

Bone in Beef Ribs vs Chuck Roast

Does Anyone else wake up LITERALLY thinking about food? Like not just OMG I want coffee and bacon ASAP….But like can I do X recipe with Y substitution and save $ without sacrificing taste or quality? Well, that is exactly how this beef experiment came 

Cheating Chicken Noodle Soup (Using Store Bought Gyoza/Dumplings)

Cheating Chicken Noodle Soup (Using Store Bought Gyoza/Dumplings)

Happy Winter!

As much as I dislike like the cold, this is the BEST season for warming yourself up with a yummy bowl of soup, and boy, do I have a yummy and SIMPLE recipe for you today! I ‘cheat’ making some chicken noodle soup by using store bought gyoza in place of the chicken and noodles! Plus, it is only seven ingredients total! Take a look:

Did that video make your mouth drool (or was it just me 😂 )

Of course, just like all great soups, we want to start with our mise en place with our mirepoix. These are probably two of the three french terms I know (the other being bonjour). Mise en place is basically the fancy term used for getting all your ingredients prepped/washed/cut/ready for cooking. Taking the time to prepare for cooking is going to be the number one tip I can give to make any recipe go more smoothly once you start cooking. Mirepoix is the fun French word for using equal ish amounts of chopped sauteed veggies…usually onion, celery, and carrots.

Personally, I include garlic in my definition of mirepoix because garlic = yum!! But, I add it after the other veggies have cooked a bit first. Also, being that this soup is so simple to make, I like to cut the veggies into some pretty shapes. I slice the celery (including the leafy bits) on a diagonal into bite size pieces and cut the baby carrots into triangles (also known as an oblique cut–see 03:52 in video). I love using baby carrots because I feel like I am cheating with their prep too since they are already washed and peeled!

Onions…I honestly use white and yellow onions in soup interchangeably…I usually pick based on what I have handy at home which is often determined by if white or yellow onions were on sale at the store. I am sure you already can cut an onion, BUT if you would like to see my tip of how to cut an onion quickly and easily (and hopefully cut down on the chance of your eyes tearing up!) see about 01:45 into the video–if I tried to write that without the visual it would be a paragraph of gibberish gobbledygook!

Cooking the veggies is super simple. Turn your stove to medium and use a heavy pot with a lid. Add the mirepoix (onions/celery/carrots) all at once with a sprinkle of salt and cover. This is ‘sweating’ the veggies. The goal is to soften them evenly and let them release some of their liquids naturally (hence the term sweating). Salt helps drawl the moisture out too, but you do not need much! I give mine a stir after 3-4 minutes then again after another 4 ish minutes. Some color is OK but we do not have a specific goal to brown the veggies.

Once the veggies are softened, you will ideally add the garlic and stir in (I temporally forgot and added this with the broth–😬 ). The garlic really only needs about 30-60 seconds to cook, and you will know it is cooked when the garlicly aroma hits you 🤤 You will miss it if you dont add it!

Chicken Stock–one ingredient that can really SHINE and make this dish. In theme with ‘cheating’ on this recipe, I was feeling lazy and did not pre thaw/warm the broth. Adding it frozen probably just slows the cooking time a few minutes overall, but again, I cannot stress how easy and fast this soup is, so the frozen stock will not really slow you down with serving dinner. If you don’t mind doing an extra dish though feel free to warm the stock separately!

I really cannot tell you enough about how much I love using my homemade stock.It is one of my favorite pantry MUST HAVEs which basically means I try to always have two or three quarts in my freezer at all times. I use it in almost all of my broth based soups and especially with my Easy Weeknight Ramen! Please check out my Homemade Chicken Stock recipe here!

