Busy People’s Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

Why do you want to make this stew?

In a busy house,  it is challenging to create a slow-cooked stew. Meanwhile, who can deny your family’s heart-warming enjoyment from having one?

How to make this stew when you don’t have a lot of time?

In the book, The Make Ahead Cook, America’s Test Kitchen shows a technique called the make-ahead stew.  They suggest first cooking it halfway and then finishing it up just before eating.  In this recipe, I broke down the steps so that it can fit into our daily chores.  Most importantly, I choose a dish that tastes even better as leftovers.  Beef bourguignon is one such dish.

Now that the work is done, what’s your reward?

Full flavor.  That’s your reward.  When the work is done, treat yourself with a sip of cabernet; let its front-loaded punch wake up your taste. Then take a bite of the slow-cooked beef and vegetables. As that blend of wine and beef flavors tapers off swiftly, nibble on a baguette with blue cheese or butter to add to your mid-palate.  At the end, don’t forget to soak up the beefy meat sauce with some extra bread. It’s just that finger-licking good.

Busy People's Beef Bourguignon
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In the book, The Make Ahead Cook, America’s Test Kitchen shows a technique called the make-ahead stew. Echoing the book, my recipe breaks down the steps so that it can fit into our daily chores. Try it! See it for yourself!
Recipe type: Beef Stew
Serves: 6 to 8
  • You will need a 6 to 9 quart french or dutch oven
  • 5 ounce bacon, chopped
  • 5 pound rump roast, extra fat removed, cut into 1.5 to 2 inch cubes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 4 to 5 ounce carrots, washed but remain unpeeled
  • ½ medium onion, cut into large cubes but remain unpeeled
  • 5 ounce celery, washed but leaves on, cut into 1.5 to 2 inch
  • 1 head of garlic, cut open horizontally, unpeeled
  • A few twigs thymes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 ounce, 1 can tomato paste
  • 750ml, 1 bottle cabernet sauvignon
  • 2¾ cup beef stock
  • 8 ounce pearl onions
  • 8 ounce white mushrooms, sliced or whole
  • 1 Tablespoon softened butter
  • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
Day 1
  1. Set french oven on stove on medium heat.
  2. Fry bacon for 5 minutes.
  3. Remove bacon, set aside.
  4. Brown beef cube in pork fat for 5 minutes.
  5. Deglaze bottom of french oven with one cup of chicken stock.
  6. Store browned beef, bacon bits and deglazed brown bits in refrigerator.
  7. While waiting for the beef to brown, Wrap carrots, onion, celery, garlic, thyme and bay leaves in cheese cloth. Tie the wrap with butcher's string.
  8. Store vegetable wrap in refrigerator.
Day 2
  1. Set oven to 350°F
  2. Place vegetables sachet on the bottom of french oven
  3. Add tomato paste
  4. Place beef on top of the vegetables
  5. Add wine
  6. Add beef stock until just covering the beef, about 2 cups
  7. Bake for 1.5 hours
  8. While the beef is in the oven, add pearl onions in boiling water for 10 seconds, then remove the skin.
  9. Saute pearl onions and mushrooms with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, ¾ of beef stock and 1 teaspoon sugar for 5 minutes.
  10. In the last 15 minutes, make a beurre manie by mixing flour, soft butter together and slowly add the hot liquid from the stew into the butter-flour mixture
  11. Return the beurre manie, pearl onions and mushrooms back to the stew and continue to cook in the last 15 minutes.
1) You can break down the steps further by preparing the beef and aromatic vegetables and pearl onions first, then browning the beef, then finally stewing it.
2) When browning the beef, do not crowd the pan. You may need to do this in batches.
3) Frozen pearl onions can be used, but fresh ones taste far more flavorful. Just boil the fresh ones 1 to 2 minutes, put them in an ice bath, and pop them out of their skin.
4) Browned beef can be refrigerated up to 3 days before stewing
5) If refrigerated, the final stew can be stored up to 4 days. You can also freeze it safely for up to 6 months.
5) This dish is comfortably beefy but yet low in cholesterol and carb.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 636 g Calories: 757 Fat: 26.4 g/ DV 41% Saturated fat: 3.5 g/ DV 18% Carbohydrates: 11 g/ DV 4% Sugar: 2.6 g Sodium: 816 mg/ DV 14% Fiber: 2 g/ DV 8% Protein: 103.9 g Cholesterol: 41 mg/ DV 14%

