Beef Noodle Soup

Easy Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup. Great Soup to warm you up.

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs of boneless beef for stew

1 cup soy sauce

1/2 – ¾ cup white wine vinegar (more vinegar cuts down on saltiness of soy)

3-4 whole star anise seeds

4 cups water

4 whole chili peppers

2 slices of fresh ginger

3 garlic cloves

3 stalks green onions

2 small tomatoes

1 small onion or ½ jumbo onion

½ lb boy choy

black pepper

1 package of Chinese noodle

Direction:

1<In a large pot add beef and cold water. 2<Bring beef to a boil and add soy sauce, vinegar, star anise, chili peppers, ginger, garlic, green onion, tomatoes, onions, and black pepper. 3<Allow soup to simmer on low for 1 hour or until the beef is tender. 4< Add boy choy to soup. Cook for 5-7 minutes. 5<In a medium pot prepare Chinese noodles according to packaging. 6<Drain and rinse in cold water. 7<Serve noodles with beef soup.

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

If you know how to make jello, then you know how to make this Vanilla bean panna cotta. I served this dessert the other day at a small dinner party. It was easy to serve and share. Everyone loved it and was surprised once I revealed how I made it. Try it out! I hope you enjoy this video. I’m getting better at being in front of the camera :)

Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta

Ingredients:

1 cup whole milk

2 cups heavy whipping cream

½ cup sugar

1 vanilla bean or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 packet of unflavored gelatin

Directions:

1< In a small mixing bowl combine the whole milk and unflavored gelatin. 2<Combine heavy whipping cream, sugar, and vanilla in a medium saucepan. 3<Bring whipping cream mixture to a boil. 3<Remove from heat once boiled and add milk mixture to the sauce pan. 4<Stir and allow to cool down. 5<Pour panna cotta mixture in various glasses to chill for over 4 hour to over night. 6<Serve with you favorite fruit! Bon Appetite

*Vanilla bean: If you use a vanilla bean, split the bean in half and scrap out seeds from each half. This is where all the vanilla flavor is!

Chorizo Cream Sauce with Grilled Asparagus and Broccolini

Chorizo Cream Sauce with Grilled Asparagus and Broccolini 

Ingredients:

 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream (3/4 pint)

½ cup dice chorizo sausage

1 bunch of asparagus

1 bunch of broccolini

olive oil

salt

 1< Warm oil on medium and add chorizo to oil. If you used uncooked chorizo, make sure it is thoroughly cooked through. 2< Add heavy whipping cream to chorizo and bring to a slight boil. Stir immediately and turn heat down to medium low. 3< Continuously stir. Allow whipping cream to thicken up and remove from heat. Salt to taste. 4< Heat cast iron pan grill and coat with olive oil. Lightly toss the vegetables in olive oil and grill for about 3-5 minutes. You can also use an outdoor grill. Salt to taste. 5< Plate vegetable and cover with cream sauce.

Peach Crumble

Peach Crumble
Ingredients:
5-6 peaches, sliced
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
juice of 1 lemon
1teaspoon corn starch

Crumble:
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup all purpose flour

Directions:

1>Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2>Slice peaches. (You cam peel the skin off if you prefer.) Squeeze lemon juice over peaches, mix in brown sugar and corn starch. Set aside for 10 – 15 minutes.
3>Allow butter warm to room temperature. Whip with mixer. Add white sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon to whipped butter. Add flour gradually 1/2 cup at a time.
4>Oil cast iron skillet or baking pan. Fill the bottom with the peach mixture. Cover with crumble mixture. Bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes.

Enjoy!

Rainbow Sugar Cookies

In my quest to find to success, my very philosophical friend, Light Skin Vegan, suggested the book: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success by Deepak Chopra. So I took the easy route out. I downloaded the audiobook. Conveniently, I listen to Chopra’s sultry Indian accent while stuck in Atlanta traffic on the way to work.

