I have scoured the internet for the quintessential fried rice recipe that brings me back to my childhood years with no luck. While there are a lot of great ones out there, very few hit all my criteria of what it ought to taste like. Memory has a strong attachment to flavors, which is why so many people tend to never stray from favorite recipes passed down from generations.
Growing up, we were fortunate to have friends that lived nearby and also worked with my mom who’s heritage was Vietnamese. Her recipe for fried rice was, far and away THE BEST recipe I’d ever tasted. Her recipe is the standard by which I judge every other fried rice.
I grew up playing with her kids that were near my age I have fond memories of performing “on stage” in her basement for all of her family, playing dolls and laughing a lot. Those play dates also included so much love via her mom’s kitchen, where the scents of spices and ingredients made with love made you float into the kitchen on an aroma cloud, much like any cartoon scene. My mom would often come home with fried rice and egg rolls made that morning because her friend knew just how much we loved her cooking.
We’ve been asking for this recipe for years, and just recently the blessing of memories washed over us as she shared it with us. We made the simple + unmistakable version of the dish, and what struck me most was its simplicity. Real ingredients and simple technique shared with people whose company you cherish. It was a sweet couple of hours spent with my mom and family reminiscing and reconnecting. I hope you enjoy – the recipe offers a very minor tweak or two, but every ounce of delicious goodness I so vividly remember.
- 2 cups of uncooked Jasmine, long grain rice
- 1 frozen bag of peas & carrots mixed, thawed
- 1 lb. protein of choice, cut into 1″ pieces. I used chicken breast, though shrimp or pork are wonderful options as well. Vegetarians — skip the protein altogether!
- 3 eggs, scrambled
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 tsp. sugar
- 2 tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. black pepper
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 tbsp. canola oil
- 1 large bunch green onions, diced. Use the entire onion, greens included
- 2.5 tbsp. soy sauce
- Cook or steam the rice per the package instructions and set aside.
- In a small nonstick saute pan, cook the eggs until scrambled and set aside.
- Heat the canola oil in a separate large frying pan on the stove top over medium heat. Season the protein with the 2 tsp. of salt and saute until fully cooked.
- Add the thawed peas, carrots, and yellow onion to the chicken and saute 3 minutes.
- Turn off the heat, then add the cooked rice, butter, sugar, black pepper and soy sauce. Stir until combined, noting the rice will still be relatively light in color. The soy sauce should merely act as a season to the rice. (note: bean sprouts would be a lovely addition to this, or any other favorite vegetable you prefer. Just ensure anything you add is similar in size to the peas and carrots.)
- Stir in the diced green onions, saving some to garnish atop and serve hot.
I’m all for recipes that sustain my family throughout the week or quick grab and go options made in advance. Chicken salad is definitely one of those recipes – and this one is an adaptation given to me from a co-worker. It’s incredibly simple and packed with so much flavor. The dressing is a combination of real mayo, sour cream and couple tablespoons of room temp butter which provides it a richness without being heavy. The carrots and onions are roasted with the chicken, giving it incredible flavor and depth – but the celery, green onions and cashews provide the crunch.
Fresh herbs are one of my go to staples to change up every day dishes flavor-wise and dill is one of my favorite options. Use your favorite herb in lieu of the dill if you don’t prefer the flavor – the first time I made this recipe I used chives and it turned out just as delicious. The joy of cooking is the personalization you bring to the dish. Use recipes as your diving board – but make the art of the dive your own.
I love using mason jars to store this salad in the fridge. That way when early morning rush hour occurs in our home during the week, I can grab one to go on my way out the door to work. I hope you enjoy this recipe – thanks for stopping by!
- 4-5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 2 cups diced carrots
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced cashews
- 1 bunch green onions, diced
- 5 stalks of celery sticks, diced
- 3 tbsp. fresh dill
- 1 cup real mayo (I used Hampton Creek’s Vegan Mayo )
- 3 tbsp sour cream
- 2 tbsp room temp organic butter
- the juice of half a lemon
- garlic salt + pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Place chicken breasts on a sheet pan and season with garlic salt + pepper. Add the diced onions and carrots atop the chicken, cover pan with tinfoil and bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Mix together the mayo, sour cream, butter, dill and lemon juice – stir until combined. Add the diced green onions, cashews and celery.
