The Best Zucchini Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake . . . Ever.

Zucchini Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake

You guys. .  this cake. .  this cake!!

I loved this cake so much. Zucchini cake, cupcakes and cookies seemed to be all the rage this month and so I figured I had to bake something and see for myself. Zucchini cakes are known for being super moist. Well, I kicked up the moist factor a few more notches with a secret ingredient. And I added hazelnut flour because I am obsessed.

Zucchini Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake_slice by Hip Foodie Mom

I have to show another photo of this slice because it was so good. Do you guys see the little green specks of loveliness? You guys have to click over to my friend, Amy’s blog, kimchi MOM, because I am guest posting for her today! I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Amy yet in real life but I feel like I know her. She’s my fellow Korean home girl and she’s a mother. We understand each other. Plus, she’s an amazing cook! I’ve made Amy’s Spam Musubi and Ramen Grilled Cheese and can’t wait to try her Bibimbap Burger. I really love how inventive and creative her recipes are! If you guys haven’t visited her blog, you need to!

Amy doesn’t bake much so I had to bake something today. .  so head on over to her blog get this recipe. This is now one of my Top 5 favorite cakes. OK, maybe Top 2. It was that good.

I hope you enjoy and make this cake! Happy Friday!

And happy LONG Labor Day weekend, woot woot!! And if you don’t know what you’re making for your Labor Day BBQ this weekend, check back here on Sunday..  I’ll have another zucchini recipe that you have to check out!

Zucchini Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cake by Hip Foodie Mom

 

 

Back to School with Tuna Veggie Rolls #BumbleBee101

Tuna Veggie Rolls

I can’t believe my kids will be back in school in less than one week. It’s been a glorious and fun summer and even though I’m not looking forward to pulling them out of bed in the mornings, I am looking forward to getting back into a regular schedule. Hooray!

Back to school. Getting the kids ready and excited and packing school lunches. Do you pack one everyday? Now, I don’t pack lunch for my kids everyday. Sometimes, my kids actually prefer the hot lunches at school, but at the same time, they are also somewhat picky eaters so when the cafeteria is serving something that my oldest daughter doesn’t like, I whip up the packed lunch. Phoebe is only going into 2nd grade so I haven’t been packing lunches for that long but even in this last year, I’ve become more creative and have expanded the packed lunch repertoire to go beyond her favorite pasta, fish sticks and apple slices.

Tuna Veggie Rolls by Hip Foodie Mom_on board

With a recent delivery of canned albacore tuna, my excitement grew. My kids actually love tuna and will eat it by itself by the spoonful. They are currently into eating rice rolls and love raw veggies . .  so the Tuna Veggie Roll was born! This might look super complicated but it’s really not. When you get into the swing of it, these rolls can be made in a flash!

Bumble Bee Tuna

Tuna Roll Prep

Tuna Veggie Roll_closeup

You guys, these are absolutely delicious and I love that they are packed with albacore tuna! Bumble Bee Prime Fillet Omega-3 Albacore Tuna is an excellent source of Omega-3 EPA and DHA. It’s a perfect way to add this important nutrient to your family’s diet and can be used in all of your favorite tuna recipes.

Tuna Veggie Rolls by Hip Foodie Mom

And here’s a bonus recipe for kids who like edamame.

Edamame

Simply prepare your edamame as you normally would, either boiling them or placing them in the microwave until ready and then soak them in a mixture of soy sauce + sesame oil + a little salt + sesame seeds (and if you want a little kick, add some Shichimi Togarashi – Japanese Mixed Chili Pepper). You will never want to eat plain ole edamame again. Try this!