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Watermelon, Strawberry and Ginger Soup

First taste of watermelon soup

Strawberries - CutGinger - CutWatermelon - CutDuring my vacation this summer, I tasted my first watermelon soup at a pizzeria at Lake Tahoe.  From what I was told, it was an one-time offering only.  Since I had never made any soup from watermelon, I wanted to taste it.

Displeased but determined to improve

I was disappointed.  It was runny. I could taste the flavors, but they were not infused together to give me a sense of richness.  I was confused as to whether I was eating a soup or drinking watermelon juice.  That left me wondering if there was a way to enhance it without cooking.  I thought it was necessary to make a cold emulsion.  After having experimented with pounds of watermelon, I decided to add olive oil into the mix.  The result was surprisingly satisfying.

Watermelon, Strawberry, Ginger, SoupThe final taste

The new version tastes richer. The presence of olive oil pulls together the freshness of watermelon, tartness of strawberry and spiciness of ginger. It holds the trio with finesse to give an invigorating taste.

Watermelon, Strawberry and Ginger Soup
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Combine watermelon, strawberries and ginger. Blend and you have a cold soup.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 3 to 4
  • 1 ounce Ginger, peeled and roughly cut into large pieces
  • 8 ounce strawberries, green tops removed
  • 1 Tablespoon agave syrup
  • 3 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound seedless watermelon meat
  1. In a food processor, add ginger, strawberries, agave syrup, olive oil and salt.
  2. Process until ginger and strawberries are finely chopped (about 10 seconds).
  3. Add watermelon. Pulsate until creamy and soupy while retaining some watermelon chunks (about 20 pulses).
  4. Chill the soup for at least one hour or overnight. Doing so will infuse the flavors.
1. The flavor of the soup develops as it is left in the refrigerator. Therefore, if possible, leaving it overnight will improve the flavor.
2. Before serving, if you can, pulse the soup a few more times in a blender. Doing so will open up the flavors before you serve.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 123 Fat: 4.2g Saturated fat: 0.7g Carbohydrates: 22.1g Sugar: 10g Sodium: 155mg Fiber: 2.5g Protein: 1.7g Cholesterol: 0mg


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Tan Tan Linguine Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce

The micro greens sparked this noodle recipe

Farmer's Market Micro GreensLinguine on iceNoodles and Sides WMI came up with this noodle idea by looking at the micro greens at a farmer’s market, imagining them sprouting through the noodles, just like a spring garden.  One thing led to another, I borrowed the tan tan noodles idea,  and packed in an abundance of nutrients and colors from a broad variety of condiments including tofu, mung bean sprouts, and microgreens.  I also switch the original oily chili sauce with a creamier peanut sauce. Many of the ingredients are used right out of the package and can be stored in the refrigerator to fit my work schedule.

Simple noodles, complex flavors

Plated with Side WMAlthough the dish can be made in a flash, its taste is undeniably complex. Begin enjoying the dish by looking at the noodles, anticipate the tenderness and resistance for a satisfying bite.  Observe the micro greens sprouting out from the bowl with nutrients and a light snap.  Then taste the crunch of the vegetables that interplays with that al dente linguine.  Continue to enrich your senses as you savor the creaminess of the peanut butter and sesame oil that is punctuated by the sharpness of the vinegar and the bold spiciness of sriracha.

Tan Tan Linguine Noodles with Spicy Peanut Sauce
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Recipe type: Noodles
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 32 ounce low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 ounce dry shiitake mushrooms
  • 6 ounce marinated tofu, julienned
  • 8 ounce linguine
  • ½ ounce micro greens, giant pepper greens
  • 4 ounce mung bean sprouts
  • 4 ounce kimchi
  • 4 ounce pickled mustard greens
    Spicy Peanut Sauce
  • 2 Tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • 1 Tablespoon sesame oil
  • 2 Tablespoon rice vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon agave syrup
  • 3 teaspoon low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
  1. Heat chicken stock
  2. Wash shiitake mushroom and poach in stock
  3. As stock comes to a boil, lower heat and poach tofu for 3 minutes
  4. Remove tofu, add linguine
  5. Cook linguine to al dente according to package instructions
  6. Transfer linguine into a large bowl that is pre-filled with ice and water to cool
  7. Remove shiitake mushrooms, remove stems and julienne
  8. In a Magic Bullet or similar compact blender, add peanut butter, sesame oil, vinegar, agave, soy sauce, sriracha and enough pasta stock to make 2 cups
  9. Blend for 30 seconds
  10. Transfer the cooled pasta to a dry mixing bowl and stir freshly made peanut sauce in it.
  11. To make a condiment tray, neatly lay down mushrooms, tofu, micro greens, mung bean sprouts, kimchi and mustard greens
  12. To serve, simply pair condiments and pasta side-by-side or add condiments onto a bed of pasta
  13. Add a little more soy sauce to taste if necessary
Nutrition Information
Calories: 203 Fat: 7g Saturated fat: 1.2g Carbohydrates: 25.9g Sugar: 1g Sodium: 489mg Protein: 8g Cholesterol: 29mg


Want to learn more about cooking noodles?

Download Noodles Everyday from Amazon!  In this book, Corinne Trang takes you around Asia to show you as many noodle dishes as you can make everyday. Besides noodles, my personal favorite is the section that teaches basic stocks and seasoning sauces.

Tips on this recipe

  • As a street food, tan tan noodle is usually made up of a spicy sauce poured over noodles and then topped with ground pork and preserved vegetables.
  • WebMD reported that micro greens can pack up to 40 times the nutrients compared to their mature plants.  Also, it’s tiny size may entice kids to garnish their foods with them.
  • If you don’t have much time, cook the linguine and make the peanut sauce in advance.  They can be refrigerated and remain stable for up to 4 days.
  • Keep the microgreens alive by keeping them in their own soil.  Don’t let the soil dry out.  They should stay fresh for up to one week.
  • You can also variate the condiments as you wish according to what’s available in the market.
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Sparkling Green Tea

Disappointed by store-bought green tea, I am making my own.

When I was researching for the article Be Smart About Energy Drink, I discovered that as an energy drink, green tea is loaded with health benefits.  These days, there is a huge selection of green tea drinks you can choose from. I tried quite a few of them, but none of them delighted me.  The reason: all of the drinks were flat, and they just didn’t taste right to me.  I was looking for sparkling iced green tea.

Getting the formula right

Because of my disappointment, I began developing my own ultimate sparkling green tea drink.  Having tested many brands of tea. I found one recipe that I like.  This green tea drink is refreshing.  As you drink it, it stimulates you with refreshing lime carbonation, and a brisk aftertaste.  Also, It is simply brewed in the bottle.

Sparkling Green Tea
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Recipe type: Drinks
Serves: 6 to 8
  • 2 liter diet lime soda in bottle
  • 8 green tea teabags
  1. Pour off about ¼ to ½ cup of soda.
  2. Slowly drop teabags into bottle, have a towel ready as the soda may bubble up. Leave the tags hanging outside the bottle.
  3. Close bottle and leave it in the refrigerator for at least 1 to 2 hours.
  4. After brewing, remove the tea bags.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 240 ml Calories: 0 Fat: 0 Sugar: 0 Sodium: 10 mg Protein: 0


Things you may want to know

My two favorite green tea bags for this drink

Instead of diet lime soda, you may also use unsweetened sparkling water, a great crisp taste, especially for warm weather.

Shopping Corner

After testing a few containers to brew this tea, I have to say the Aladdin drinking bottle does the job best.  After the tea is brewed, the bottle has a wide opening that allows you remove the teabags with no fuss.  This bottle can also be used to prepare real-fruit water to take to work, making cleanup very easy.  Try it!