- Shred the chicken on the pan with two forks (the chicken will absorb back some of the juices from the cooking process, which is so much goodness.)
- Add the shredded chicken and cooked carrots/onions into the bowl with the dressing. Stir until combined and season if necessary.
- Chill. Devour. Enjoy!
I love how social media connects people. It’s a gathering space where people from all different walks of life can connect and share; come together. This is very much akin to my philosophy on meeting at the dinner table – we gather not only to feed our bodies, but also our minds, relationships and foster emotional connections that nurture our emotional well being.
Social media is my cyber dinner table. I’ve met some incredibly talented, kind and interesting individuals that have both challenged and inspired me – both related and unrelated to food.
I love collaborating, and when Nicole over at Uniquely Women asked to do so, I enthusiastically embraced the opportunity. Head over to her site and check her out, you won’t be disappointed!
While you’re there, check out the recipe I created for this Spicy Maple Glazed Rumaki. It’s a great little unique and quirky appetizer. You can find the recipe link below. Cheers, friends – and continue the gatherings that feed both your bodies and souls.
Spicy Maple Glazed Rumaki
As back to school creeps closer and pre-season football games are in full swing, I find the comforts of heavier appetizers to munch in lieu of dinner more appealing. This one will become a new staple on weekends and holiday gatherings in our kitchen. It’s creamy and loaded with flavor from a variety of cheeses, onions and bacon.
BACON. I could just stop writing here, because let’s be honest…bacon is a love language in and of itself. Unless you’re a vegetarian, I suppose. In which case – remove the bacon from the recipe. I promise, it will still be great.
This recipe is really simple and packed with some of my family’s favorite things. One of which was a semi recent discovery of a shallot + chive flavored Boursin cheese. Caramelized onions and bacon round out the flavors perfectly, and the options for dippers are endless. I used toasted baguettes, gluten free crackers, carrots and sugar snap peas. Slice some chicken breast on the side, or top this on a cooked meat of choice to make dinner more exciting.
However you eat it, invite over some friends or huddle over the skillet with your loved ones. The food comes first, the memories that follow are the blessings. Thanks for stopping by & enjoy!
- 1 large yellow onion, cut in half then thinly sliced lengthwise
- 1 bunch green onions diced (reserving some for garnish)
- 1/2 lb. bacon, cooked + diced (I used some leftover from brunch the day prior. Use the whole pound if you choose!)
- 1.5 cups shredded cheddar cheese
- 1.5 cups Italian blend shredded cheese
- 2 – 5oz. packages of Shallot + Chive Boursin cheese
- 1 cup organic Mayonnaise (I used the Hampton Creek Just Mayo brand)
- 3 tbsp. EVOO
- Cook the bacon and let cool. Then heat oven to 350.
- Pour the EVOO in the a 10″ skillet + use a rubber brush to evenly distribute across the base and sides of the skillet. I love my Lodge Cast Iron and it’s available at Target!
- Sauté both the sliced yellow and green onions over medium low heat until caramelized, approximately 10 minutes.
- Once caramelized, add all cheeses and mayo to the skillet and stir until combined.
- Bake the dip 15 minutes until the top is golden brown.
- While dip is cooking, dice the bacon into small pieces.
- Remove the skillet dip from the oven + top with the bacon pieces + remaining green onions. Serve with your favorite dipping items + enjoy!
Summertime brings me fond memories of summers spent with my grandma, climbing the giant tree in her front yard and baking sweets in her kitchen. Warm evenings at her house were magical. While the sun was setting and the day drew to a close, we’d sit on her front porch swing eating ice cream that dripped down our hands while chatting away about anything and everything.
These are the memories I cherish and want to make with my little girls today. Life is a blur most days. I seek so strongly to capture moments, slow down our lives, walk away from technology and just listen to the world from their point of view. In all honesty, this is chaotic and often filled with a combination of tender moments interjected with whining or fighting – but all too soon our girls will become young women and our conversations will change.
Part of my love for food is that it draws people together. We engage with one another over meals someone has lovingly prepared – be it prepackaged or homemade.
I will remember making this ice cream with my oldest for the rest of my life. On a muggy summer day while our youngest napped, I was begged to make strawberry ice cream. Her version, be it sweet and well-intended was mushed strawberries mixed with water, then frozen. Instead, we made this version which couldn’t be simpler. Pure ingredients + an eager five-year-old made the best combo, and I loved watching my family enjoying the spoils of her hard work that evening. It brought me back to my childhood nights at grandma’s. May it do the same for you.