Tuna Veggie Rolls
 
Note: Seaweed Gomasio is a blend of sesame seeds, seaweed and sea salt, and it can be found at Whole Foods. If made in the morning, these rolls can keep just fine in your child’s lunchbox (in an airtight container) until lunch time at school. RECIPE yields 4 rolls.
Author:
Recipe type: Main or Snack

Ingredients
Special equipment needed:
  • A bamboo rolling mat
  • Disposable gloves
  • A small bowl of water
  • A wood cutting board or other clean surface
  • A sharp knife
For the rice:
  • 2 cups cooked white medium grain rice; slightly cooled
  • Sesame oil; start with 1 tablespoon
  • Pinch of salt
  • Roasted sesame seeds or seaweed gomasio to taste
For the rolls:
  • 4 sheets dried roasted seaweed (gim)
  • 2 cups cooked seasoned white medium grain rice
  • 1 can albacore tuna, drained and mixed with 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and julienned
  • 1 seedless cucumber, unpeeled and julienned
  • serve with soy sauce
  • Roasted sesame seeds

Instructions
  1. For the rice: Place cooked white rice into a large bowl and let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Starting with 1 tablespoon, mix in the sesame oil and salt (or Seaweed Gomasio if using). Mix well and taste. Add just a touch more sesame oil if needed but do not overdo it. Your rice only needs a hint of sesame oil for taste. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, mix one last time and set aside.
  2. Step 1: Take one sheet of the dried gim and place onto your bamboo mat (make sure the bamboo sticks are horizontal). Spread about a ½ cup of cooked, seasoned rice onto ⅔ of the gim, spreading it evenly with your fingers. Tip: leave at least one inch uncovered (with no rice at all) at the top. This will help you to seal your roll at the end.
  3. Step 2: Lay in the tuna and then all of the ingredients (bell peppers, carrots and cucumbers) on top, leaving about an inch of exposed rice down at the bottom. Using the bamboo mat on the end closest to you, roll from the bottom up and over the ingredients (like you’re rolling a sleeping bag), pressing down gently but firmly to make the fillings stay in. As you continue to roll, pull the mat up and straighten it so that it doesn’t get caught in the roll. Continue until you have reached the edge of the gim.
  4. Step 3: Using your fingers, dab just a little bit of water along the top seam of the dried seaweed and roll to seal it closed. Roll and gently squeeze one last time with the bamboo mat, set aside and continue with the other seaweed sheets.
  5. Step 4: When all of the rolls are finished, using a sharp knife, dip the knife into the water and lift the knife up so the water runs down the blade. This will help you to get a nice, clean cut. Slice each roll into about 8-10 pieces. Sprinkle on some sesame seeds, serve with soy sauce if desired and enjoy!

For detailed photos and more tips on how to roll a rice roll, click here. Visit Bumble Bee Tuna on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. And for more recipe inspiration with tuna, click here.

And since most of us are heading back to school soon (if you have not started school already) and might need some lunchbox inspiration, here are some tips that have helped me with my kids’ lunches.

My Tips for Packing Lunches

  1. Keep it simple.
  2. Keep it healthy and colorful.
  3. Personalize it.
  4. Bento box it.
  5. Change it up.

Keep it simple.

Remember, your child probably only has 15-20 minutes to actually eat so I say keep it simple. My kids like easy finger foods or things they can easily pop into their mouths. Have the fruits and veggies already sliced. And for you, Mom or Dad: prep the lunches the night before. Everything is ready and easier to pack up in the morning. Or, sometimes when I need to pack a lunch at the last minute, I just pack all of her favorite things. Easy peasy.

Keep it healthy and colorful.

The way our kids are learning to eat now is shaping them into how they will eat as adults. Let’s teach them by example. Eat healthy. Pack healthy. Now, of course, if given the option of a cookie or a carrot, my kids will go for the cookie. But I’ve always given them raw veggies to snack on so they eat those as well too. Kids love eating the colors of the rainbow. Keep the skin on those apples. Pack some raw veggies. Keep it colorful. You’d be surprised how your child’s eyes will light up in excitement.

Personalize it.

Leave a sticker or write a little note or card just to say “Hi”, “Have a great day” or “I love you.” It really brightens their day. And it gets even better when they are old enough and can actually read!

Bento Box it.

I really think kids love food more when it’s organized. My kids love food and food containers that have compartments. That’s why I love lunch containers that keep all the food separate. And this keeps it clean and fun for the kids. Remember, kids are visual too. Also, pay attention to the container. Is it easy to open? Make sure your child can open his or her lunch container with no problems.

Change it up.

This is probably why we parents stress so much about packing the lunches but we have to change it up a bit. They can’t eat chicken bites everyday.  And even if they can, change up the protein and add different dipping sauces for more flavor and fun. Instead of a sandwich, try a tortilla wrap or tortilla wheel or circles. Try to change it up as much as possible. But do not introduce a brand new food in a lunchbox. Save these new foods for dinner time at home.