The Pork Gyoza I used is not anything fancy. You can add it as soon as the broth is warm and lightly simmering. I used about two thirds of a bag (I think I counted 14 or 15 dumplings?) and added it from frozen–should only take 5-6 minutes to cook thru completely. My gyoza came from Trader Joes. I love keeping these in the freezer for a quick app and a bag only cost $2.99! It’s like a double win! Sometimes I use dumplings from the CAM International Market (it is a specialty Grocery store here in Cincinnati), but I haven’t been there recently. I think the gyoza from the CAM is imported and a little more onion-y in flavor.

Another note on the Pork Gyoza…I am using these with chicken stock. This does not bother me at all! If you would rather not mix meats or would prefer to skip the pork completely, just look for a chicken gyoza or chicken dumpling in your supermarket! I just noticed Trader Joes even sells a Chicken Gyoza the other day–I think I automatically look for the blue package and always grab the Pork ones 🙂

Somehow in these frigid temperatures and multiple dustings of snow, my green onions still seem to be thriving??? I originally planted them spring 2019 and they survived last winter too and made a BIG comeback for 2020. Here’s to hoping the same for 2021 because I really enjoy having these a foot outside my back door 😋 Today gave them a super quick chop and I use them as a topper since the gyoza gives this soup a bit of an asian inspired flair.

By now, I am sure you can see why I call this a Cheating Chicken Noodle Soup. I cheat on carrot prep by using baby carrots. I cheat on dishes by not warming the stock separate from the cooking pot. I cheat on needing noodles and leftover chicken by using the meat filled gyoza! In my opinion these shortcuts give you a great mostly homemade soup with a super easy to remember recipe!

Please share how this turned out for you and subscribe to have future recipes delivered straight to your inbox! Please dish up and enjoy!

Cheating Chicken Noodle Soup

  • Ingredients
    • Pork Gyoza/Dumplings (or Chicken Gyoza/Dumplings)
      • I used 14 or 15 gyoza which was about 2/3 of a bag from Trader Joes
    • 1 Quart Chicken Stock (I recommend homemade!)
    • 1/2 Onion, Diced
    • Baby Carrots, about 1/2 bag (or 6-8 ounces)
      • I cut into triangles (oblique cut)
    • Celery including the leafy bits from the center, guestimate the amount needed to equal volume of carrots and onion
    • Garlic, crushed with garlic press, I used 3 BIG cloves so you might want 5 if small
    • cut green onion to garnish
  1. Mise En Place! Gather/Wash/Prepare all of the ingredients to get ready to cook!
  2. Using a heavy pot with lid and heat on medium add cut onion/carrots/celery/pinch of salt and sweat the veggies until soft, stir occasionally.
  3. Add garlic, stir, and cook until fragrant ~ 30-60 seconds
  4. Add Chicken Stock, I added mine frozen (homemade recipe here) but you can use pre-warmed homemade stock or store bought broth also
  5. Once broth is warmed, add your choice of store bought Gyoza/Dumplings. I used 14-15 frozen Pork Gyoza (it was about 2/3 of a 16 ounce bag). Pork or Chicken will both be yummy!
  6. Allow soup a few minutes to warm and flavors to mingle about five ish minutes after adding gyoza/dumplings
  7. Dish up a bowl and top with Green Onions
  8. ENJOY!!!

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Sous Vide Dueling Steaks: Wagyu vs Ribeye

Sous Vide Dueling Steaks: Wagyu vs Ribeye

How else can I start than to tell you 1) I LOVE STEAK and 2) I LOVE MY SOUS VIDE and 3) I LOVE TREATING MYSELF! Of course I would find an excuse to combine these three loves by trying Wagyu Beef! My recent interest 

Sausage Kale and White Bean Soup

Sausage Kale and White Bean Soup

The cold weather makes me crave warm, hearty, comforting soups. This particular pick is a very meaty and savory soup filled with, you guessed it, Sausage and Kale and white beans! I take delight in finally sharing this yummy concoction

Easy Homemade Oreo Ice Cream – Only SIX Ingredients

Easy Homemade Oreo Ice Cream – Only SIX Ingredients

Cookies and Cream is one of those flavors that is just nostalgic to childhood. School lunches and birthday parties — it seemed like everyone had oreos or chocolate cream cookies. I think it is one of those great flavors that everyone likes and I think there is a reason all the major ice cream manufacturers have their own version of a Cookies and Cream Ice Cream. It is simply delicious!

