This Vietnamese fried rice recipe really is THE BEST.  It’s quick and simple to make, and pairs well with any protein…or hits the spot as a stand alone meal.

I have scoured the internet for the quintessential fried rice recipe. While there are a lot of great recipes out there, very few hit all my criteria of what it ought to taste like.

 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, and the standard by which I judge every other fried rice.

This recipe was passed down to me from her family and truly is the best. It’s simple to make and reheats well. My oldest asks for it at least once a week and each time I make it for her, it brings back sweet memories of my childhood. Enjoy from my kitchen to yours!

Ingredients:
  • 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
Method:
  1. Cook or steam the rice per the package instructions.
  2. In a small nonstick saute pan, cook the eggs until scrambled and set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the thawed peas, carrots, and yellow onion to the chicken and saute 3 minutes.
  5. 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 great addition to this, or any other favorite vegetable you prefer. Just make sure anything you add is similar in size to the peas and carrots.)
  6. Stir in the diced green onions, saving some to garnish. Serve immediately.

spin dip 3

This Spinach, Artichoke + Roasted Red Pepper Dip is delicious, creamy and loaded with cheesy flavor. It’s an update to the classic spinach and artichoke dip with the addition of jarred roasted red peppers. This recipe is always a crowd favorite around Christmas gatherings, or any gatherings for that matter. It comes together in just a few minutes, then the magic happens as it bakes in the oven.

I love this time of year. For me it’s a time when we reflect on the joy of both the simple and magical. Family, health, joy and love. I especially love watching my girls experience the magic of Christmas. Inevitably, there’s also a lot of great food.

My side of the family has always celebrated Christmas Eve with a spread of heavy appetizers. A staple every year has always been this dip. My mom doesn’t even ask me to bring it because the assumption is there that I will contribute it to the spread. It’s incredibly simple to make. In fact, I typically put it all together the night before and refrigerate it until it goes into the oven. Cheesy, gooey + full of flavor, this dip is one of my favorites & a must for any holiday gathering.

As I find to be the case in all cooking, using fresh ingredients makes a better dish, but pre-shredded cheese in the bags will do if you prefer the simplicity and convenience.  Recipe yields one 2 quart dish.

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz. jar of real mayonnaise
  • 14 oz. can of quartered artichokes, drained and chopped
  • 1.5 cups jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
  • 3 cups fresh spinach leaves
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated romano cheese
  • 3/4 cup grated gruyere cheese
  • 16 oz. bag Italian blend cheese (reserve 1/2 bag for topping during bake time)
  • 1-2 tbsp. minced garlic, depending on your preference for garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground pepper

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grate cheeses and place in a large mixing bowl.
  3. Drain + Roughly chop the artichokes & roasted peppers; add to the bowl.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (except the reserved 1/2 bag of Italian blend cheese) + stir to combine.
  5. Transfer the dip to a 2 quart baking dish. Top with the remaining 1/2 bag of the Italian cheese.
  6. Bake 35-40 minutes, uncovered. Serve hot with crackers, bread, chips or raw vegetables.

Be sure to tag me on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen if you bake this dish and use #girlmeetskitchen

These gingerbread bars are are an incredibly soft and chewy Christmas dessert. Because they are so simple to make, they are a great alternative to making individual gingerbread men. However, you can use the same recipe to do cut out gingerbread cookies (find my recipe here.) It’s a family recipe that always has me recalling Christmas scenes at my grandma’s house where the coffee was hot and the laughter loud.

In my opinion, the cinnamon frosting rounds this dessert out to be the perfect balance of sweet and spiced. The bars are a chewy version of the beloved gingerbread man cookie, and offer the right balance of spice, sweet and molasses. Finally, I top it off with the same buttercream frosting recipe I use to frost cakes, but with the addition of cinnamon to bring all the Christmas flavors together.

This recipe yields one 9×13″ pan. If you intend to keep them longer than a day or two, store them in the refrigerator in an airtight container. From my kitchen to yours, cheers to all your holiday baking and Christmas gatherings!

