pineapple & shrimp fried rice

Pineapple & Shrimp Fried Rice

Winter shminter. I’m over it. I went to the tropical fruit section at the grocery store trying to disregard the freezing temperatures all together and came across the cutest baby pineapple — I swooped it right up and knew exactly what I was going to make.

Mirza and I really enjoy ordering Thai food for dinner, we order it fairly often actually. Typically, I go for some tom yum soup and drunken noodles —  always delicious in my book. BUT, lately I’ve been on this kick of ordering pineapple fried rice.

The first time I ordered it, I didn’t want any sort of protein in it; however, they gave me shrimp anyway—well, I’m glad they did! The combination of pineapple and shrimp in the salty fried rice is amazing. So much so, that I really wanted to make it for dinner on my own recently, and did just that!

Pineapple & Shrimp Fried Rice Ingredients

I don’t attempt to make Asian food too often at home. The flavors are so complex and layered that it just seems impossible to perfect. The balance of salty, sweet, spicy and sour is always so perfect that I’ve always just been intimdated. That said, I have a surprising amount of Asian-inspired ingredients in my kitchen, so I thought I’d give the  pineapple & shrimp fried rice a whirl.

Pineapple & Shrimp Fried Rice Prep

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I absolutely love my wok. It’s perfect for making stir-fry (which is what I use it most often for) and does really well with the fried rice dish. The pan itself gets extremely hot (great for that frying business) without burning the ingredients you add to it. With the tall sides that get equally hot, you have a large surface area to cook on and it’s just great to cook with — so if you don’t have a wok yet, I highly recommend it!

Yum. It was absolutely delicious. It wasn’t an exact replica of the flavors from a Thai restaurant, but it was as close as I could hope to get! The pineapple in the fried rice is so interesting…they’re like little pops of flavor as you enjoy the salty, spicy rice. If you’re into tropical flavors, love pineapple, love Asian flavors — you have to give this pineapple & shrimp fried rice a try. It’s not only yummmmm, but also super easy to make.

What’s your favorite thing to order at Thai restaurants?

Pineapple & Shrimp Fried Rice

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mushroom tart

Mushroom Tart

Last week was a busy one for me — I started training again for this year’s Broad Street Run and shot an episode as a new host for The Chef’s Kitchen. While it was super busy and a lot of fun, I’ve been eager to get this mushroom tart post up (sorry for the delay!).

When Mirza and I were recently snowed in and stuck working from home, I decided to make a mushroom tart that I knew would make a delicious lunch. It was my first time cooking a post from Mirza’s kitchen, which has zero windows — eek! I prepped a lot in his living room near the natural light, and took limited shots in the actual kitchen. I will never take my kitchen’s window for granted again.

Mushroom Tart Ingredients

Mushrooms and spinach make a great combination. I knew plain goat cheese would top this tart perfectly, but while at the store I came across a fig infused goat cheese that I couldn’t pass up — it was extremely delicious on its own (I kept nibbling on it while making the tart) and added a nice element of sweetness to the rich tart.

Mushroom TartIt turned out beautifully — the mixture of sautéed mushroom and spinach with the caramelized shallots and rich fig goat cheese layered over the buttery, flaky puff pastry was deeeelicious.

While we may not have another snow day this year (not complaining) this recipe is worth trying and is great for closing out Winter or welcoming Spring. Enjoy!

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s’more bites

S'more Bites

Oh heyyyy — if you’re nestled in the northeast like we are, you likely experienced what feels like the 203943th snow day this Winter. It’s just insane! And this one was the worst one of all…because I woke up this morning to find my car had been towed..

Yea, something about being parked on a snow emergency street…oooops. Guess I forgot to look for the sign when I parked last night — it was late. I dunno. Sigh. Anywho, Mirza and I walked through the slushy streets to find my car about 7 blocks away and now I’m back in transportation action. I cheered myself up with this hot cocoa and toasted marshmallow.

