Thursday, May 30, 2013

Breakfast for Lunch AND Dinner

I've been in kind of a lunch packing rutt lately AND I was all out of Applegate Deli Meat AND Little Sis took Annie's Homemade Mac and Cheese to lunch yesterday so I was like hmmmmm, what to do for lunch today, especially since both girls wanted to take lunch. This is what I up with as their "main" dish:


And here's what they took for lunch:


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In this lunch:
  1. Organic fried egg, Trader Joe's hormone, antibiotic-free Muenster cheese and bacon sandwiches on toasted Nature's Own 100% Whole Wheat bread.
  2. Organic carrots with ranch dressing on the side
  3. Chips: Big Sis got Trader Joe's Baked potoato chips (Hickory Barbeque) and Little Sis got all natural pop.chips sour cream and onion chips
  4. 2 double stuffed oreos as a treat
Little Sis loved her lunch SO much that she wanted it again for dinner. Ok, I guess. Big Sis wasn't as pleased w/ her lunch because her sandwich came apart and her carrots got all mixed up and "touched" her sandwich, so she only took nibbles. As a reader pointed out in one of my posts, someone doesn't like their food to touch! :) So she opted for a quick easy pizza for dinner and I gave her take 2 on carrots. :)


In dinner 1:
  1. Bacon, egg and cheese sandwich
  2. avocado half
  3. mango pieces
  4. Trader Joe's Frozen Peas w/ a dab of butter and 1/2 a dash of salt
Dinner 2:
  1. Quick and easy pizza on Trader Joe's Whole Wheat Naan Bread w/ Mama Mary's All Natural Pizza Sauce and Trader Joe's hormone/antibiotic free shredded mozzarella cheese
  2. cut carrots
Apparently, Little Sis wanted a Naan Pizza too, but w/ mushrooms! And Big Sis wanted a second one. Hungry girls!


Shout-outs:
EasyLunchBoxes - love my ELB's!!

Pack lunches fast with EasyLunchboxes

My favorite Bento supplier @ All Things For Sale.

Nature's Own - for providing such a large variety of healthy, yummy breads!

Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

Vanilla Oreo Cupcakes


I went a little nuts this week and made 4 (yes, FOUR) batches of cupcakes. 1.5 Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes, 1 plain vanilla and 1.5 Vanilla Oreo Cupcakes. We hosted a Memorial Weekend Dinner one night, will be hosting another get together this weekend and was running low on emergency cupcakes to keep in the freezer for when my girls who are severely allergic to nuts (one to tree nuts, the other to peanuts) go to birthday parties, school/sporting events, and even for just plain lunch treats when I'm feeling very generous. :) FYI - they thaw beautifully: just take one out of the freezer as we're heading out to a party and it's pefectly thawed by cake time. And, yes, I do freeze them w/ frosted. I'm always making plain vanilla cupcakes for them, so I thought I'd change things up a bit and throw some of their beloved Oreos into the mix.


Once again, I used my FAVORITE vanilla cupcake recipe: Pastry Affair's Vanilla Cupcakes. It's easy to make, it's moist, it is just plain delicious. I'd write the recipe down here for you here, but I followed her recipe to a T - didn't change a thing, so I'll just send you her way for it, to give credit (and traffic) where it's due. :) Well, I did add one thing - Oreos! Depending on how Oreo-y you like it, just add about 16 crumbled Oreos to the batter and mix well. So easy!

The first taste-test occurred as Sweetie and I enjoyed some peaceful coffee and experimental cupcake time Monday morning. He LOVED it, even without any frosting!


To top off the cupcakes, I used my all-time favorite store-bought frosting: Betty Crocker's Whipped Vanilla Frosting. This is by far the most delicous frosting-in-a-can I've ever had. It's actually better than any homemade frosting I've ever made myself and in my opinion, even parallels some 'real' (ie not grocery store) bakeries I've gone too. I am still in search of that perfect vanilla frosting recipe, so please let me know if you run across one! The traditional buttercream recipes are too buttery and sweet and the whipped ones are well, too light, even if you add gelatin to thicken things up. I really need to try combining the two sometime. (Lightbulb!) I dusted the tops of these with crushed cookies from a single 'sandwich' minus the cream in the middle so I could easily figure out which cupcake was which.


Heres' the close up:


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and here's a look inside. In the background lurks one of those Chocolate Mousse Filled Cupcakes. :)


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And for the record, the cupcakes were a hit with the girls, too. Little Sis said it was the BEST cupcake she's ever ever EVER had!! and well, Big Sis has never run across a cupcake she doesn't like (go figure, coming from an otherwise picky "healthy food eater") and devoured it up.


Update: 9/15/13: Made 2 more batches yesterday for a volleyball party and made these, but this time I topped each one with a Mini Oreo for extra flair. :)


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Update: 5/1/15: Made some more of these to send off with Big Sis for her last tournament of the season in SC w her daddy. I can't make it because Little Sis' weekend is jam-packed with soccer testing, game and tourney, too, so I'm making these cupcakes as a big congrats for a rather successful season! Go CASL U11 Ladies Red South!




