Food Cat.

Simple and Delicious Pork Fried Rice

Every family has those few meals that are the go-to’s, the crowd pleasers, and are perfect for busy nights… Well this is mine! My simple and delicious fried rice is always a guaranteed hit with my husband and any company we might have. Its perfect either all on its own or served with other Asian style meals. Don’t even get me started on leftovers because I swear this is always better on day two!

You will only need a few cheap ingredients, some of which you will probably already have on hand, so this is perfect for families looking to cut back on the grocery budget.

Ingredients

  • rice (2 cups uncooked)
  • eggs (2-3)
  • frozen veggies (2 cups)
  • green onions
  • yellow onion (1/4 minced)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • bacon or any other type of meat (entire package)
  • soy sauce
  • spices of choice (I use garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper)

 

In our home we love jasmine rice! It pairs well with whatever dish you are making and is so fragrant! When making fried rice its best to use day old rice that has had a chance to stiffen a little in the fridge but you can make it fresh and it will still taste delicious. If you have leftover rice from another meal this a perfect option to make a meal out of it!

First thing is first, if you don’t have any cooked rice on hand, put some to boil or into the rice maker. Doing this first will give you time to prep the rest of the ingredients and ensures you will be eating within a half hour!

 

Once that is done you can go ahead and prep your bacon.  In our home since I try to avoid eating as much red meat as possible we use turkey bacon, but regular bacon or other types of meat such as pork work just as well!

You can fry the bacon as normal but I find it is much easier to pre cut it into smaller pieces and then go ahead and fry in the pan. This way you can do it all at once. Just set the temperature at medium heat and stir frequently so it doesn’t burn.

 

Once you have started the bacon go ahead and prep your frozen and fresh vegetables. We buy the frozen vegetables that can be steamed in the microwave, which cuts down on my cooking time and the amount of dishes I have to wash! Once the microwave is going I start on my fresh veggies.

I mince up about a 1/4 of a yellow onion, and then mince up 2 cloves of garlic. In another pan I let these cook with a little olive oil till the onions become translucent. While that is cooking I dice up the green onion. You can add the green onion directly to the finished fried rice and stir it all up together or just use as a garnish. I love green onions so I do both.

Once my veggies are prepped its time it add it all together. In a big wok, or a very large fry pan if you don’t have a wok, add the rice to the fried bacon and then add the minced onion and garlic. Stir together well and then add your steamed vegetables. Once this is done add seasoning and soy sauce to taste. I wish I could give you the exact amount I use but I just eye ball it every time.

Once you all have it stirred together with a spoon or ladle create a large hole in the middle of the pan, pushing the rice to the side. This is where you will add your eggs so they can cook.

** I totally forgot to take a picture of this step but I’m sure yall get the idea!

Once you have the eggs cracked and in the middle of the rice scramble with a fork and let cook, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn or stick to the pan. When the eggs are fluffy and cooked all the way through you can go ahead and mix the rice all together so the eggs get distributed all throughout.

And viola!!! Delicious and simple fried rice!

 

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Food Cat.

Inexpensive and Easy: Granny’s Ham and Bean Soup

There is always that one recipe that reminds you of home, and for me its my granny’s ham and bean soup. I have such fond memories of visiting my grandparents farm as a child and spending chilly winter afternoons spent playing in the barn with the sheep and then coming inside and warming up with a big bowl of ham and beans. Posted below is a picture of her standing in the kitchen of her farmhouse.

My grandmother has since passed away after a courageous battle with cancer but this remains one of my favorite foods. My favorite part about this dish as that it makes the whole house smell wonderful, especially if you let it simmer for a long while. Its one of those scents that just brings you home no matter where you are!

Another thing I love about this recipe is just how cheap and easy it is to make! My grandmother was a frugal woman who really knew how to stretch a dollar so this is a great recipe for families trying to cut back on food spending!

All you need is a can of beans(My husband and I prefer great northern white beans but any kind will do), chicken broth, 2 cups of water, 1/2 yellow onion, 8oz of ham, and 2 cups of carrots. This recipe of very flexible though and you can add any vegetables you prefer! This makes about 3 large servings but can easily be doubled to make more or if you’d like to have leftovers.

I buy the ham whenever it goes on sale at my local grocery store as well as beans to save money, which also makes this the perfect “I don’t feel like cooking today” dinner! The main ingredients are on hand and any vegetables you have in the fridge will do.  All you have to do is throw everything in a pot and let that baby simmer for a few hours and BOOM! Dinner is served!

This is the final product! Doesn’t it look yummy?

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*My granny always chopped the onion into smaller bits but my husband absolutely hates onions so I leave them in large pieces so they are easy to pick out even after boiing for a long time .

Here is the recipe!


Ingredients

  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 2 cups of carrots
  • 1 can of beans
  • 8oz ham
  • 2 cups of water
  • Seasonings of Choice: I use salt and pepper, thyme, sage, onion powder, and garlic powder. You can also use 2 cloves of garlic to substitute the powder if you’d prefer.

Directions

  • Place 1 can of chicken broth and two cups of water to boil in a large pot or Dutch oven
  • Chop onion, carrots, and ham into bite sized pieces and add to broth
  • Add preferred seasonings to pot
  • Once it reaches a rolling boil reduce heat and let simmer for 2 hours

** Whenever I make ham and bean soup I always bake a pan of cornbread to go along with it and its an instant crowd pleaser! For all my gluten free eaters out there I cannot recommend Krusteaz GF Honey Cornbread enough! I married a Texas boy so he knows a thing or two about cornbread and he’s given this one two thumbs up, so you know its good!

Food Cat.

An afternoon on Oahu’s North Shore

Oh Oahu how I love you! This island has given me some of the most beautiful memories of my life, and I will always cherish my time spent on the islands of Hawaii! There is an adventure around every corner and that’s something I love the most about this place! A few weeks ago my husband and I were brainstorming about where to go after a dreary couple of weeks on the windward side of the island so we decided to head to Oahu’s lovely and always sunny Haleiwa, where there are beautiful beaches and food trucks galore!

Its a bit of a drive from our side of the island to Haleiwa but manageable and that coconut shrimp is so totally worth the price of gas! I’m drooling just remembering how crispy and flavorful the coconut shrimp was! The best food trucks are down in an easy to miss “parking lot”. There is about 7-8 food trucks to choose from, and you can get anything from seafood to good ole southern BBQ. There is even options for those who are vegetarian or just prefer something lighter. Something you can’t leave without getting though is a snow cone, its a total must have!

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After you fill up your tummy head on over to one of the lovely beaches close by to let your food digest and soak up some rays! The weekends in this area can get pretty crowded but if you go Monday thru Thursday early afternoon its usually not to bad and the traffic wont be terrible.

If you have the time definitely stop at The Dole Plantation on your way back towards town for some yummy adventures! I myself am not a huge fan of pineapple but you honestly cannot beat the fresh Dole Whip they serve there! You can also take pictures in a giant pineapple or ride the pineapple express(which is my husband and I’s favorite). It will take you on a beautiful and informative ride through their pineapple fields and also show you some of the other cool fruits/plants they grow here in Hawaii. The picture below is a photo of a baby pineapple plant! Isn’t it just the cutest little thing!

All in all you cannot go wrong with a day spent in Haleiwa. Its a fun and hip little town full of history, cool stores, and unbeatable food! It never ceases to put a smile on my face! That or I could just be laughing at my goofball husband, you never know!

XOXO Taylor Mae