Seven Habits of Spiritual Success

  1. The Law of Pure Potentiality – Take time to be silent, to just BE.

  2. The Law of Giving – Keep wealth circulating by giving and receiving care, affection, appreciation and love.

  3. The Law of Karma – Every action generates a force of energy that returns to us in like kind.

  4. The Law of Least Effort –  Accept people, situations, and events as they occur.

  5. The Law of Intention and Desire – Inherent in every intention and desire is the mechanics for its fulfillment.

  6. The Law of Detachment – Allow yourself and others the freedom to be who they are.

  7. The Law of Dharma – Seek your higher Self. Discover your unique talents.

If we take the time to implement a few of the spiritual laws in everyday life, I believe it would  help build better relationships with others or at least give you the understanding of why some relationships are the way that they are. We release the desire for someone to act in a certain way or be a certain person that they might not necessarily be. Once we really accept someone for who they are at this present moment, we could possibly dodge unnecessary pain . You just have to be willing to accept the truth in front of you.

I use these rainbow sugar cookies as my gift giving cookies in accordance with the law of giving. One batch is more than enough to spread the love. The food coloring turns boring tradition sugar cookies into festive cookies of fun. I always have a positive response when I share these colorful cookies with friends and family. I make a batch every once and a while to send with my mom at work to share with her co workers. Try it and share it!

Rainbow Sugar Cookies

Prep time: 30 minutes

Cook time: 10-12 minutes

Serving Size: 36 cookies

Ingredients:

2 ¾ cups flour

1 ½ cup white sugar

1 tsp baking soda

½ tsp baking powder

1 egg

1 cup butter (2 sticks)

1 tsp vanilla extract

food coloring

1< Preheat oven at 350 degree. Butter should be at room temperature. 2<Beat butter and sugar on high speed with a mixer until it becomes whipped and creamy. 3<Mix in egg and vanilla extract. 4< In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder. 5< Gradually add dry mixture to butter until a dough has formed. 6< Divide dough in 3 batches. Drop 6-10 drops of food coloring in each batch of dough. 7< Mix thoroughly until color is incorporated. 8< Fold colors together to create marbling effect. 9< Spoon a quarter sized amount of cookie dough on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Bon Appetit

♥ Briana

Curried Stew with Kidney Beans and Cauliflower

A lot has changed in the last two months. I actually did not think anyone would realize my absence from the blog. I absolutely recognized that my time management needs a little tightening up. I went on vacation to Panama and Costa Rica with my girl from college in August. I came back with what I believe was food poisoning or parasites swimming in my stomach. Whatever it was, I could not eat for days.

I still work at the dealership. This month will mark a whole year here. Surprisingly, I have dealt with the draining hours and rude customers for this long. I was able to start apprenticing at a popular seafood restaurant here in Atlanta. The chef has given me the opportunity to shadow and pick up on fundamental cooking skills. I love it. Hence, where my time management starts to get messed up. I take my off day on Tuesday from the dealership to go into the kitchen. I work Monday, Wednesday through Saturday and rest on Sunday. By time Sunday comes around, I am dead. Not to mention my 12 hours shifts at the dealership.

In the midst of work, my social life has completely plummeted. I usually drum up energy on Saturday night to go out with my friends and unfortunately run into Pillow Pet. The one person I wish not to see when I go out. After a few shots of Whiskey, I turn into this bold self confident, self righteous, feisty women. Late in the night after ignoring each other the whole evening, I proceed to the corner where Pillow Pet was surrounded by his friends. Before I made this drastic move, my friend pulled me to the side as if she prophesied the upcoming events. “Girl, I know you about to go over there. Do not do it. Do not do it.” I replied calmly, “I understand. Thank you for being my friend. But, I have something that I have to get off my chest.”
(At that point we had not talked in weeks. I abruptly blocked him from every social media platform possible. I decided one day that I was over everything.)

I rolled up in Pillow Pets face cursing and calling him all sorts of names. Now, to the outside world, I looked crazy. As he looked at me, he smirked and sat there unmoved to my rant. I continued, “You ain’t shit. I don’t know why I even messed with you. I know about the other girls.” On and on I went. He reply with, “Do you want to take this outside?”. I said, “No” and walked away.

————-

With the onset of fall, it’s time to cozy up with a great stew. The base of the Curried Stew with Kidney Beans and Cauliflower is vegetarian/vegan. If you are a meat eater you can add sausage, chicken, or beef. Like any stew, it does take time for the flavors to bind together. Make sure you keep it at a simmer on low heat. This dish is hearty and good for the soul. Especially after nights when you see an ex and curse him out in public!