Ingredients: Gingerbread

  • 1 cup room temp butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 room temp eggs
  • 5 cups AP flour (gluten free: sub a 1:1 gluten free flour)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1 tsp. all spice
  • 1 tsp. cloves

Frosting

  • 1 stick room temp butter
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (more if needed if the frosting is too thick)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 9×13″ pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Mix the first four ingredients well.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients and mix for 1 minute until well incorporated.
  4. Spread the dough evenly in the pan, gently pressing to even it out.
  5. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. Let cool completely.
  7. Meanwhile make the frosting. Combine all ingredients in a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk together for 4 minutes. Spread on cooled bars. Cut + enjoy!

Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe @girlmeetskitchen and use #girlmeetskitchen

This post is sponsored by GoodPop

When you hear ‘Frozen Hot Chocolate’ you may find yourself thinking of the famous dessert found in New York City at Serendipity. The dessert is rich, creamy and full of chocolate flavors…and it’s something you can make easily in your own kitchen!

Your family can make these with a few simple ingredients blended together and top them off with whipped cream, then garnish with a GoodPop. GoodPops are made with the best non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, organic and locally sourced ingredients, and almost all of them would compliment this dessert! Strawberry? Cookies and cream? Cold Brew Latte? Yes please.

GP 4

Perhaps I’m of a small majority, but I’ve always been a fan of iced drinks. Even living in Minnesota, iced Coffee is on the menu year round in our home. While my kids love a good hot chocolate, this recipe for a frozen hot chocolate is a fun way to change it up. Because we’re huge fans of chocolate, we garnished them with a Chocolate Fudge GoodPop

Head to their site and view all their flavors here – and don’t forget to use the code GMK20 for 20% off your order at checkout!

GP 3

Since sharing food with those I love is a passion, these are inspired by my friend Mandy who has an affinity for all things chocolate, sweet and dessert. Cheers from my kitchen to yours, friends!

This recipe yields two medium to large sized frozen hot chocolates.

GP 6

Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cup chocolate milk*
  • 1 tbsp. sugar
  • 1 tbsp. cocoa powder
  • 4 oz. melted bittersweet chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups ice
  • 2 Chocolate Fudge GoodPops (or any flavor of choice! Get creative!) 
  • Whipped cream for topping (optional)

*To make Vegan: use a dairy-free milk. I used a Dark Chocolate Almond Milk!

Method:

  1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds until fully melted.
  2. Add all the ingredients (except the GoodPops) to the blender and blend until combined. 
  3. Pour into two cups. Top with whipped cream and garnish with a GoodPop. Enjoy!

GP 1

GP 2

Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe @girlmeetskitchen and use #girlmeetskitchen

Similar recipes: 
Hibiscus Mint Julep
Simple Homemade Caramel Sauce

This post is sponsored by Good Pop

An intoxicating twist on a classic cocktail.

I love a good cleaned up recipe. What do I mean by that? I mean bright, bold flavors that sing without all the added artificial nonsense. Flavors, colors…these things should come from real ingredients! And while there is always a place at the table for a classic cocktail, I love twists on classics to change it up. This cocktail recipe is all of these things: bright, clean, bold and with a slight twist thanks to the Hibiscus Mint GoodPop!

Their famous Hibiscus Mint GoodPop is made in micro-batches with steeped Fair Trade Organic dried hibiscus flowers, organic mint and fresh lime juice. It’s a perfect compliment to this traditional + iconic drink.

I’ve ensured these not only boast an amazing flavor, but they are the definition of ease. I’ve replaced the simple syrup found in a traditional Mint Julep with a melted Hibiscus Mint GoodPop. Apart from that, you only need 4 other ingredients to assemble, plus a friend or loved one by your side to sip together.

Recipe yields 2 cocktails. Cheers, from my kitchen to yours!

Hibiscus Mint GoodPops Form the base of this iconic cocktail.