I think my earliest ‘Cookies and Cream’ memory is when my mom bought me a Hersheys Cookies and Cream candy bar at the Cardington Swimming Pool snack bar…I was maybe five or six? Just like a Pizza Hut deep dish pizza reminds me of the gradeschool Bookit reading program, a Hersheys Cookies and Cream candy bar reminds me of summer afternoons in the sun with my mom and sister. Note: it does not however remind me of what I supposedly learned in those swimming lessons 😂

Maybe you are reading this and wanting to make one of your first homemade ice creams, maybe you are wanting to bring your once adored ice cream maker out of its basement retirement, or maybe you already make a rocking Vanilla Bean or Cinnamon Ice cream, but don’t know how or when to add a crunchy ingredient like an Oreo. If this is you, PLEASE watch the video below! I show you EVERYTHING as clearly as I can.

I use ONLY six ingredients, a 2 Quart Ice Cream maker and a few other kitchen essentials. The only fancy item is the ice cream maker, and I guarantee someone near you is selling one on Facebook Marketplace right now.

My ice cream is a custard based recipe–this basically just means I use eggs and I cook them together with the sugar and some dairy. We want a smooth, homogonized mixture.

For this particular recipe, I also add two Oreo cookies into the custard base as it is getting close to temp. The chocolate cookies (and cream centers) dissolve into the custard and help give the mix the classic Oreo crumbs looking color. Also–it is important to cook the custard to 165 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure the eggs are safe to eat as part of the ice cream mixture.

I always strain my cooked mixture just to ensure I don’t have any clumps of cooked egg. I add in my last cup of milk to help the mixture cool more quickly (than having cooked all the milk) and for flavor I add vanilla extract. This mixture needs to cool for at least 2-3 hours in the fridge.

While all this was happening (and for about a whole day before) I have my ice cream machine bowl chilling in the freezer. I wait to pull it out until I am ready start churning.

Something that is somewhat unique to this recipe is the very specific layers that this mixture cools to and separates to in the fridge. I have not noticed it in any other ice cream mixture. The bottom layer is most dense and unsurprisingly has the settled bits of the dissolved Oreo cookies. I think the top layer is some of the fat from the heavy whipping cream, and the middle is just sweet cream.

I whisk the custard together again and add it to the ice cream bowl and start churning 🙂

This part is painstakingly long only because I REALLY want to have a taste (or three!!!)

It takes 25 ish minutes for the machine to freeze the custard and whip enough air into it for the volume to almost double in size. This is when we add the chopped Oreos 😁 If we added them as we started churning then they would be getting beat up and be mushy by the time the ice cream is a frozen soft serve 😩

Of course as delicious as soft serve ice cream is, the goal is probably a hard, scoopable ice cream, Right? This is a patience involving step as you will want to keep your newly made ice cream in the freezer for at least 4-6 hours. I frequently will make my ice cream in an afternoon, churn it in the evening, and let it chill alllll night long!

This may sound like a lot of work for something you can buy at the store for $4 BUT IT IS WORTH THE EFFORT! This ice cream will be so flavorful and free of the preservatives and stabilizers and who-knows-what-this-ingredient-is ingredients! You will taste the difference and be so tempted that it won’t last in your freezer long enough to need any of those questionable store ingredients.

I hope you make the time to try this recipe soon! Comment below and tell me what your favorite ice cream flavor is! Maybe it will be the next recipe I post!