Curried Stew with Kidney Beans and Cauliflower

Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serving Size: 5

Ingredients:
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomato
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 small onion, diced
2 scallion stalk, diced
1 carrot, chopped
head of cauliflower
1 tsp red chili flakes
3-4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme
2 tsp sea salt
¼ green pepper, diced
¼ red pepper diced
½ cup whole almonds
2 tbsp olive oil
4 cups water

Dumpling
1 cup flour
1 tbsp cornmeal
½ tsp salt
½ cup water

1<Coat a large pot with olive oil and heat on medium high temperature. 2<Add curry powder to the oil to cook for one minute. 3<Saute onions, scallion, green pepper, red peppers, and carrots. 4<Add garlic and saute for 5 minutes. 5<Add can of  drained tomatoes, drained kidney beans, thyme, salt, and red chili flakes. 6<Blend almonds and water together. 7<Cut cauliflower into florets. (You will use about ¼ of the head.) 8<Add the blended almond milk to the stew and cook on a low simmer for 15 minutes. 9<Add the cauliflower. Simmer for 10 minutes.

1<Mix flour, cornmeal, and salt in a mixing bowl. 2<Mix in water to form dough. 3<Form a small ball with a piece of the dough. 4<Roll dough between palms of hand and drop in the stew. 5<Cook for 8-10 more minutes.

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Coleslaw and Sweet chili Cucumbers

Buffalo Chicken Sliders with Blue Cheese Coleslaw and Sweet chili Cucumbers

I invited my friend, Molasses over for dinner. He is the same guy that I have been hanging out with HERE. We were supposed to meet up later that night; however, I was caught up in the kitchen baking cookies … Continue reading

Fruit Parfait with Homemade Granola

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We accept the love we think we deserve. After being on and off again with Pillow Pet for nearly two years going on three years, I realized that things were not going to change. (Don’t know who Pillow Pet is? He is introduced HERE). Nothing about our situation surprised me. I had a feeling a while ago that we would not work, however, I hoped I could change him and convince him that I was worth the effort he needed to put in.

seasoningbottle_parfait_8Like Maya Angelou said, “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time”. I did not believe that he was disrespectful, emotional unavailable, and selfish. I couldn’t believe that someone was like that towards me.  I overlooked those character traits when he would “act right” for a week or so after we argued and cursed. He would take me out, get dinner, go to the movies- for a brief time to get me to believe he cared. I fell for it every time. Of course, this would wane after he was back in my good graces.

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In an episode of “Sex in the City”, Kerri Bradshaw questions herself asking, “Did I ever really love Big or was I addicted to the pain? The exquisite pain of wanting someone so unattainable.”  It’s funny because I changed Pillow Pet’s name to Mr. Big in my phone a while back. I thought I loved him but I must have been addicted to the pain.

seasoningbottle_parfait_1Coconut oil and Agave Nectar

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Bluesberries, Strawberries, & Raspberries.

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I mixed everything in the yogurt container – plain yogurt, vanilla, & condensed milk.

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Pillow pet and I cooked together once. We requested a fruit parfait. He picked out the berries he wanted to have in his parfait- blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries. He loves blueberries. Homemade granola is great to have around the house to snack on and top your parfait with. You can eat this treat for breakfast, as a midday snack, and for midnight munchies. The assembly is a breeze. Layer everything you’re your favorite bowl, coffee mug, wine glass, cup. I flavored plain yogurt. You can buy vanilla yogurt if you want to skip a few steps.

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Fruit Parfait with Homemade Granola
Ingredients:
Granola
3 cups old fashioned rolled outs
1/3 cup sliced almonds
1 cup of your favorite dried fruit in any combination (rasisins, cherries, appricoats, dates, cranberries, figs)
1/2 cup cocuut oil
1/2 cup agave nectar
1/2 teaspoon cinnomon powder
Parfait
24 oz plain vanilla yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
juice of a lime
1/2 cup condensed milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Directions:
Granola
Preheat oven to 350 F.
1>Mix rolled oats, alomds, and dried fruit in a medium bowl. I chose rainsins. 2>Warm cocunot oil to room temperature by warming in the microwave in a microwave safe bowl for 10-15 seconds. 3>Mix agave nectar and cinnomon with coconut oil. 4>Spread granola evenly over a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 5> Bake and stir occasionaly so granola will not burn for 15-20 minutes. 6> Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Parfait:
1> Clean, dry and mix blueberries, sliced strawberries, raspberries, brown suagr, jucie of half a lime in a bowl. Set asside for 15 minutes. 2> Mix plain yogurt, condensed milk, lime, and vanilla extract in a bowl together. 3> Assemble parfait on a glass or bowl by layering yougurt, fruit mixture, and granola.
Enjoy! Bon Apetite!
♥ Briana