- 1 cup organic whole milk
- 1 cup organic half + half
- ¾ pint of organic strawberries, lightly pureed
- 1/3 cup organic pure cane sugar
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of salt
- Wash + hull the strawberries, then pulse them a few times in your food processor. The main point for us was to remove any large chunks to ensure the little ones didn’t chomp into a sizeable frozen strawberry. The benefit also was a beautiful coloring to the ice cream.
- Combine all ingredients into a large mixing cup or bowl + stir.
- Add the mixture into an ice cream maker and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Transfer to the freezer to harden slightly + enjoy!
Little known fact about me (that isn’t necessarily going to win me popularity votes…) – I really don’t care for ice cream. There. I said it. Any time I admit it out loud, I get a look suggesting I ought to be confined to an island far, far away. That idea is sort of appealing to me, though – so I’m okay admitting it aloud. I know I am part of the minority, but the ice cream truck didn’t invoke the same sort of emotion in me as a child that it does for 98% of the population.
Enter the granita. By definition, a granita is is a semi-frozen dessert made from sugar, water and various flavorings. This version is kind of ice cream’s cousin because the two main components are whole milk and Bizzy cold brew coffee. I mean – it’s basically a cold brew coffee in a frozen form. Lightly + naturally sweetened and velvety smooth, this dessert makes me insanely happy.
If you’re invited to a dinner party, bring this to the table for dessert. It’s the definition of simple and a great way to cap off the night amongst friends. 5 ingredients + the bold, smooth flavor of the Bizzy coffee really shines in this dish.
This may be my new morning routine. Then again, I’m a sucker for cold brew.
- 3 cups organic whole milk (don’t go less fat, friends. Use the whole milk.)
- 1 cup Bizzy cold brew concentrate
- 1/2 cup Wholesome Sweet organic pure cane sugar
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup roughly chopped dark chocolate covered espresso beans
- Combine the whole milk, Bizzy cold brew + cane sugar in a saucepan over medium heat on the stovetop, whisking constantly for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla extract.
- Refrigerate the liquid 12-24 hours.
- Pour the mixture and roughly chopped chocolate espresso beans into an ice cream maker and follow the directions per the manufacturer manual. I used a Cuisinart and let churn 20 minutes to thicken.
- Transfer the churned granita mixture to the freezer to harden another 12 hours. Serve + enjoy.
Their’s is a classic pairing, donuts + coffee; it’s only natural they joined to form a union, really. Adding chocolate to that union creates a trifecta made for mornings. I threw in sprinkles for good measure, and because my little ones love them. Who am I trying to kid? I love sprinkles just as much as every child alive.
These donuts are decadently rich, soft and airy as a cloud with just the right hint of coffee. Bizzy’s organic cold brew boasts a super smooth flavor profile and is the perfect addition to the recipe. I didn’t dilute the concentrate in the recipe, simply used it straight from the bottle.
Kid friendly, neighbor approved — I’m adding these lovelies to the routine for weekends, or just any time I need a chocolate + coffee union made in heaven. And no one will be the wiser that they are gluten free! Enjoy, and thanks for stopping by!
Recipe yields 12 donuts.
For the donuts:
- 1 cup Almond Flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour (same brand)
- 1/2 cup organic cane sugar (I used Wholesome Sweet)
- 3/4 tsp xantham Gum
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/3 cup dark chocolate cocoa powder
- 3/4 cup Silk Dark Chocolate Almond Milk
- 1/4 cup Bizzy’s cold brew concentrate
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 organic eggs, room temperature + beaten
- 1/3 cup canola oil
For the glaze:
- 1.5 cup powdered sugar (I used Wholesome Sweet)
- 3/4 cup Bizzy’s cold brew concentrate
- 2 tbsp dark chocolate cocoa powder
- Sprinkles should you be so inclined
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Add all dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk until combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the bowl and whisk until just incorporated. Do not overmix; the batter will be thick.
- Spray your donut pan (I used Nordic Ware) lightly with cooking spray + spoon the batter into each well, about 3/4 to the top.
- Bake 8-9 minutes. Remove + let cool 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Mix the glaze and top while the donuts are still warm. Add sprinkles. Enjoy!