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Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Cauliflower

Turkey Pot Pie CauliflowerFrozen turkey makes a perfect pie

Every year, we freeze holiday leftovers for a reason – to make something yummy later. Christmas is right around the corner now, and there will be even more leftovers to freeze.  Wait no more.  This pot pie will give your frozen turkey a new life. All you needs is a toaster oven.

Since you have been busy preparing for the holidays – shopping, decorating or baking. Take a break and bring out that frozen turkey and stock to make this heart warming pot pie.

As you enjoy the turkey’s tenderness, let your taste buds be surprised by the refreshingly light cauliflower crust. Yes, cauliflower – not potatoes. This crust does not weigh you down, so you can reach for seconds.  Enjoy – Merry Christmas!

Turkey Pot Pie with Mashed Cauliflower
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Recipe type: Poultry
Serves: 4
  • 1 pound cauliflower, florets and core, chopped
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup celery, leaves and stalk, roughly chopped
  • ½ cups onion, chopped
  • 1 cup turkey meat, roughly chopped, large pieces are fine
  • ½ frozen green peas
  • 1 cup low sodium turkey stock
  • 1 can low sodium cream of chicken soup
  1. Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes, remove if folk-tender.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash cauliflower.
  3. Cream ⅓ can cream of chicken soup and parmesan cheese into the cauliflower until it has the consistency of rich mashed potatoes, and set aside.
  4. In a skillet, heat olive oil.
  5. Saute garlic, celery, onion for 5 minutes on medium heat.
  6. Add turkey, continue to saute for 5 minutes
  7. Slowly add turkey stock, stir continuously, scraping the bottom
  8. Stir in cream of chicken soup.
  9. Transfer the turkey mix into a 9 x 12 inch baking dish.
  10. Spread mashed cauliflower evenly on top of the turkey mix.
  11. Gently run a large fork over the cauliflower to create ridges.
  12. Place the turkey pie into the oven and bake for 20 minutes
  13. If you like a brown pie top, broil the pie for 5 minutes, be sure to watch the color change at this stage.
  14. Remove the pie and rest for 5 minutes.
* %DV based on 2000Cal diet
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 344g Calories: 212 Fat: 8.4g, 13%* Saturated fat: 2.7g, 13%* Carbohydrates: 16.2g, 5%* Sugar: 5.4g Sodium: 530mg, 22%* Fiber: 4.3g, 17%* Protein: 18.2g Cholesterol: 35mg, 12%*

Shopping Corner

Did you know that this pie is made in a toaster oven?  There are a number of recipes that can be made with it.  Check out The Gourmet Toaster Oven. In this book, Lynn Alley shows you energy-efficient ways to make delicious meals from breakfast to dinner using a toaster oven. Add this cookbook to your collection and explore.

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Turmeric Yellow Rice Cooked in Coconut Water

Turmeric Coconut Yellow RiceWhy yellow rice?

Forget white rice – eat yellow rice! Rice cooking has been evolving. Growing up, I was given pure white rice. Nowadays, people say mixed-grains are healthier. But secretly, I badly want a breakthrough in my rice.

This rice is easy to make and the taste is phenomenal

For inspiration, I picked up this book – Classic Asian Rice by Lee Geok Boi. It is dedicated entirely to cooking rice. Among her recipes, this Southeast Asian celebratory rice caught my attention. It looks complicated, but actually it is extremely easy to make. Just put everything in a rice cooker.

Experience this! As the rice is being cooked, the aroma from the cooker begins to heighten your hunger. When you open the rice cooker, the vibrant yellow color is cheering and bright. Take one bite – let your taste buds be enticed by the richness and sweetness of the coconut. As your senses reach a crescendo , suddenly you realize that it is not your everyday rice! It’s celebratory rice.

Pair it with something from my other recipes

To top it all off, pair it up with my other recipes such as  Pepper, Sausage and Rice. The result – a flavor-packed rice lunch.

Turmeric Yellow Rice Cooked in Coconut Water
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Recipe type: Rice
Cuisine: Southeast Asian
Serves: 8
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup white jasmine rice
  • 1 cup brown jasmine rice
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cup coconut water, more may be needed depending on your rice cooker
  • 2 tablespoon chopped green onion
  1. Wash rice, then place it in a rice cooker.
  2. Peel garlic, add salt, then crush it by pounding it in a mortar.
  3. Transfer garlic into rice.
  4. Add turmeric, then coconut water up to the 2-cup mark in the rice cooker.
  5. Gently stir together all ingredients until a uniform yellow mixture is formed.
  6. Turn on the rice cooker and let it do its job.
  7. While the rice cooker is cooking your rice, make Pepper and Sausage recipe.
  8. To serve, combine Turmeric Yellow Rice and Pepper and Sausage, then sprinkle chopped green onion on top.
To make 8 servings, be sure to double ingredients of Pepper, Sausage and Rice recipe.
Nutrition facts listed are for rice only.
Cook time may vary depending your rice cooker.
I deviated from the classic recipe by replacing the coconut cream with coconut water.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 171.6g Calories: 197 Fat: 1.1g Saturated fat: 0.3g Carbohydrates: 39.4g Sugar: 3.2g Sodium: 419mg Fiber: 2.4g Protein: 4.2g Cholesterol: 0mg


Shopping Corner

Before I discovered Classic Asian Rice, I had no idea that there were so many ways to cook rice.  If like me, you are bored with your everyday rice, let Classic Asian Rice reframe your mind! After reading this cookbook, I am sure you will enjoy learning all the creative dishes from this book. It’s an eye-opening experience.

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Cream of Pumpkin Apple and Corn Soup – Your Last-minute Harvest Soup

Pumpkin, Apple, Corn SoupIn charge of a Thanksgiving dish? Opt for this last-minute soup!

Each Thanksgiving, when we divide up the meal, one person is in charge of the first course, the Thanksgiving soup. Here is a last-minute soup you can make. Amaze your guests at the Thanksgiving table with this hearty soup.

How does the soup taste?

As you savor this soup, catch every note played by the ingredients. Start with the smoky bass of the bacon augmented by the earthiness of the pumpkin. This is then joined by the sweetness of the corn and finally contrasted by the tartness of Granny Smith apples. All consummated with the delectable finish in a satisfyingly creamy bowl of soup.

Cream of Pumpkin Apple and Corn Soup - A Harvest Soup
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Recipe type: Soup
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 2 ounces bacon, chopped
  • ½ medium onions, diced
  • ½ cup flour
  • 2 cups turkey broth
  • 2 cups unsweetened soy milk
  • 15 ounce canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 pound Granny Smith apples, diced
  • Granny Smith Apples
  • 2 cups yellow sweet corn kernel
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • Dash of salt
  • 2 ounces parsley, finely chopped
  1. In a soup pot, heat the bacon on medium heat for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the onion, saute it in the bacon fat for 5 minutes.
  3. Add corn, then flour to create a roux.
  4. Add turkey broth in portions while deglazing the pot.
  5. Add soy milk, pumpkin puree, curry powder, half of the apple and cook on medium for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the other half of the apple and cook for another 10 minutes.
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. When served, garnish with parsley.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 292g Calories: 185 Fat: 4.5g Saturated fat: 1.2g Carbohydrates: 30.8g Sugar: 12.2g Sodium: 448mg Fiber: 5.1g Protein: 7.7g Cholesterol: 8mg

Shopping Corner

Whether you are preparing your first Thanksgiving party or refining your customary dishes, download Thanksgiving 101 – the Kindle edition.  This book covers subjects from buying to preparing food, to explaining dishes you are unclear about.  It contains easy step-by-step instructions on classic Thanksgiving dishes as well as suggestions on variating traditional ones. Give it a try!

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Halloween Ramen Noodles “Hawker Noodles” with Hot Dog Fingers

Ramen Noodles with Hot Dog FingersWhat are hawker noodles?

Creative ramen noodles are also known as “Hawker noodles”. They are a very popular street food in Southeast Asia such as Singapore, Penang and Hong Kong. They are served by first combining noodles and hot soup. Then the noodle hawkers add a variety of side ingredients. At lunch time, you will see busy noodle makers barely keeping up with swamps of customers, serving up bowl after bowl, while hungry eaters eagerly slurp them all up.

How to make hawker noodles at home?

To make hawker noodles at home, you need some ramen noodles and add-on ingredients. Traditionally, they include vegetables and mushrooms, then Spam and all kinds of meat balls, as well as some frightening organ meats. Anything goes. The choices are limitless.

My hawker noodles for the Halloween

For this Halloween, I added severed hot dog fingers to mine. When done, let your inner monster come out by slurping up the noodles and gnawing on the fingers – Happy Halloween – awooooo!

Halloween Ramen Noodles "Hawker Noodles" with Hot Dog Fingers
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Bring out the inner monster of you by slurping up these noodles and gnawing on the hot dog fingers.
Recipe type: Ramen Noodles
Cuisine: Asian
Serves: 2
  • Ingredients for Ramen Noodles and Hot Dog Fingers
  • 6 cups water
  • 2 packs ramen noodles
  • 5 hot dogs
  • 4 ounces Enoki mushrooms
  • 8 ounces napa cabbage
  • 8 ounces tofu
  • ½ teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon sukiyaki sauce
  1. Set water to boil
  2. As the water is heating up, break each hot dog in half by hand (various lengths are fine).
  3. Make three shallow cuts in the middle of each hot dog piece, then use a melon-baller to make a semi-circular cut at the pointed end that resembles a fingernail, set aside.The Making of Hot Dog Fingers
  4. Wash napa cabbage, then separate the leafier parts from the stalks.
  5. Cut tofu into bite sizes.
  6. Cook ramen noodles without flavor packs for 3 minutes.
  7. Lift cooked noodles out of water, toss with sesame oil and set aside.
  8. Add flavor packs into water, then cook hot dogs and tofu for 3 minutes.
  9. Poach napa cabbage for 3 minutes, remove the softer parts at about mid-point.
  10. Poach Enoki mushrooms for 1 minute.
  11. To assemble, place noodles at the center of a noodle bowl. Layer cabbage, mushrooms, tofu, hot dog fingers on top. Serve each bowl with up to five fingers.
Pre-packed ramen noodles are notorious of their high sodium content. To lower it, I increased the water to 6 cups. Then I only used ¾ cup of hot soup per bowl. By doing so, I dropped the sodium content from 830mg to just 207.5mg per serving. I guarantee you are not losing any flavors.

To feed the hotter side of you and add some "blood stains" onto the noodles, decorate the bowl with some red Sriracha.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1196.1g Calories: 537 Fat: 28.2g Saturated fat: 9.3g Trans fat: 0.1g Carbohydrates: 39.4g Sugar: 6.4g Sodium: 207.5mg Fiber: 4.7g Protein: 33.5g Cholesterol: 69mg

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Muffin Pan Baked Ham and Egg Pita Sandwich

How an egg-frying problem sparked the muffin-pan idea

Muffin Pan Ham Egg Pita SandwichAs students are returning to school, I figure a ham and egg sandwich should be useful. As I was trying to reproduce this sandwich with an English muffin, I realized that it was almost impossible to fry a perfectly round egg using a regular pan.

As I was digging around, I found a 6-cup muffin pan – bingo! I decided to try the water-bath baking method. As you follow my recipe, all you need to do is to pop the muffin pan into a toaster oven, set the timer, and let the egg cook and rise on its own. I decided to pair it with pita bread to save even more time, and calories too. In the end, these light and fluffy egg patties turned out to be perfect for making a fuss-free ham and egg sandwich if you are in a hurry.