Chocolate Mocha Layered Cake

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This chocolate mocha cake reminds me of this dark chocolate skinned man that has been soo sweet to me recently. He is my friends but he wants me more than that. We hang out. We go to the movies and have dinner dates. We are bordering the line between friends and being more than friends. I told him now is not the best time for me to move into a relationship. I have so much going on. He still insists that we see each other. I like him because he is a true gentleman, sweet and respectful.  What do you do when you meet a good person at the wrong time?

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He wrote this poem…

Why must people distance themselves from love?
It never reveals itself in a transparent form
But depending on the situation it can & will make your mourn
Girls tend to back away, because they were once scorned
Dudes don’t understand monogamy & have multiple women
& when it comes to commitment, they’re all of a sudden torn
But both parties know their allegiance is to each other
Outside influences & subtle remarks, alter decisions made physically
But the internal feeling & fluttered heartbeat coach her emotionally
Should one’s internal wall dictate the outcome of happiness?
Not when I got the proverbial hammer to knock it down.
Close your eyes & take my hand, envision us together.
Don’t think about where you will land, cuz if you’re with me
We’re guaranteed to fulfill our destiny.
Compassion, understanding, & honesty is what you crave….
Then kiss my lips & embrace ecstasy, cuz you my dear,
Have just been SAVED…

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I found this recipe online at addapinch.com HERE.

I tweaked it a bit. The garnished the top of the cake with white chocolate shavings. This is optional.

I am not a natural baker. If I have a recipe I can follow it. I started helping out at a restaurant assisting the pastry chef. It has sparked my creative senses for baking. If you like a traditional chocolate cake then this is a great recipe to follow.

Chocolate Mocha Cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Bake Time: 30- 35 minutes

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cake
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
¾ cup cocoa
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup hot coffee water
Chocolate Frosting
1½ cups butter (3 sticks) room temperature
1 cup cocoa
5 cups confectioner’s sugar
½ cup milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon instant coffee

Directions:

1<Preheat oven to 350º F. Prepare two 9-inch cake pans. Grease with butter and flour. 2<Add flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. 3<Mix dry ingredients well with paddle attachment.
4< Mix milk, vegetable oil, eggs, and vanilla in a separate bowl. 5< Add liquid mixture to dry ingredients. Mix together on medium speed. 6<Reduce the speed and add hot coffee to the cake batter. 7< Increase speed to high for about 1 minute to add air to the batter. 8<Distribute cake batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean. 9<Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

For the Chocolate Frosting:

1< Creme butter until fluffy in a stand mixer or in a bowl with a hand mixer. 2<Sift cocoa and confectioner’s sugar. 3<Add sifted confectioner’s sugar and cocoa to butter. Add one cup at a time. 4< Dissolve instant coffee and add vanilla in milk.  5< Add milk to creamy mixture and continue to beat on high until everything is incorporated and fluffy. 6<If frosting appears too dry, add more milk, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency. If it appears to wet and does not hold its form, add more confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon at a time until it reaches the right consistency.
Enjoy. Bon Appetite

♥Briana

Organic Green Beans Wrapped in Uncured Bacon

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When you have good people around you, keep them around you. Over the years, I have kept in touch with the family of a boyfriend I dated in high school. His sister, Lele, and I have been close ever since. She has been a big sister to me through and out of college. Whenever she is in town we hang out and cook. Both of our favorite thing to do. I watched her get married, I attended the baby shower of her first born, and we still remain close. Though her brother and I no longer date, she never let that be a factor in our relationship. We had our own special bond. There have been times when I have been over their mother’s house and he of course was there. It was awkward. We are cordial, but barley speak to each other. Lele and he mom treat me like family. I wonder how things will work out when a new girl comes around. When you break up with someone, do you break up with their family too?

seasoningbottle_bacon2seasoningbottle_bacon3We prepared the bacon wrapped Organic green beans together the last time Lele was in town. She and her mother are crazy health nuts and I love them. I picked up a few thick slices of uncured bacon strips from the Dekalb Farmer’s market. This means it is free of nitrates. This is a great appetizer. If you do not have access to uncured bacon, feel free to get regular bacon in the grocery store.

