Cashew chicken

Cashew chicken
Cashew chicken

Tonight, I decided to try my hand at making cashew chicken for dinner. I’ve never made it before, but many of the recipes I’ve seen use a similar sauce as my beef and rice noodles recipe. So, I decided to simply use that sauce as the base of my recipe. Turns out, it was both easy and delicious, so I’ll definitely be adding this recipe to my Chinese food repertoire!

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Pork chops with mushroom cream sauce

Pork chops with mushroom cream sauce
Pork chops with mushroom cream sauce

I picked up some mushrooms and pork chops that were on sale at the grocery store this past weekend, so I went in search of a new recipe to try for dinner tonight. I ended up deciding on this delicious pork chop recipe with a mushroom cream sauce.

Michael and  I both enjoyed this dish, and thought it made for a “homey” dinner when served with baked potatoes and broccoli. Although the recipe used pork chops, I think it would also be delicious with chicken.

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Vietnamese beef and rice noodles

Vietnamese beef and rice noodles
Vietnamese beef and rice noodles

I made this Vietnamese beef and rice noodle stir fry for dinner tonight, and it was absolutely delicious! Michael and I went to United Noodles in Minneapolis this afternoon and stocked  up on some groceries that we don’t normally buy, along with some of the ingredients for this dish.

Although the ingredient list looks a little long, it’s actually a very quick and easy meal to make. One of the keys to this dish is the paper-thin sliced beef (you could also use pork), because it cooks extremely quickly and has a lot of surface area for the sauce to coat it. If you’re slicing your own meat, you may need to slightly increase the cooking time.

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Jambalaya

Jambalaya
Jambalaya

I like to make this jambalaya recipe when I’m looking for an easy meal that will make leftovers. It’s a great one-dish meal for a crowd. I usually make it with andouille sausage and chicken, but you could also add shrimp to make it more flavorful.

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Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar

Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar
Garden-fresh summer salad with oil and vinegar

By the time summer finally rolls around here in the Twin Cities, I’m craving fresh, delicious vegetables. One of my favorite and easy  ways to eat them is in a giant salad — I’ll make a big bowl of it and we’ll have it alongside several meals during the week. The great thing about this type of salad is that you can add any ingredients you like, and you don’t need to measure anything.

Instead of making or buying a dressing, I like to drizzle oil and vinegar over the individual servings. My favorite combination right now is a cinnamon pear balsamic vinegar with Arbequina olive oil — both from Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars (online store and several locations in Michigan).

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Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette
Cobb salad with homemade lemon vinaigrette

I’ve made Cobb salad several times this spring (and finally summer), and it’s a great main dish salad. Wikipedia tells me that the best way to remember the ingredients in Cobb salad is with the mnemonic EAT COBB: eggs, avocado, tomato, chicken, (green) onion, bacon, and blue cheese.  We ended up making a couple changes from that (like ham instead of bacon), but it’s still great!

The salad dressing for this recipe is also delicious. We haven’t been buying salad dressing at the store lately — most of it has high-fructose corn syrup in it, and if it doesn’t it’s simple enough to make myself. The fresh tang of the lemon makes this a great dressing for summer salads.

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Palak paneer

Palak paneer
Palak paneer (served with chicken rogan josh and basmati rice)

When Michael and I were in Washington earlier this month, we stopped by Appel Farms in Ferndale and bought some paneer. Paneer is a delicious cheese that is used in Indian dishes — it doesn’t melt, so it is often cubed and then simmered in flavorful sauces.

The cheese made it safely back home in my carry-on bag,  and I decided to use some of it to make palak paneer, which is one of my favorite Indian dishes. In this dish, paneer is simmered in a spinach and tomato-based sauce, with yogurt added at the end for a creamy flavor. I served it with chicken rogan josh, basmati rice, and naan bread. It was delicious!

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Thai yellow curry

Thai yellow curry with chicken or fish
Thai yellow curry

This delicious Thai curry is one of my new favorite recipes. I usually make it with chicken, although it’s also delicious with fish or shrimp —  see my notes at the bottom of the recipe for modifications. Also, it’s easy to vary the amount of spice in this recipe by simply adding more or less curry paste, to taste (I prefer to use about 2 Tbsp).

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Salisbury steak with paprika cream sauce

Salisbury steak with paprika cream sauce

This recipe probably has the best sauce that I’ve ever made. It’s definitely a 10 out of 10, and we cleaned the last drops out of the pan after dinner tonight. The salisbury steaks were delicious too, and the fresh basil is a perfect garnish. We definitely recommend that you give this recipe a try for a great weekend meal!

I found this recipe in our latest Eating Well magazine, and immediately made a mental note to put it on our menu. I did made a few slight modifications so that I could use my new birthday present (a braisier!) and make it a one-dish recipe. We also served it over rice, instead of the suggested egg noodles.

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Creamy Italian sausage pasta

Creamy Italian sausage pasta

After making a delicious skillet pasta dish last month, I decided to try my hand at a modified version last week. I used Italian sausage, zucchini, and a simple white sauce to make this version. We gave this one two thumbs up as well, so skillet pasta dishes are definitely going to be staying on our menu in the future.

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Cooking and Dining in the Twin Cities