Ingredients:

5 oz. Bourbon
1 large lemon
3 Hibiscus Mint GoodPops (1 melted, 2 frozen)
1 oz. water or sparkling water
Mint leaves for garnish

Method:

1.) Fill 2 lowball glasses with ice
2.) Melt 1 Hibiscus Mint GoodPop + divide between the two glasses
3.) Divide the bourbon between the two glasses + stir to combine
4.) Squeeze the juice from 1/2 lemon into each cocktail
5.) Top with 1/2 oz of still or sparkling water
6.) Add an additional Hibiscus Mint GoodPop and mint to garnish each Julep + enjoy!

Be sure to tag me if you make this cocktail on Instagram
@girlmeetskitchen and use #girlmeetskitchen

Caramel 7

This post is sponsored by GoodPop.

This caramel sauce is so very delicious. What’s even better? It’s made with just three simple ingredients and comes together in less than 7 minutes. It makes the perfect drizzling addition to any sweet treat, but especially these GoodPop Cold Brew Latte frozen pops! Forget a caramel macchiato. This is so much more enticing and made with clean ingredients!

Caramel

GoodPop’s Coldbrew Latte flavor is one of my absolute favorites! It’s a creamy blend of organic, fair trade coffee and organic coconut cream. With just the right amount of coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. What’s more: the company pledges to do good. The “Good” in their name isn’t just about their ingredients or the way their GoodPops taste, it’s about the company’s commitment to using their products as a vehicle to do social Good. Through responsible ingredient sourcing (Non-GMO, Fair Trade, Organic, and local) and non-profit & humanitarian efforts, they’re a small company with a big passion for doing good and giving back.

Enjoy this afternoon snack or any of the GoodPop frozen treats for less! Head to their site and enter GMK20 at checkout for 20% off your order! This simple caramel sauce would be a perfect addition to any of their frozen pops!

Recipe yields just under 1 cup caramel sauce and can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, covered. Bring to room temp before drizzling.

Caramel 4

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) organic salted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup organic half + half
  • GoodPop Organic Coldbrew Latte frozen pops

Method:

  1. Add the first three ingredients to a medium sized saucepan.
  2. Cook on medium-low heat for 5-6 minutes, whisking constantly until the sauce thickens.
  3. Drizzle on a GoodPop Organic Coldbrew Latte frozen pop. Enjoy!

Caramel 5

GPop Caramel

 

This post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-Operative

If you’ve spent any time on Instagram lately, you’ve likely seen a lot of sourdough bread fill your feed. Perhaps it’s because people have more time on their hands, perhaps it’s due to a shortage of yeast…or maybe a little bit of both, but I’m here for it! I’ve been baking sourdough on and off again for a few years, and love everything about the process. But let’s take this beautiful loaf of bread to the next level…with garlic butter and Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese!

If you’re not baking your own – no problem! Grab a loaf on your next grocery run or delivery. But don’t forget to add Cabot’s Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese to your list!! The slightly nutty and sharp intensity brings any loaf of sourdough bread to a cheesy bread perfection. It would go perfectly with any dish you’re serving, but I have a feeling it will be the main star of the meal. 

I love supporting co-operative movements. Cabot has a long history that goes back more than 100 years when 94 families from Cabot, Vermont formed a co-operative to ensure their livelihood.. They knew that they were stronger together than they were apart. Today, Cabot’s 800 farm families still have each other’s back. Supporting each other is what the co-operative movement is all about. 

You can discover where to shop their delicious cheese – including the Seriously Sharp cheese used in this recipe here.

bread 3

Ingredients:

bread 7

bread 6

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut slices ½ way into your loaf of bread vertically and horizontally – spaced approximately 1” apart to form a lattice-like appearance in your bread. Place the loaf onto a large piece of tinfoil and onto a baking sheet.
  3. Add the garlic salt to the melted butter and stir. Gently pull apart each section of cuts vertically and horizontally and spoon the melted butter into the cracks. 
  4. Repeat this process with the shredded cheese, gently pressing it down in between the cracks. Finish by adding more to the top of the bread.
  5. Cover the top of the loaf with the tinfoil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the top piece of tinfoil and bake an additional 10 minutes uncovered. 
  6. Remove from the oven and enjoy!

bread 4

bread 1

Be sure to tag me if you make this recipe on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen using #girlmeetskitchen!

