Souper Tasty!!

A couple of weeks ago my sister in law came out to visit from L.A. to see the cutest baby in the whole of the universe (Ok I may be a bit biased…but seriously…have you seen him?). While she was here we were trying to figure out where to eat. I had wanted to go to a steak restaurant because the week before I got completely robbed of a juicy steak. Here is the story:

My friend Amber had her son two weeks before I had mine. So we were invited to her sons birthday party the same day that the husband and I had planned a double date. Luckily she planned it for noon and our date wasn’t until 4 so we were in the clear but we got there and the pizza she was going to order hadn’t been ordered yet. It was probably about 1:30 before we ate and she was super sweet and ordered me a gluten free pizza. So naturally I felt like I should eat as much of it as I could and on top of that it was the Baked Potato Pizza from Pizza Luce which is delish!! So on top of eating a poop ton of pizza it was basically all carbs and just sat in my stomach like a solid brick.

For our double date we were supposed to go to Outback steak house and then go see the Body Worlds exhibit at the Science Museum. I had really been looking forward to a nice juicy steak all week long and was so perturbed at myself that I was so full that I basically just sat at the steak house pouting like a giant 4 year old. I was so full of carby pizza that I literally didn’t need to eat dinner that night. When I went to bed about midnight I was still full.

Ok so fast forward to my sister in laws visit. I still wanted steak in the worst way but it sounded like they wanted sushi or Asian food which makes sense since they are both Asian. I was not in the mood for Asian so we all settled for Thai which I like a whole lot and it was a happy medium. We went to a restaurant called Pad Thai which my husband and I have been to a couple of times and liked a whole lot.

I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to trying new food and since I think she’s actually been to Thailand I let her make recommendations for dinner (especially since she was paying). She recommended a soup called Ghang Kha which is a chicken coconut soup. I was a bit skeptical but boy when I tasted it….WOOOO!!! It was so good and I knew I had to make it.

Last night I was shopping online for wine and wondered about the name of the wine I ordered. I did some investigating and I went to the site for Pad Thai to see if they showed what the brand was. No luck. BUT! While I was on the site I looked up the name of the soup and planned to make it tonight since we both liked it a whole bunch.

Now when I went to look up the recipe online I could not find it but the recipe for Tom Kha Gai kept coming up. So I looked at the recipe and low and behold that was the same soup. I’m not sure if the name Ghang Kha is specific to that restaurant, the region where the owners are from or what but it’s the same soup.

Souper tasty!!!

Souper tasty!!!

This soup utilizes the juice of lime, leaves of keffir lime, lemon grass and ginger to create this wonderfully rich broth that is so fabulous. It’s just the right balance of salty and zesty tanginess that makes this dish so delightful. The mushrooms add an earthy undertone  and the coconut milk adds a silky sweetness that compliments the full bodied flavor as it dances across your tongue.

The hardest part about making this soup is the same gripe I have about cooking all Asian food. The chopping. I learned a long time ago after making what I called “White Girl Mistakes” that you need to do ALL the chopping BEFORE you cook anything. The steps for Asian food go so fast that if you have to stop to chop something the dish doesn’t turn out the same.

I took complete advantage of this and had my husband chop the lemon grass and score the lime leaves while I cut up the chicken, mushrooms and ginger. Sometimes I forget how much fun it is to have him in the kitchen with me. We always have a good times and laugh a lot when we cook together. We need more of that.

After you get everything chopped it’s all downhill from there.

Son number one was a bit skeptical about this soup as it was something he hadn’t tried before but he loved it. Even son number two loved it and ate quite a bit of it. This dish definitely made it into our rotation.

RatingI give this dish four wooden spoons mostly because I am not a fan of all the chopping but the flavor and the smiles were all worth it!!

Time with Family

This Memorial day weekend the husband, son #2 and I, along with our ever faithful companion the dog drove out to the small town where a bunch of my family lives in South Dakota.

My cousin who lives in Texas was there along with one of her sisters who lives in the Cities (but we never get to see). Every time we are out there it’s always fun because so many people are there and we usually end up having some sort of potluck. It seems like it’s all about the food out there. I love country cooking and especially country baking!

My Uncle put his mind on making pulled pork sandwiches that were AMAZEBALLS! My Gramma made her second to none potato salad and two pies, rhubarb and cranberry apple . She also baked homemade buns for the pulled pork sandwiches.  My Mom made her tuna noodle salad and rhubarb crisp.

I made bacon wrapped smokies (You will remember my love of bacon from my previous post) and I made cheesecake stuffed strawberries. I found the recipe for that amazingness here. I had never heard of such a thing but am now left wondering why the heck I hadn’t thought about that before. I love strawberry cheesecake but it must have been an evil genius that said “Hey! Why not put the cheesecake INSIDE the strawberry?!?”

I say evil because I can seriously see myself sitting down and eating a whole mess of these. I am, however, choosing to think of them as good for me. Strawberries count towards my fruit and veg intake and cream cheese is dairy so I get calcium. Those two things combined can’t be all that bad for you.

Right?

Photo taken from Homestead Survivals blog

Ding Ding Ding! We have a winner!

Everyone LOVED these little beauties!

The recipe is SO amazingly easy that even the most challenged of cooks/bakers can pull this one off.

I doubled the recipes as my family is quite large and had a LOT of cream cheese left over in the bag. I was ok with this. I squirted some in my husbands mouth, in my mouth and then I told my mom to open her mouth. At first she didn’t want to (sometimes I think she forgets how to have fun) but I kept pestering her until she did. After that she had a big ole smile on her face. See…sometimes having fun is…well, FUN!

I think the next time I make this I will use two pounds strawberries and not double the cream cheese. That seems like it’s the right ratio.

I give this recipe 5 out off 5 wooden spoons!

Mmmm….Bacon

Who doesn’t love bacon? I mean aside from vegans, who I have it on good authority that even they like bacon so much that they make their own version out of tofu. Sounds gaross in my opinion but hey to each their own, right? I can’t imagine a life not eating bacon.

My son Luka has a saying “Bacon makes everything better.” and he’s right.He loves bacon so much he’s even experimented with making his own dish. Something he calls bacon explosion. I didn’t get to try this as I was out of town but I can tell you that washing the dishes was no joke and I think the dish should be called dishes explosion instead!

I digress….

There isn’t one instance where something wasn’t improved by the addition of bacon. I mean really…how could chocolate get any better? BAM! Add bacon and you have a salty sweet treat that is beyond tastetastic!!

So when I was cruising the information super highway and stumbled upon this recipe for Bacon-Cheese-Pull-Aparts from Pillsbury I KNEW this was a recipe I just had to make on a cool Saturday morning.

Holy Yum Batman!

It was actually a fluke. I saw this recipe and by some grace of the higher power I happened to have all the ingredients.

For this recipe it says you need precooked bacon but c’mon! Really!? If you are going to do anything bacon do it right and cook it yourself. This way you can buy thick cut, smoked or maple bacon and add your own texture or flavor to it. I opted to cook my bacon in the oven. So easy! No grease splatters all over the stove and no grease burns (yes again with the burns…I told you I was clumsy!).

I read some of the tips on the site and some people added more eggs, more milk, green peppers and onions and differing spices. So this is an easy dish you can really make your own by adding things to your liking. I just went with the original recipe to begin with as I always do just to see if he fam would like it.

THEY LOVED IT!!!

I will make this again. I will probably add more bacon and more eggs and a little more milk. I might even try this with ham. *gasp* I know I know…but ham is kind of another form of bacon, right?