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
  • 2 Cups Milk, Divided
  • 3 Whole Eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
  • 1 full row Oreos from the Family Size Pack – I used 13-14 Doublestuf Oreos, plus a few extra I snacked on
  1. Whisk to combine Sugar, Heavy Whipping Cream, 1 Cup milk, and eggs in sauce pan on medium-medium low heat. Candy Thermometer HIGHLY recommended
  2. Continue whisking and add 2 Oreos to custard base when getting close to goal temp of 165 degrees fahrenheit. Should only take 2 ish minutes to break/dissolve oreos into custard
  3. Once at temp, remove from heat and strain into mixing bowl to remove any potential clumps of egg
  4. Add second 1 Cup milk and vanilla. Whisk, cover, then refrigerate at least 2-3 hours
  5. Once well chilled, assemble ice cream maker per manufacturer instructions, turn on and add custard
  6. Attempt to have patience for the next 25 ish minutes. Fill time chopping Oreos at random and avoid snacking on too many cookies
  7. When churned ice cream is frozen, airy, and overall larger in volume, add the chopped Oreos. Let churn to incorporate fully…less than five minutes
  8. Work quickly to avoid immediate meltage and remove ice cream from churning bowl and put in freezer safe canisters.
  9. Attempt additional patience while soft serve ripens into a hard scoopable ice cream

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Instant Pot Asian Inspired Beef Short Ribs

Instant Pot Asian Inspired Beef Short Ribs

Maybe it is just me, but the title alone has my mouth drooling a bit already! You too? Keep reading! Bone in beef short ribs are one of the cuts of beef that mystified me for a long time. I did not grow up eating 

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn (NO Microwave Needed!)

Homemade Stovetop Popcorn (NO Microwave Needed!)

We all enjoy a good movie night or binge watch our current favorite TV show from time to time. The best movie snack (in my opinion) is a hot/big/fresh bowl of popcorn, and homemade is thee way to go 🙂 I grew up with microwave 

Can you make Chocolate Ice Cream with JUST Chocolate Milk?

Can you make Chocolate Ice Cream with JUST Chocolate Milk?

Could it really be that easy, to pour a quart of your favorite store bought chocolate milk directly into an ice cream machine?

In preparation, I actually spent a LOT of time thinking about this video and how to compare chocolate milk against a chocolate ice cream custard for you in a straightforward and clear fashion. I initially considered making the batches two days in a row and splicing the video together. I considered many recipes for the chocolate ice creams–including adding an egg to the chocolate milk and cooking it similar to a custard (I decided that wouldn’t be the truest test of my question).

I also somewhat impulsively bought a second ice cream maker for $20 on Facebook Marketplace a day before beginning this video!

Hear me out! I had good reason! With the basic/inexpensive ice cream makers I have, I am essentially limited to one opportunity to churn a batch every 24 to 30 ish hours (the ice cream bowl needs lots of time to re freeze after cleaning). I also wasn’t sure with the ambient lighting in my kitchen how the comparisons might be impacted by being churned different days.

Also not important reason at all: dueling ice cream makers sounded fun!

I will not posting the chocolate (custard) ice cream recipe today 🙁 as this was literally the first time I made chocolate ice cream. I would rather try a few alternatives to make sure I give you the VERY best recipe when I do! 🙂

Without giving away too much from the video, Here is my pre experiment prediction: The Chocolate milk will make a Wendy’s style Frosty just fine, but will not harden appropriately in the freezer to become a delicious scoop-able ice cream due to a lower fat percentage when compared to a typical custard based ice cream. Let us find out if I predicted correctly!

I hope you stuck with me to the very end to see what happened! Please sign up for my email subscription so you can be among the first to know about my new posts and comment below to let me know what questions you have for me!

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Bacon Jerky !!!

Bacon Jerky !!!

OMG Bacon!!! Bacon is so diverse with so many amazing preparations. This is everyone’s favorite part of pork, and if anyone says differently, there is a good chance they are lying. I honestly had to seriously edit down my intro in my video because I