Here’s to a great school year!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and I was compensated for this post. Thank you for allowing me to work with brands that I love and support. All opinions expressed here are 100% my own.

The Pumpkin Banana Bread You Have To Try

Pumpkin Banana bread_main

Last week was a whirlwind. I drove to Chicago (only 2.5 hours away) and was in my first ever real photoshoot. All the anticipation, drinking water non-stop to help my complexion, cutting down on the carbs, trying to get to bed earlier, practicing my smile craziness is over! Hallelujah!

And how did I celebrate? I went to town at a fabulous restaurant in Chicago and stuffed my face.

This was, of course, also the same week I baked like five different desserts and other things for the blog and could only take small pieces and bites here and there ..  but there was one baked treat I could not resist.

This Pumpkin Banana Bread.

Pumpkin Banana Bread

Oh my gawd you guys. I could not stop eating this bread. Have you guys had Pumpkin Banana Bread before? Here I was thinking I was creating something new that no one had ever tried before. It’s been done before. I know. I’m just glad I discovered this and created my own recipe in time for Fall baking and the holidays.

Freaking amazing and so delicious.

Pumpkin is one of my favorite things for Fall and I love banana bread so why not combine the two?

Pumpkin Banana Bread by Hip Foodie Mom

So what if I ate half of this loaf myself and made another one to take to my family over the weekend? This bread is definitely going to be a Choi family favorite this Fall. .  you guys have to try this.

I hope you enjoy!

The Pumpkin Banana Bread You Have To Try
 
Prep time

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Total time

 

Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack

Ingredients
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 4 to 5 large very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ heaping cup walnuts and pecans, coarsely chopped

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease (or spray) your (8×4-inch) loaf pan and set aside.
  2. Using your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar until well combined. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping the bowl as needed. Add the pumpkin, bananas and vanilla extract and mix well at medium speed. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and the ground cloves. Slowly pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients over low speed until well combined. Add in the walnut/pecans and mix well.
  3. Pour the mixture evenly into your prepared loaf pan and bake for 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before removing from loaf pan and slicing.

Adapted from LandOLakes.com

 

Kimchi Deviled Eggs

Kimchi Deviled Eggs_main

I recently watched the movie Chef and loved it. This is the first movie I think where the term, “food blogger” has been used. Am I right or am I forgetting another movie? Anyway, in Chef, the food blogger is also a food critic and has a huge following on Twitter. .  anyway, I loved the movie so much for so many reasons.

(If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read the next paragraph. I don’t want to upset anyone by giving away something.)

The cooking scenes. Damn. I want Chef Carl Casper to make me a grilled cheese sandwich. OH MY GAWD. The father/son relationship, the road trip home in the food truck. The stop in New Orleans. The video clip his son makes for him. The relationship he has with his cooking staff.

And most of all, I loved Chef Carl’s passion. His desire to make good food. His desire to be creative, inventive, different and brave.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs_closeup

I might post some weird looking things on my blog. Foods you might never want to eat. .  but what I hope I do is bring a little creativity. .  a little adventure. . a little Korean-ness.

Kimchi Deviled Eggs by Hip Foodie Mom

These are like the BEST deviled eggs I’ve ever had. Ever. I seriously could have eaten 10 of these. So good. Three very unique Korean ingredients bring this recipe to life. So, you’ve got to head on over to The Kitchn for this recipe to find out what they are! And if this is something you’d try or like or think is awesome, please leave me a comment. .  either here or at my post on The Kitchn.

Thanks. .  I hope you enjoy!

Kimchi Deviled Eggs

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich + A Giveaway from Maille

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich with Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar by Hip Foodie Mom

Sometimes you just need a sandwich. A big sandwich. Or a chicken burger. One that drips when you take a bite and is juicy and full of flavor. This is for the days when a salad won’t cut it. When you just need more.

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich by Hip Foodie Mom

I could have grilled a big, juicy ground beef patty but I had lovely chicken thigh meat in my fridge and couldn’t let those babies go to waste. Grilled to perfection and the grill marks get me every time. Oh baby.