 

good pop margarita

This post is sponsored by GoodPop .

If there is one quintessential cocktail that signifies warmer weather, it’s the margarita in my opinion. I love a good margarita and am always looking for a fun way to shake up a new recipe! When I tasted these Watermelon Agave Frozen Pops from GoodPop®…my tastebuds immediately knew they would make a perfect cocktail/mocktail! They’re a great treat on their own; the flavor is exactly like eating cold watermelon on a hot summer day. Made from freshly cut and juiced, locally sourced Texas watermelons (when seasonally available) they’re lightly sweetened with Fair Trade Organic agave nectar. Pair it with some tequila, lime juice and sparkling water and you have the perfect combination for something to sip!

I love that GoodPop® All-Natural Frozen Pops have always been made with the best non-GMO, Fair Trade Certified, organic and locally sourced ingredients. The “Good” in their name, GoodPop, isn’t just about the ingredients they use or the way their pops taste… it’s an integral part of their dedication to using their frozen treats as a vehicle to do social Good.  These delicious frozen pops are available at many online and in-store retailers, and some of their frozen pops can be shipped directly to your door!

See their site for more details and enjoy them at 20% off with code GMK20 at checkout! 

This recipe yields 2 cocktail/mocktails. Cheers from my kitchen to yours!

good pop margarita 3

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. blanco tequila (or omit if you’re going the mocktail route!)
  • 2 limes
  • 3 GoodPop® Watermelon Agave Frozen Pops
  • 4 oz. cold sparkling water (plain or lime flavored!)
  • Salt for your glass rims (optional)

Method:

  1. Melt down one Watermelon Agave Frozen Pop in advance or in the microwave.
  2. Salt the rims of 2 lowball glasses.
  3. Pour in 2 oz of tequila in each lowball glass.
  4. Add 2 oz of the cold sparkling water.
  5. Add the juice of 1 lime to each cocktail/mocktail.
  6. Divide the one melted Frozen Pop between each glass and stir.
  7. “Garnish” with the additional frozen pop placed inside each cocktail and enjoy!

*If you’re making this as a mocktail, each drink will have 4 oz of chilled sparkling water instead of half sparkling water and half tequila. The rest of the recipe remains the same. These are lovely and like an agua fresca!

Throw in some fresh mint for a mocktail too if you’d like!

good pop margarita Social Feed

Be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make these @girlmeetskitchen using #girlmeetskitchen !

 

This post is sponsored by Cabot Creamery Co-Operative.

Now that Easter has been celebrated, we have a fair amount of ham leftover. Never a bad problem to have, if you ask me. This year, I wanted to do something a little extra special with the leftovers and this dish is just that. Comforting, bubbly, spicy and it hits all the right notes of flavor! 

While the ham usually takes center stage, it’s definitely been moved to the role of supporting actor here. Hands down, the main star of this dish is the bold and delicious Habanero Cheddar Cheese from Cabot Creamery Co-Operative! I absolutely love Cabot and their entire line of cheeses…because the farm families that own the co-operative put so much love into what they do.  This particular cheddar is boldly spiced and works so nicely with the salty ham. What’s more; now more than ever, they’re honoring their retail partners who put Cabot on their shelves or online. Their farmers are dedicated to making sure that those on the front lines have nutritional support, healthy cows that produce the rich, buttery milk used to make Cabot’s award-winning cheese and dairy products. You can read more about how they’re supporting volunteers during these times here.

This dish comes together with just a few simple steps + an hour bake in the oven. Serve it with a warm crusty loaf of bread and a salad and you’ve got yourself the most delicious dinner that will excite your family. Who said leftovers are boring? Certainly not in this case!