And speaking of toasted marshmallow, here’s that s’more bites recipe I was telling you about a couple days ago which would have been a good cheering-up-treat too!

S'more bites ingredients

I toasted the marshmallow using my new favorite kitchen appliance, this kitchen torch. It’s definitely an optional step to torch the marshmallow (it’d be a delicious treat regardless), but if you want to get as close to a s’more sans fire as you can, you have to try it!

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These took virtually no time at all to make. I made a batch with dark chocolate and a second batch with milk chocolate — both equally delicious (I ate three immediately and several thereafter, so I can vouch for their deliciousness).

If you enjoy s’mores and are short a fire — or your car got towed and you’re looking for a pick-me-up — here’s the recipe for these yummy s’more bites!

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S'more Bites

compound butter

Compound Butter

The post before this one featured a yumtastic french onion soup. My recipe only called for a couple sprigs worth of fresh thyme, and since you can’t really buy only a couple of sprigs worth at the store, you might find yourself in the same predicament I often times find myself in:

What the heck am I supposed to do with the rest of this fresh (insert herb name here)?!

Even if you were to find another recipe that uses thyme, it’s not going to call for the remaining bunch of thyme you just bought at the store. SURE — wrap it in damp paper towel and put it in the fridge — you’ll definitely use it before it goes bad.

Ok back to reality!

If you’re like me and stress because you don’t know how the heck you’re going to use the rest of these herbs before they go bad, you can rest assured and take a deep breath because I have a solution: compound butter.

Compound Butter Ingredients

Oh what a fancy-fun idea! Compound butter is just butter that is mixed with some combination of fresh herbs or spices or flavorings and can be used to enhance the flavor of a dish (as if straight up butter wasn’t good enough).

So, with the leftover thyme, a fresh bunch of oregano, garlic and sea salt, I made a delicious compound butter!

Compound Butter Prep

Score! That was easy, and required absolutely no cooking whatsoever.

If you wrap the butter in parchment and store it in the fridge, it will keep for just as long as any other butter you buy….and now those fresh herbs you were inevitably going to throw away have a happy, flavorful place in the world.

It’s so delicious that it will make any piece of mediocre bread taste fantastic, but the possibilities don’t end there. Last night for dinner, I rubbed the butter on skin-on chicken thighs and pan-seared them with a squeeze of lemon (it was as tasty as it sounds). You could add it to pasta or top a grilled steak. You could cook some fish in it or sauté some vegetables. (Hint: Whatever you (reasonably) come up with, it will work.)

Here’s the recipe, so now we can all stop worrying about fresh herbs going bad before we use them and go on with our lives — happy Friday!!

Bread and Compound Butter Bread and Compound Butter


french onion soup

French Onion Soup

This has been one of the coldest/snowiest Winters that I can remember. We’ve experienced the polar vortex, had more snow storms to date than the past couple years combined, and apparently there’s 6 weeks of this season left!

While I can appreciate Winter for what it is and enjoy the snowfall it brings, I am just about ready for this one to be over! Sadly, the likelihood of Spring making its way into the picture anytime soon is slim to none; so, I thought I’d turn to the wise, old saying:

If you can’t beat ’em, make french onion soup!

French Onion Soup Ingredients

The biggest challenge in french onion soup is cooking the onions at the right temperature for the right amount of time to get them perfectly caramelized. You’ll want to hurry the process, but don’t. Cooking slowly over a medium heat will get them just right…patience

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French Onion Soup Prep

Oh my my…

This is a special soup that will impress both your eyes and your tastebuds.

I would attempt to describe the amazingness of this soup, but instead I’ll defer to the pictures just above and below. I MEAN LOOK AT IT. Does it really need explaining?! (I can try…) Rich and sweet onion soup topped with toasty bread and ooey-gooey gruyere cheese; melted and browned ever so perfectly.

We’re expecting some more snow overnight here in Philly, luckily for me, I have some more of this soup leftover to get me through. Stay warm!

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