Category: Recipes

Leftover Sushi Fried Rice Recipe

Last night, my hunter-gatherer brought home several pieces of sushi. The sushi came packaged with pickled ginger and wasabi paste.

We all love sushi, however the children are lagged and fell asleep at the dinner table before we even prayed. The result? Lots of leftovers.

Not wanting to eat old sushi for lunch today, I turned it into fried rice. Here’s what I did:

Leftover Sushi Fried Rice Recipe

Leftover sushi
Wasabi paste
Cooking oil
Pickled ginger
Soy sauce

Separate the sushi into bowls: fish, rice & nori seaweed

Chop up the fish.

In a frying pan, heat the oil. Empty the pickled ginger into the pan and sauté.

Add the chopped fish to the pan and cook thoroughly.

Add a little more oil to the pan, if needed, and then add the rice. You will need to chop up the clumps, as sushi rice is quite sticky.

Remove from the heat, stir in the wasabi paste.

Drizzle with soy sauce.


How to Make a Toddler Sandwich

While I like to encourage toddlers to eat without help, a problem they seem to have is gaging how much food to put in their mouth while taking a bite. I know from experience that it’s certainly not cool to have to stick a finger into the mouth of a gagging shark to try to retrieve half a sandwich.

Here’s a tip to help them with their eating independence:

When making sandwiches, use scissors to snip the sandwich into bite-size pieces.

I like this method because:

  • it’s less tedious than when using a serrated knife for the same task
  • you don’t need a cutting board (yet another dish to wash) – just hold the sandwich in your hand
  • it’s FAST.

To make about 1/2 inch sized cubes, I cut the sandwich into rectangles and then cut the short side into strips, almost all the way to the crust. It resembles paper “fringe” for a craft project. Then, cut the “fringe” in half going lengthwise (detaching the pieces from the sandwich into cubes). Next, snip the remaining strips all the way through the crust.

This method works well with peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or other types of sandwiches with a moist filling (like finely cut chicken or tuna fish salad, egg salad, etc.).

It only works with meat and cheese sandwiches if there is “glue” involved, like mayonaise or mustard. An extra “glue” layer between the meat and the cheese and pressing down on the sandwich prior to snipping are tricks to making meat and cheese sandwiches hold together.

Here’s some PB&J trivia from Wikipedia to share with your kiddies while preparing their lunch:

Both peanut butter and jelly were packed with United States Army K-rations in World War II. The combination proved so popular that returning GIs made peanut butter and jelly a standard American food… Peanut butter and jelly has been available in the military instant food Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) for many years. The sandwich can survive in the field for up to three years.

For more on the invention of the sandwich, including their how they got their namesake after the Earl of Sandwich, click here.

Quick Dinner: Ham, Broccoli and Cheese in Phyllo

Today I asked my grandma “What can I do with leftover ham besides adding it to maccaroni and cheese?” She suggested putting it in phyllo cups and adding broccoli and sauce.

In the freezer, I had sheets of dough rather than the tart shells. Below is what I came up with. There were no leftovers.

Recipe & Instructions:

Phyllo pastry sheet, rolled out (this would probably also work with stromboli dough)

Sprinkle cooked cubed ham and steamed broccoli bits down the middle of the rolled out dough

Mix just enough milk with a can of Broccoli and Cheese Soup to get rid of the globbiness and pour it over the ham and broccoli.

Fold in the sides, flip over onto a baking sheet and tuck the ends underneath.

Bake 400 degrees for about 20 mins or until golden brown

Great served with a side of applesauce.

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Red Hot Coffee

Red Hot Coffee - photo by Sarah Joy AlbrechtWhat is small, red, round and is just what the doctored ordered?

No, it’s not that little pill that you now have to ask your pharmacist for by name.

The answer is Red Hots cinnamon candies, which were created by Ferrara Pan in the 1930s.

If you’re looking for a cure for those boring coffee blues, sprinkle in a few Red Hots and give your coffee a swirl. Instant cinnamon. The extra spice will warm your soul faster than the bean itself.

Don’t stop with your coffee, though!
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Casa Salad

One of my favorite places to eat in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is Casa’s in Fort Wayne.

Today, I was missing their Isalata Casaburo, and decided to make my own. It hit the spot. The taste is uncomplicated and refreshing. The bite sized texture makes it easy to eat – you can almost scoop it up, as opposed to having to stab it with your fork. An excellent compliment to Italian dishes.

My version:

  • Iceberg & Romaine Lettuces – 1-2″ pieces
  • Scallions – Chopped diagonally in about 1/2″ pieces
  • Red peppers (use ones that are juicy, yet crisp!) 1/2″ pieces
  • Generous amounts of freshly grated Romano and Parmesan cheeses
  • Garlic Croutons (If you don’t have the patience for making your ownT. Marzetti’s Restaurant Style Garlic & Butter croutons are quick substitute.)