Be sure to head to their site to find a way you can purchase their cheeses, support the farmers in their co-op, and grab these delicious cheeses for your snacking and cooking pleasure!

Happy cooking from my kitchen to yours!! 

Cabot 3

Ingredients:

  • 4 large baking potatoes (or 6 medium sized potatoes)
  • 1 x 8 oz block of Cabot Creamery Habanero Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • ½ yellow onion, cut thinly into half moons
  • 1 medium sized jalapeno, finely diced
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • ⅓ cup flour (or gluten free flour)
  • 1 cup ham, cubed
  • 1.5 tsp each of Salt + Pepper 
  • Chives for garnish (optional)

Cabot 2

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350. Spray a 7×9” or 9×9” pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. Pre-cut your onion and jalapeno and ham. Measure out your milk and add the flour then whisk it together until no lumps remain. Grate the block of habanero cheese. Set aside.
  3. Peel your potatoes + use a mandolin or equally slice potatoes into quarter to half inch thick rounds.
  4. In a medium saute pan on your stovetop, add the milk/flour mixture, salt + pepper and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it starts to thicken. About 5 minutes. Turn the heat down to low and add in the shredded cheese. Whisk until the cheese melts and remove from heat.
  5. Layer half of the sliced potato rounds, ham, onions and jalapenos on the bottom of the sprayed pan. Spoon half the cheese sauce over the ingredients and then top with remaining potatoes, ham, jalapenos and onions. Pour remaining cheese sauce over the dish and use a spoon to evenly distribute the cheese sauce throughout the dish.
  6. Bake for 60 minutes, until a knife inserted in the middle can easily slide through the potatoes. (Tent with aluminum foil for the first 35-40 minutes of bake time.)
  7. Top with finely diced chives + serve hot.

Cabot 8

Cabot 7

Cabot 5

Be sure to tag me if you make this recipe on Instagram
@girlmeetskitchen and use #girlmeetskitchen !

 

IMG_7509

This sweet little family of mine has a soft spot for homemade pizzas, and I have a soft spot for them. Between working full-time and attempting to homeschool during COVID-19 stay home procedures, dinner time is a much welcomed time of the day to put away distractions and connect around the table. It’s a place where we temporarily put the chaos of the world on hold and focus on what we’re grateful for is in front of us; gathering around the table.

I love this dough because it comes together in 90 minutes. I’ve even made it in as little as 60 in a pinch, and with made only 5 ingredients usually found in your pantry. The recipe makes two large crusts.

The only other decision you’ll need to make is what to put on top of your pizzas! Happy gathering around the table, friends. It’s where the magic can be found these days.

*note: you can make the crusts in advance and allow them to proof on the kitchen counter covered with a tea towel. Or refrigerate for next day use – just place the dough in a olive oiled bowl and cover. To use the next day, remove from the fridge and allow to come to room temp before rolling.

IMG_7510

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 tsp active yeast (or 1 packet)
  • 1 cup warm (not hot!) filtered water
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2.5 cups all purpose flour

Method:

  1. In your kitchen-aid mixer fitted with the hook attachment, add 1 cup warm water and the active yeast. Stir with your hands and allow to bloom for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the olive oil, salt and AP flour to the mix and turn your mixer on, not going above speed 4.
  3. Let the hook knead the dough for 5 minutes then remove. Add the dough to an olive oiled or sprayed bowl. Cover with a tea towel and let rise 60 minutes.
  4. Take the dough out of the bowl and divide into 2 equal halves. Re-shape into 2 rounds and re-cover with the tea towel on your counter top. Let sit 30 minutes.
  5. On a well-floured surface, roll out each dough round into your pizzas and top and bake accordingly. May I suggest on a Baking Steel for the best pizzas!

IMG_7512

If you make this recipe, be sure to tag me on Instagram @girlmeetskitchen and use the #girlmeetskitchen 

%d bloggers like this: