I think that pork dumplings are my favorite because pork meat is more fatty than other meats, and there's a ton more flavor. I also like to combine the meat with very finely shaved cabbage too because I like how it makes the texture of the meat softer and less condensed, like a meatball.
Speaking of even more flavor, you can marinate the ground pork over night ahead of time. This is seriously a game changer - if you have the time, definitely do it.
This filling recipe is enough to fill up about 30 dumpling wrappers. I love to serve them with chili oil and soy sauce.
My life hasn't been the same since Ewa and Jeromy from @nom_life brought over their favorite kind of chili oil. I put that shit on everythingggg. I've bought chili oil before but I think it's way better when it's from the Asian grocery store and there's actual chunks of good stuff in there like garlic and pepper flakes.
The inspo behind this recipe comes from a combination of sauce recipes from @thewoksoflife's blog and then what the older man at the Asian grocery store said to do. :)
It turned out WAY too spicy at first - like I was slightly crying, lol. I ended up taking all of what I made and separating the oil from the flakes - then added neutral oil back into the flakes little by little and taste testing with plain crackers. It was still insanely spicy, so then I added in about four tablespoons of brown sugar and that mellowed out a bit.
I think the main source of that heat is coming from all of the red chili flakes...so you could use less of them if you can't handle really spicy things, your end product will be more of a thin oil than a chunky oil.
This recipe makes about 2 1/2 cups of chili oil and it's good in the coldest part of the fridge for about a month.
How to make:
My mom told me a long time ago to start putting cornstarch in my chicken marinades when I'm making a stiry fry and it literally changed my life. It gives the chicken a better texture and flavor because the starch binds together the liquid ingredients in the marinade and seals them to the meat.
I started using this "Pepper Sa-te Sauce" I found at the Asian grocery store and it's a game changer. The ingredients are chili, garlic, bean oil, spices and salt so it's very spicy and heavy on the garlic. SO MUCH FLAVOR.
This recipe makes enough chicken for two people. If you want more of it, you can double the reicpe. I served the chicken with my hand-made Chinese noodles but you could do rice or something else instead - click here for the noodle recipe.
How to make:
Bryant and I love to take roadtrips to places we've never been and now that we have little Basil (and he's great in the car) we are even more about it. I heard from a couple of different people that Asheville, NC has a great food and craft beer scene. When I saw it was an 8-ish hour drive I started looking at Airbnbs and the rest is history!
We stayed in a more rural area to the east of downtown Asheville. Everywhere we wanted to go was within 15-30 minutes of where our Airbnb was located and we were able to access Uber perfectly fine. Everyone was super friendly and down to earth, we had a great time exploring (and drinking.) It's a really dog friendly town which we loved.
I got sick on the last day of our trip so we weren't able to explore as much as we would of liked! We wanted to check out Biscuit Head - but there was a huge line out the door and we didn't anticipate that.
I would definitely reccomend visitng Asheville during the warmer months. It was really cold when we were there in early Janurary and I would of loved to enjoy the outdoor patio scene.
We love using Airbnb when we travel. It's fun to be able to pick out exactly what type of home you want to stay in and we absolutely loved the look and feel of this tiny house. Basil was a big fan of the faux fur stool.
Burial Beer Co. (Dog Friendly)
This was our favorite spot! We had drinks here after dinner on Friday night and then realized it was dog friendly, so we came back with Basil on Saturday afternoon for some day drinks. It kind of felt like we were drinking in a friends basement or decked out garage - very cozy.
Buxton Hall BBQ
This was our favorite meal of the trip for sure. We LOVED the fried chicken sandwich, it was massive which is always good. The hush puppies, pulled pork and macaroni salad was really good too and they had a "sauce bar" which I loved.
Wedge Brewing Co. (Dog Friendly)
The Wedge was super tiny on the insdie - but in a really cool, artsy area. There was plenty of seating outside, but it was too cold for us! There were alot of spunky vibes in terms of decor, I wish I would of taken more photos. (I'm pretty sure we saw a few plants growing out of babydoll heads...v interesting.) We met a couple different groups of people who were also visiting for the weekend and of course, it was because everyone wanted to meet Basil. :)
The Funkatorium (Sour Beers)
Here, Bryant and I learned that we are not fans of sour beer. However, we thought this place was really cool and I've never seen so many barrels in my entire life. Definitely a hipster joint.
I am the noodle and dumpling QUEEN so we stopped here and got food to-go on our way back from day-drinking on Saturday. I ordered the dumpling special and then the drunken noodles with pork - both were really good. (I liked the noodles better than the dumplings - but that might of been because the dumplings were cold by the time I got around to eating them.)
This is one of the cutest places I've ever eaten at - although I think it might be a chain and I try to stick away from those when I'm traveling. I loved all of the wooden decor inside and the stone fireplace outside on the patio was beautiful. The chorizo taco was by far my favorite - so good. Very small tacos, I probably could of eaten one more.
Due to the fact that I have to be in a bathingsuit soon, I served this chicken paprikash with cauliflower rice. Although (I'm pretty sure) traditional chicken paprikash is served with dumplings or spaetzle. Spaetzle are little bite sized dumplings, basically tiny pieces of chewy dough, kind of like gnocchi but smaller with more texture.
Chicken paprikash is super easy to make, the key to the recipe is using authentic Hungarian paprika seasoning. If you're trying to keep things light, you don't have to use heavy cream...you can sub something else, or omit the cream part completely - things will just be less soupy and more like seasoned chicken with rice or dumplings. This recipe makes enough for two people!
What to do:
So I didn't eat any of the peas. For some reason, I have it stuck in my head that peas are supposed to be in traditional carbonara, but most dishes that I make don't follow the rules anyways so I'm here to tell you that peas are 100% an optional ingredient. The following recipe makes enough for 3-4 people!!
How to make:
Progressive's Flo and I found love in a hopeless place. Introducing, the only thing that can bring Philadelphia and New England fans together, The Philadengland. AKA, deep fried steak and cheese served with a cheesy clam chowder dipping "sauce."
Video shot by Thomas Sawyer
Deep Fried Philly Cheesesteak Balls
(Makes about 24 bite sized pieces)
New England Clam Chowder
Makes 8-10 small bowls
I like chili, I like soup and I like enchiladas so this recipe is the best of all three worlds. I'm pretty sure that it's healthy since there's only about 1/4 cup of rice in it (which you don't necessarily even need to add in if you don't want!) and besides that it's just chicken and vegetables. The recipe makes around 6 cups of soup, you can freeze whatever is leftover and reheat it anytime.
What you need:
What to do:
I don't really like chicken in my pasta but this recipe is the ultimate exception. I pound the chicken so that it's super thin and it's so lightly breaded that it mixes really well with linguine or angel hair.
If you're trying to cut carbs you can make the chicken without any breading or pasta and just eat it with the buttery lemon sauce!
Serving size: 2-3 people
What you need:
What to do:
Or as Whole Foods rings them up, squid tubes...lol. I bought them in the seafood freezer section - there were options to buy either tubes and tenticles or just the tubes.
I've eaten calamari a ton, but never actually made it from scratch before. It's pretty weird to see it in it's fishy form and not going to lie, kindof gross...and smelly. If you're using frozen squid, make sure to give yourself some time to let them thaw. I ended up soaking the container in hot water to speed up the process.
- HERBY SAUSAGE GRAVY GRILLED CHEESE
- THE BEST CREAMY TOMATO SAUCE
- MANGO HABANERO WINGS (!)
- LASAGNA CARBONARA STACKERS
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