This chicken sandwich rocks on so many levels. .  the bacon, the chicken thigh meat, the perfectly toasted bun, and fresh, crisp green leaf lettuce and the big, luscious slices of fresh tomatoes.

But you wanna know what the kicker is?

Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar with sandwich

Maille’s new Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar. Now, I’m a HUGE lover of honey dijon mustard (or any kind of dijon mustard; love the stuff) and balsamic vinegar.  . so combining the two?!

This is perfection.

And should be spread on every burger, sandwich, wrap, whatever . .  out there. You guys need to try this.

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich_main by Hip Foodie Mom

The Ultimate Chicken Sandwich
 
Prep time

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The “prep time” is the refrigeration time for the chicken thigh meat with the dry rub. And the cook time is an estimate. Chicken is done when cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 165°F.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4

Ingredients
For the dry chicken rub:
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ tablespoon ancho chili pepper powder, you can add more if you want more heat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ½ tablespoon turmeric
  • ½ tablespoon coriander
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon star anise powder
For the chicken sandwich:
  • 4 big chicken thigh pieces, boneless and skinless
  • 4 buns, toasted
  • mayonnaise
  • honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar
  • dijon mustard, optional
  • 4 slices cheddar cheese
  • cooked thick, crispy bacon strips
  • green leaf lettuce
  • tomato slices

Instructions
For the dry rub:
  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well blended. Taste and adjust any seasonings as needed. Sprinkle dry rub onto each chicken thigh piece, on both sides, and gently rub in. Cover and place into the refrigerator for at least an hour.
For the sandwich:
  1. Fire up the grill. Remove chicken thighs from the fridge and place into the hot grill and let cook undisturbed until browned, for about 3 minutes. Flip the chicken thighs and repeat. Continue this until the thigh meat is nicely charred and cooked through to an internal temperature of at least 165°F. Remove from the grill and let rest for a few minutes before assembling your sandwich.
  2. To assemble: generously slather on the mayonnaise and dijon mustard on the bottom piece of the bun and slather on Maille’s honey dijon mustard with balsamic vinegar on the top side of the bun. Place the slice of cheddar cheese on the bottom bun, add the chicken thigh meat (which should still be hot), layer on the tomatoes, lettuce and thick, crispy bacon. Top with the top bun and devour immediately.

Dry rub inspired directly from Tom Douglas’ Chicken Rub, Rub With Love. I figured out the proportions on my own.

And just to make sure someone gets to try this fabulous Honey Dijon Mustard with Balsamic Vinegar. .  We’re giving away the entire product line of Maille’s dijon mustards and cornichons. One reader will win everything featured below.

Maille Product Giveaway hosted by Hip Foodie Mom

You guys have to try each and every product shown above. These are the best. Enter the giveaway below and GOOD LUCK!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I was provided with all of the products featured above to sample. I wanted to host a giveaway because I truly love these products. 

 

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto for Pompeian #PantryInsiders

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto

Ever since our vacation last summer, my family has been addicted to Butter Noodles. And I’m not talking about light butter. I’m talking full fat salted butter, full taste, slab on a ton of butter, mixed with some garlic, Butter Noodles. This has been my quick go-to dinner when the pantry is bare and I don’t have a lot of time to cook dinner.

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto by Hip Foodie Mom

Since August is National Olive Oil Month, I decided to see if I could come up with a healthier version of a pasta dish that the entire family would enjoy. When I cook, I hate wasting vegetables and fresh greens so I tend to throw everything I have into a dish (or will make pesto) and just cook it up. .  this is sort of how this recipe came to life. My husband and I are also trying to get healthier and wouldn’t mind losing a few pounds. So, since I was making healthy pasta, I grabbed the whole grain pasta at the store and went for it.

Whole Grain Pasta by Hip Foodie Mom

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto_vertical

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto_bite

This pasta was so delicious. I love lighter, colder pastas in the summer and loved the extra virgin olive oil + a splash of balsamic for more flavor. For even more bite, heartiness and fun, feel free to mix in some seasoned breadcrumbs and if the raw vegetable pesto doesn’t do it for you, you can lightly sauté everything to warm it up before mixing in with your pasta.

Truth be told, my kids didn’t love this pasta as much as my husband and I did but you can bet I’m going to be making this again and will keep throwing vegetables into their dishes whether they like it or not.

Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil by Hip Foodie Mom

The key to this pasta, aside from the actual whole grain noodles and seasonal summer vegetables I used, is the extra virgin olive oil. I used Pompeian. In honor of National Olive Oil Month, Pompeian is encouraging people to take the Pompeian Pledge and swap butter for olive oil in everyday recipes. To learn more, click here and the next time you’re at the grocery store, check out Pompeian’s line of olive oils and vinegars. You can also visit Pompeian’s Facebook page to find out how you can pledge to switch from butter to olive oil in your recipes during the month of August for National Olive Oil month. 1,000 people who take the pledge will be randomly selected to win a coupon for a free bottle of Pompeian Extra Virgin Olive Oil, along with movie prize packs, so check it out!

And speaking of movie prize packs, another recipe, if you can call it that, that we make all the time and especially on Friday nights for family movie night is popcorn with olive oil and salt. We’ve literally been making our popcorn like this for over 2-3 years. I hope you enjoy and take the pledge!

Healthy Whole Grain Spaghetti with Vegetable Pesto by Hip Foodie Mom

Healthy Whole Grain Pasta with Vegetable Pesto
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

The only thing you are cooking here is the pasta. If the raw vegetable pesto doesn’t do it for you, you can lightly sauté the mixture with some extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 to 6

Ingredients
  • ½ lb. whole grain spaghetti pasta
  • ½ head of cauliflower, cut into big chunks
  • ½ medium to large sized zucchini, cut into big chunks
  • ½ yellow summer squash, cut into big chunks
  • 1 heaping cup green olives
  • 2-3 sun dried tomatoes (I used the kind that is jarred with olive oil)
  • 1 to 2 cups fresh arugula (use however much you want)
  • ¼ cup pine nuts
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese + more when serving if desired
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for some heat, optional
  • balsamic vinegar; optional

Instructions
  1. Cook pasta according to package instructions; cook to al dente. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  2. As the pasta is cooking, place all of the vegetable chunks into a large food processor and pulse until the cauliflower, zucchini and summer squash resemble a couscous like texture. Remove from the food processor and place into a large mixing bowl. Add in the green olives, sun dried tomatoes, fresh arugula, pine nuts and parmesan cheese and pulse until everything is blended and chopped very fine (you still want texture; do not over process/pulse). Remove from the food processor and add into the same mixing bowl with the vegetables. Mix well using a rubber spatula.
  3. Add the whole grain pasta to the mixing bowl, along with the extra virgin olive oil. Mix well, coating the pasta with the vegetable pesto. Season with salt, pepper and crushed red pepper flakes if desired and enjoy immediately. When serving, feel free to add a splash of balsamic vinegar (or white wine or red wine vinegar) for a kick and more freshly grated parmesan cheese over the pasta if desired.

Recipe adapted from Deb Perelman’s cauliflower pesto from The Smitten Kitchen cookbook.

If you’re interested in more recipes using olive oil, click here to try my Olive Oil and Thyme mini bundt cakes. This recipe is one of my favorites.

Olive-Oil-Mini-Bundt-Cake-with-pretty-Thyme-HipFoodieMom.com_

Disclosure: This post is in partnership with Pompeian’s Blogger Ambassador Program and Pompeian Pantry Insiders. I was compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for allowing me to work with brands that I love, use and support.

 

The Best Toast You’ll Ever Have

Toast with Honey Mascarpone and Nutella by Hip Foodie Mom

Do you have a favorite snack that you make all the time? Or something sweet that you like to indulge in every once in a while? Well, I’m here today with mine. I’ve posted this before but because fresh strawberries are in abundance right now, I had to share this recipe again.

Toast with Honey Mascarpone and Nutella_drizzle

We have two weeks until school starts again. By the way, it’s so weird for me to see photos of kids already going back in mid-August but back-to-school start dates are different across the country. So, this means we have two more weeks of relaxing, prepping and getting ready for that first day back. One of the things I love about summer and the kids being out of school is actually sitting down to a bigger (a little bit heartier) breakfast in the morning. During the school year it’s waffles, fruit, cereal, maybe a bagel and yogurt and when we’re really pressed for time, a granola bar and a glass of milk.

So, I have two more weeks where I can make a breakfast like this.

Toast with Honey Mascarpone and Nutella

Or snack. Or, hey, after school snack? Snack for yourself?

And the best part? This is like the easiest recipe ever. Feel free to mix it up. Use a bagel or puff pastry or brioche or a croissant. Mix up the toppings. It can only get better. The ingredient that makes this toast for me is the honey + mascarpone. Oh my gawd. LOVE. If you’ve never tried mixing these two things together, stop now and run to the grocery store.

This will change the way you eat toast. Period.

I hope you enjoy!

The Best Toast You’ll Ever Have
 
If you want to make more, simply double the ingredients below. For every ½ cup of mascarpone, you will need to add 1 heaping tablespoon of honey.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast or Snack

Ingredients
  • ½ cup mascarpone
  • 1 heaping tablespoon honey
  • 6 slices of your favorite bread, toasted
  • fresh strawberries, sliced
  • slightly heated Nutella (easier to drizzle); 20-30 sec in the microwave
  • sliced almonds and hazelnuts

Instructions
  1. Mix together the mascarpone and honey in a small bowl. Spread the honey mascarpone mixture on the toasted bread and arrange some strawberries on top. Drizzle on some melted Nutella and sprinkle on the sliced almonds and hazelnuts. Enjoy immediately.

 

 

Quick and Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

Quick and Easy Vegetable Lo Mein

Noodles are definitely a staple at my house. My kids love pasta and Asian noodles are one of their favorites. Because of this, Lo Mein was one of the first dishes I learned how to make. I would play around with sauce ingredients and vary what I put inside. Sometimes with beef or chicken and sometimes keeping it all vegetables.

Chinese stir fry, fried rice, beef with broccoli, shrimp with white sauce and, of course, lo mein are some of our favorites. If you haven’t tried making Chinese food at home, you really need to! You’re going to be amazed at how easy it really is. I believe the key to great Chinese food at home is using fresh, quality ingredients and making sure you have the right cooking essentials.

So, head on over to The Kitchenthusiast to read this post and to get this fabulous recipe. You don’t want to miss this one! And if you like it, please leave me a comment down below or over at KitchenAid’s blog.

MAKE-AHEAD Cook the pasta noodles and chop up all of the veggies the night before and keep in the refrigerator. This way, everything will be prepped and ready to go for dinner after a busy day!

I hope you enjoy it!

Vegetable Lo Mein by Hip Foodie Mom

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post and is in conjunction with my partnership with KitchenAid and The Kitchenthusiast. All opinions expressed here, as always, are 100% my own. Thank you for supporting me in partnering with the brands that I love. 

 

 

Kimchi Bruschetta

Kimchi Bruschetta by Hip Foodie Mom

If you know me well, you know I’m kind of obsessed (ok, maybe obsessed is the wrong word here) about fresh breath. And it’s hard when you’re a Korean food lover like me and love kimchi. I always have gum (at least 2 different kinds) and breath mints and ice breakers in my purse. I always travel with gum so if you ever need a mint or piece of gum, ask me for one. It’s my thing.

True story: when Paul (my husband) tried to kiss me for the first time  ..  we had sushi that night and for whatever reason I didn’t have gum or breath mints in my purse. Maybe I switched purses that night and forgot. Who knows what happened. All I remember is that he came in for the kiss and I gave him the cheek. I thought my breath stunk and didn’t want our first kiss to be a terrible one. So, he left that night, feeling deflated and wondering what had gone wrong. .  I think we even talked on the phone really late that night because one of us called the other. So, I came clean and told him why and the next time I saw him, we made up for that awkward first attempt of a kiss.

And, well I guess the rest is history. He’s my husband now and no breath mints are required before smootching.

Kimchi Bruschetta

Well, all that talk about fresh breath goes out the window with this Kimchi Bruschetta. And it’s damn well worth it my friends. If you like and eat kimchi (or really any garlic heavy ethnic food), you will LOVE this bruschetta. I’m pretty adventurous with my food and love trying new things. I will pretty much try anything at least once (beef tongue. oh yes I did).

When I showed this recipe to my brother and sister, they both were a little confused. For my sister, the ricotta was weird. For my brother, he said he’d try it if the kimchi was sautéed (which it is!).

So, I’m sharing this with you today because it was freaking delicious. Delicious. So, get over the ricotta if it’s weird for you. .  it adds a lovely creaminess here and because ricotta has a mild taste, it pairs delightfully with the garlic, tomatoes, kimchi and sesame oil. So, here’s to a little adventure and throwing caution to the wind. And let me just say this one more time. This kimchi bruschetta is absolutely delicious.

I hope you enjoy!

Kimchi Bruschetta_up close by Hip Foodie Mom

Kimchi Bruschetta
 
Prep time

Cook time

Total time

 

The recipe yields about 8 to 10 pieces of Kimchi Bruschetta.
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizers
Serves: 4

Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ french baguette, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 1½ heaping cups kimchi, chopped
  • 1 medium to large sized tomato, diced with the seeds removed
  • fresh ricotta cheese
  • fresh green onions, diced for garnish

Instructions
  1. Using a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the baguette slices and cook until well toasted on each side; for about 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Remove from heat, rub one side of all the baguette slices with the garlic and set aside.
  2. Using a medium to large sized nonstick skillet, heat the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add the kimchi and sauté for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until heated through. Remove from heat and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Combine the fresh diced tomatoes and sautéed kimchi and mix well.
  3. To assemble: spread the ricotta cheese on each baguette and top with the tomato/kimchi mixture. Garnish with the diced green onions and serve immediately.

 

Kimchi Bruschetta from Hip Foodie Mom

Kimchi Bruschetta_upclose

If you don’t have an Asian or Korean market close to you and want to pick up some kimchi, try looking at your neighborhood Costco!! Good luck and I hope you give this recipe a try!

 

 

Our Summer and Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars

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I can’t believe it’s already August and we only have one more month of summer. I don’t know about you, but June and July flew by so I’m trying to make time stand still for a while so we can enjoy August for a little longer. Wouldn’t that be nice? This summer has been relaxing, fun, busy and memorable. I love being at home with the kids and being able to stay up late, have family movie night on a weeknight, playing, cooking and baking together and just having fun.

Hermosa Beach

I love summer time because our schedules are a little more relaxed and some days we can just wing it. We obviously manage to keep ourselves busy and plan more family outings and trips. Like trips to the Madison Zoo, where the admission is free! Crazy. What zoo out there is still free?!

Madison Zoo

Our summer was filled with regular trips to our community garden where the girls play in the neighboring field, run around and pick flowers. I kind of love this about our community garden and where we live in Wisconsin. While my husband is watering the garden and the kids are running around, I often just look around and try to soak it all in.

Community Garden

Picking Flowers

I love the sweet moments I get to capture with my camera and often find myself reminiscing and looking back on old photos. I love all the little things. The special moments. They don’t happen everyday but when they do, I remember them and hold on to them. Because sure enough, the following day is filled with fights, whining and pulling hair (my kids) so I’m playing referee and sometimes am on the verge of wanting to pull my own hair out.

So, is the life with children and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

CA Adventure

Tomorrow is a new day and I will continue to celebrate the little things, hold on to those special moments and break out the sweet treats in between.

Fruttare Mango Frozen Fruit Bars

As a mother and lover of all things sweet, cold and delicious, I always keep my freezer fully stocked with treats for me, my husband and the kids. We recently tried these Mango Fruttare frozen fruit bars and they were so good! They literally tasted like we were eating delicious, frozen mango bars. Nothing artificial, nothing overly sweet. Just perfection. In fact, my kids wanted to eat a second bar immediately after they were finished with their first one.

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Fruttare Mango Frozen Fruit Bars_on plate

My kids always seem to be on their best behavior after they have a treat. I don’t know what it is. Maybe they want to keep up the “we are always good listeners” facade so they can get more?

We purchased two more boxes of Fruttare Frozen Fruit Bars the following week.

Fruttare Fruit and Milk Bars are made with creamy milk and real fruit. For more information on Fruttare Fruit Bars, you can visit FruttareFruitBars.com.

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So, tell me how your summer’s been going! I’d love to hear from you!

 

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.