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Wrap bacon around green beans.

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Brush on sugar, butter, and garlic sauce.

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Bake @ 400 degrees.

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Organic Green Beans Wrapped in Uncured Bacon

Ingredients:

1 lb Organic string beans, cut, dried (we used a frozen bag)

8-10 thick slices of uncured bacon

2 tablespoons grassfed butter

3 tablespoons brown sugar

2-3 cloves, freshly minced garlic

2 teaspoon Himalayan pink sea salt

1> Season green beans with Himalayan pink sea salt. 2> Wrap 6-8 string beans in bacon slice. 3>Place on top of a rack in a casserole dish. 4> Melt butter in a small sauce pan. Add sugar and garlic to melted butter. 5> Brush butter mixture over string beans and bacon wraps. 6.>Bake at 400 degree until bacon turns golden brown or to your desired crisp.

Caprese Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

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Simple salads are the best for the summer; especially, if everything is fresh. My sister and I did something different to this salad. We added fried green tomatoes; it’s a southern thing. With budding spring flowers and warm nights, this Caprese Salad with fried green tomatoes and Balsamic vinegar reduction is only appropriate for the onset of summertime. Summers in Atlanta are alive and exciting. The city buzzes with festivals, pool parties, short shorts, and summer time fine girls running around. It is the time when the guys and gals hit the gym with intentions ofgetting their bodies in shape for nearly there crop tops and tanks. The grill’s fire sizzles with red meat, hamburgers and hot dogs dripping with spicy bar- b –que sauce. Spiked Kool-aid, shots, and beer reign supreme under the summertime sun.

ingredients

Our ingredients

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seasoningbottle_caprese_salad4Heat 1/2 bottle of balsamic vinegar. Simmer for 10- 15 minutes until it reduces in size and turns into a syrup consistency. Be sure not to burn it. Got this idea The Pioneer Woman blog.

seasoningbottle_caprese_salad5Prepare this salad as an appetizer at any outdoor function.  The red tomatoes are refreshing, juicy, and are sweetened by the Balsamic vinegar reduction. With a few drizzles of extra virgin olive oil and a couple shakes of sea salt, you have a no fuss summer salad. Topped with bright green basil leaves, this Caprese salad with a southern twist will sure be the best finger food at the party.    

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Caprese Salad with Fried Green Tomatoes and a Balsamic Vinegar Reduction

Caprese Salad

2 red plump heirloom tomatoes
12 oz. mozzarella cheese 12- 15 fresh basil leaves 1 tablespoon olive oil 1 teaspoon sea salt black pepper (optional)

1) Cut tomatoes in 1/2 inch slices. 2) Cut mozzarella in 1/2 inch slices. 3) Layer red tomatoes, fried green tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. 4) Insert basil leave in between the tomato and cheese layers. 5) Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle salt and pepper.

Fried Green Tomatoes (Adopted from simplyrecipes.com)

3 medium, firm green tomatoes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp Cajun seasoning (optional)
1/2 cup milk or buttermilk
1 egg
1/3 cup cornmeal
1/2 cup fine dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup peanut oil or other vegetable oil

1)Cut unpeeled tomatoes into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle slices with salt. Let tomato slices stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, place in separate shallow bowls: the flour and Cajun seasoning (if using), buttermilk and egg, and bread crumbs and cornmeal. 2) Heat the peanut oil in a skillet on medium heat. Beat the egg and the buttermilk together. Dip tomato slices in the flour-seasoning mix, then buttermilk-egg mixture, then the cornmeal-bread crumb mix. In the skillet, fry half of the coated tomato slices at a time, for 3-5 minutes on each side or until brown. Set the cooked tomatoes on paper towels to drain.

PICTURES by my sister: http://hautegarbage.tumblr.com/