Muffin Pan Baked Ham and Egg Pita Sandwich
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Using a muffin pan, let me show you how to make a fuss-free ham and egg sandwich.
Recipe type: Sandwich
Serves: 3
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  • 2 cups water
  • 5 ounces of Egg Beaters or other egg substitute
  • 2 teaspoons dried onion
  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 ounces chopped ham
  • ⅛ ounce cilantro
  • 1 ounce of threaded cheddar cheese
  • 3 ounces chopped romaine lettuce
  1. Preheat toaster oven at 350ºF.
  2. Spray the inside of a toaster oven muffin pan with cooking spray.
  3. Set muffin pan into a slightly larger baking pan that is filled with 2 cups of water.
  4. In a mixing bowl, mix egg beater, dried onion, garlic powder, chopped ham, cilantro, cheddar cheese together.
  5. Spoon egg mixture into the muffin pan.
  6. Bake for 15 minutes.
  7. While the egg is baking, wash and dry chopped lettuce
  8. After baking, cover the egg patties with aluminum foil and rest for 5 minutes
  9. As the egg patties are cooling, warm pita bread in the residual heat in the toaster oven.
  10. To assemble a sandwich, cut pita bread in half.
  11. Open the bread from the center to form a pocket.
  12. Stuff each pocket with lettuce, some fresh cilantro, and 2 egg patties.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 3 Calories: 202 Fat: 6.5g Saturated fat: 3.0g Carbohydrates: 20.7g Sugar: 1.4g Sodium: 693mg Fiber: 3.2g Protein: 16.3g Cholesterol: 27mg

Tips, tricks, and links

Muffin pan cooking is my new-found trick to simplify cooking. To learn more about cooking with muffin pans, get this book – Muffin Tin Chef: 101 Savory Snacks, Adorable Appetizers, Enticing Entrees and Delicious Desserts or download the kindle version straight away. Through this book, writer and recipe developer, Matt Kadey shows you how to cook anything with muffin pans from appetizers to entrees. You can also find it at “Tools You Can Buy“.

To make baking even faster, prepare the egg mixture and chopped lettuce the night before and refrigerate.

Once baked, you can refrigerate the egg patties for no more than 3 days. Take them to work or school. To reheat, microwave for about 30 seconds. Then assemble the sandwich.

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Summer Grilled Bratwurst in Beer

How to have a barbecue party on the fly

Picture this. You decided to give a quick, casual party tomorrow, but as you return from work, you are too tired to buy any groceries.

Here is an idea! Go to the fridge and look for these: beer, stock, bratwurst (those you might have left in the freezer a few months ago), an apple, onions, and hot dog buns.  If you’ve got them, you’ve got yourself a party.

Summer Grilled Bratwurst in Beer
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Got friends over for a barbecue, but got no time for groceries. Here's an idea!
Recipe type: Barbecue
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4
  • Ingredients, Bratwursts, Beer4 bratwursts
  • 2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
  • 12 oz light beer
  • ⅛ oz rosemary
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 small Braeburn apple
  • 4 hot dog buns
  1. Set grill to medium heat.
  2. Peel onion, then cut horizontally into 4 to 5 thick slices, discard ends.
  3. Cut apple into quarters.
  4. Mix beer, chicken stock together in a stainless steel, or aluminum tray that fits inside the grill.
  5. Add rosemary, apple.
  6. Set beer broth on one side of the grill to heat.
  7. Cover broth with a lid or aluminum foil.
  8. Place onion slices towards the edge of grill to heat.
  9. Grill bratwurst until internal temperature reaches 160ºF
  10. As you see grill marks on bratwursts and onion, transfer them into the broth and cover to keep warm.
  11. Warm hotdog buns in grill.
  12. Set out condiments and beer. Let your guests serve themselves.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 351 Fat: 21.5g Carbohydrates: 24.5g Sugar: 6.1g Sodium: 900mg Fiber: 5.6g Protein: 18.3 Cholesterol: 60mg


Tips, tricks, and links

For this recipe, I used my Weber Q 120 portable gas grill. It is my favorite grill because it uses only camp size (14.1 or 16.4-ounce) butane gas. That allows me to grill almost anywhere.

As for the beer broth, there aren’t really any set rules in preparing it. As the original batch starts to boil off, just add more beer or stock as you wish.

Got more people coming, open up more bratwursts and buns as the party grows. Also, these bratwursts will complement any other veggies or chips you choose to serve to round out the meal.

This recipe is very high in Vitamin B6, but also high in calories and saturated fats. If you are concerned about calories and fats, switch to turkey sausages. Doing so will cut the calories to 135, total fat 4.2g, saturated fat 1.2g, cholesterol 11mg.

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