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Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps


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These Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps we had for dinner last are a variation of Korean Galbi which is typically served on a lettuce and "ssahmjang".

Wikipedia on Galbi: Galbi is generally served in restaurants known as "galbi houses", and the meat is cooked right at customers' tables on grills set in the tables (usually by the customers themselves). It is typically served with lettuce, perilla, or other leafy vegetables used to wrap the meat, which is then dipped in ssamjang (쌈장), a sauce made of fermented bean paste and red pepper paste. It is often accompanied by side dishes known as banchan.

Dinner was super easy because I already had some bulgogi stashed away in the freezer, just waiting to be eaten on a lazy evening like last night and two heads of my CSA Papa Spud's Butter Lettuce just waiting to be used up. Big Sis was off at yet ANOTHER sleepover and when we asked Little Sis what special thing she wanted to do with Mommy and Daddy, she just said "How about eat dinner at home and then play some games after?" How could we say no to such a sweet yet simple request?

Knowing how much this little girl just LOVES her Korean food, I made some rice, defrosted some bulgogi, fried up some of her all-time favorite Mandoos (stay tuned for a recipe post on these delish Korean-Style dumplings) and served up some packaged roasted laver (seaweed). Served on the side were some peas and carrots, but that was pretty much it. A side of Korean-style Pickled Cucumbers aka Oie Muchim would have been the perfect complement with this mean, but, much to the hubby's dismay, I didn't get around to either making or buying any. Sorry sweetie!

To make these Bulgogi Lettuce Wraps, you an use just about any kind of leafy green like romaine, red leaf lettuce or even iceberg lettuce, but my fave is Butter Lettuce (aka Boston Bibb). They were just perfect (and quite pretty, too)! Place a dollop of rice on the lettuce, then a couple pieces of bulgogi topped with ssamjang, as described above. We didn't have any of that on had so we just use regular old gochujang (hot Korean red pepper paste) to top ours off. De-lish!




Had some bulgogi leftover even though Little Sis ate 2 full plate of rice and bulgogi, so maybe some bibimbap is in our near future. :)



Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Beef and Cheese Empanadas


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Big Sis is doing an oral report on Mexico for her class tomorrow. She wanted to bring in a Mexican snack to share, so I made a trip to a local Mexican grocery store and found some caramel empanadas. After buying them, I suddenly got a hankering for some meat-filled empanadas. Unfortunately, Sarah's Empanada's (local restaurant) was further than I was willing to drive. So guess what? I made my own! Watch out kids, it's "Try Something New Night" and we're having Beef Empanadas for dinner! I forget exactly what goes in Sarah's but this is what I put in mine. I, of course, snuck lots veggies in there, too. :)

Beef and Cheese Empanadas
by happyvballgirl of My Epicurean Adventures

1 tbsp cooking oil (I use grapeseed oil)
1 lb lean ground beef
4-5 finely chopped up mushrooms (I used baby Bellas)
1 cup chopped up spinach
1 med onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp Taco Seasoning (or more or less, per personal taste)
1/2 cup water
3/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese
2 boxes Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust (or your favorite brand)
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In large pan, saute garlic, onions, mushrooms and spinach in grapeseed oil until tender. Remove to bowl.
  3. In same pan, brown ground beef, breaking up into small pieces as you go. Add taco seasoning and water and let simmer until fully cooked. 
  4. Add sauteed veggies back into pan, mix into ground beef well and let cool in pan.
  5. Unroll pie crusts and cut 5" circles (or smaller, depending on what size you desire). I was able to make exactly 16 crusts.
  6. Once cooled, mix cheese into meat mixture.
  7. Spoon roughly a heaping tablespoon of meat mixture onto each crust circle.
  8. Fold dough in half and cinch edges together edges. Using a fork, press the bottom side of the tines around the edges.  
  9. Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray or use parchment paper. Place empanadas on sheet so they are not touching. Beat egg and brush onto tops of empanadas.
  10. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. 
Enjoy!!
The filling, all ready and waiting to fill:


If you fill the pie crust while it's still moist, then you can pretty much just follow these three steps to your finished product.


But if your pie crust has gotten a little dry, I just cinch/fold up the edges up a bit first and then use the fork to finish it off.


Tada! Aren't they pretty? :)


Baked up a few for dinner and froze the rest by first laying them flat on a cookie sheet/plate and then placing in a Ziplock bag or airtight container for future hankerings. :)


And finally, the girls' dinner tonight. I'm happy to report that Little Sis LOVED it and gobbled it right up! And Big Sis liked it well enough to finish 3/4 of it, so that's a "Win" in my book! :) Both dipped theirs in Muir Glen's Organic Medium Salsa.


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In this dinner:
  1. Beef and Cheese Empanadas
  2. La Preferida Spanish Rice
  3. Deep fried black beans w/ shredded Mexican cheese
  4. Organic fresh carrots
  5. Steamed organic broccoli
Thanks so much for stopping by and please feel free to make my day by leaving me a comment, joining my blog in the top right corner or liking my on Facebook at MyEpicureanAdventures - the more the merrier! :)

Christine, aka happyvballgirl :)

This post has been shared at:
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