Top a mixture of 3 parts Red wine vinegar to 1 part olive oil – you want the flavor to be pungent and the quantity to be enough to coat the lettuce, not drench it, when the salad is tossed.

Serve with a thick piece of Italian bread, smothered with real butter – the kind of bread with a crust so thick that you have to physically yank it away from your mouth.

Quote of the Day; Penne Garden Alfredo

“EEeeww! Dinner smells like spider!” – Thomas, peering to a pot of boiling chicken broth made from our delicious “Chicken Stuffed with Garlic Butter” grilling experiment, the recipe taken from pages 208-10 of How to Grill: The Complete Illustrated Book of Barbecue Techniques and Recipes by Steven Raichlen.

It should be noted that I was teasing Thomas earlier for turning his nose up at Tom’s Penne Garden Alfredo last week, when he decided he didn’t like it without even tasting some. When he asked what was in it, I told him “spiders”. Lately, they have been observing the spiders on our front porch, some of which are rather large. He ate the whole bowl full and asked for seconds.

Penne Garden Alfredo

Cooked penne pasta, sauteed

Saute separately and add:
Garlic cloves to taste
Shiitake mushrooms
Tomatoes (optional)

Mix in Bertolli Creamy Alfredo Sauce

Top with freshly grated Parmesan

Would also be delicious with prosciutto.

Asian Chicken Salad

costumeparty/214300_R1_16_9A Photo of Susan & Timothy Carlson. Bet you didn’t know that a traffic cone could hug a cowboy. Now you do.

Below is recipe for the salad I made for the moms at the kid’s costume party.
Put in a pot on the stove :
Chicken breasts
Two “glugs” of soy sauce and dry sherry
2 crushed garlic cloves
Water to cover chicken
Cover and Boil until cooked through, then slice the chicken thin and set aside. (Boiling in a marinade quickly infuses the chicken with flavor – as an alternative, you could use leftover chicken and sprinkle it with soy sauce before adding to the salad)

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Summer Rice Salad

Today I made a fabulous Summer Rice Salad, and even got to use some of the herbs from my garden!

If you’re looking for an alternative to pasta salad to bring to your next potluck, try this. People always ask for the recipe. I should say that my friend Beth Catranis introduced this to me when Aiden was born, and she brought over a meal.

This salad is a great use for leftover rice. It has a fresh, almost Mediterranean flavor. It would be excellent alongside a thinly-sliced cold, rare roast beef or even under a chilled salmon. Besides, who needs an excuse to use the almighty rice cooker?

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You Know You Want an Iced Latte

Too hot for coffee, but need a pick-me-up? Try this recipe from my friend Janine.

Prepare in a pitcher that holds at least 2 quarts:

Combine and stir:

  • 1/2 cup of instant coffee
  • 1/2 cup of boiling water

Stir in:

Serve over ice and with a nice cloud of Reddi-wip.
Sprinkle with grated chocolate for added yum factor.


Fat free or low fat – Use fat free or low-fat milk. Both Eagle and Reddi-wip carry fat free versions of the product.

Additional flavor – use flavored instant coffee instead!

Would be great spiked with Kahlua or Bailey’s

Lovebite Weizenbier

From Charlie Papazian’s The Complete Joy of Homebrewing.

Mit hefe (with yeast), this is the real thing, and now homebrewers can make a superdeluxe version of this brew with barley and wheat malt extract. Not only does the ease of wheat malt extract make this superpopular beer style part of your beer cellar, but even the unique Bavarian wheat beer yeast is now available to homebrewers. Ask your local homebrew supply shop to special-order it for you if they don’t carry it regularly.

Have you ever been to Bavaria and sipped a tall, cloudy Weizenbier with a twist of lemon or at home had imports such as Ayinger, Paulaner or Spaten Weizen or Weissbiers? If you enjoyed their spicy, clovelike and bananalike aroma and flavor along with the special and healthful yeastiness, then bud, this beer’s for you.
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When Life Gives You Strawberries, Cover Them With Chocolate

Chocolate Covered Strawberries (& Topping suggestions)

This is an EASY dessert that tastes and looks amazing with little effort! Great for parties or gifts (they need to be kept cold, though, to keep the chocolate from melting).

The kids and I just made a batch, and are going to go bless the neighbors with them. Wish we had the camera – they look beautiful!

You’ll need: Continue reading

BBQ Pulled Pork – Crockpot

This is our favorite Barbecue Pulled Pork recipe. It’s just the right amount of spice, sweet, and sour. Perfect for potlucks, parties and picnics. We just made a batch last Sunday for a gathering following Micah’s baptism. Continue reading