Carrabba’s Restaurant Marinara Sauce

The official Carrabba’s Italian Restaurant Marinara Sauce from the Carrabba’s cookbook. Great for a pasta sauce or to use as a dip for appetizers like mozzarella sticks or fried calamari.

Carrabba’s Restaurant Marinara Sauce

sofiyababinov
The official Carrabba's Italian Restaurant Marinara Sauce from the Carrabba's cookbook. Great for a pasta sauce or to use as a dip for appetizers like mozzarella sticks or fried calamari.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian

Ingredients
  

  • 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion finely chopped
  • 2 Scallions both white/green part, finely chopped
  • 2 Anchovy Fillets in oil optional, drained and finely chopped
  • 4 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/4 Cup Hearty Red Wine such as Citra Montepulciano
  • 1 28 oz. Can Whole Tomatoes in juice
  • 1 tsp Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp Hot, Crushed, Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Black Pepper

Instructions
 

  • Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the scallions, anchovies (if using), garlic and cook. Stirring occasionally until garlic is fragrant for about 1 minute.
  • Add the wine. Pour the tomatoes and their juices into a bowl. Crush the tomatoes between your fingers, and pour the mixture into the saucepan. Add the oregano, hot pepper flakes, ground pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer, stirring often, until the tomato juices have thickened and the sauce has reduced slightly, about 30 minutes.

Notes

This Marinara Sauce can be cooled, covered, and refrigerated for up to 3 days. Or freeze for up to 2 months and thaw overnight in the refrigerator before using.
Keyword easy, Italian, Marinara, restaurant, Sauce

Bourbon Chicken

Homemade Chinese food is one of our favorite things to eat. We have Chinese night every Friday night at our house and this Bourbon Chicken is one of our most frequently made recipes. We made it for a Chinese dinner party once and it was a huge hit with our friends as well. I like to pair it with plain white rice (so we can eat it with the extra yummy Bourbon sauce) or vegetable fried rice. It’s super simple to make and no fancy ingredients required!

Bourbon Chicken

sofiyababinov
Homemade Chinese food is one of our favorite things to eat. We have Chinese night every Friday night at our house and this Bourbon Chicken is one of our most frequently made recipes. We made it for a Chinese dinner party once and it was a huge hit with our friends as well. I like to pair it with plain white rice (so we can eat it with the extra yummy Bourbon sauce) or vegetable fried rice. It’s super simple to make and no fancy ingredients required!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Chinese
Servings 8
Calories 578 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 4 LB Chicken Breast or Thighs cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Pepper
  • 3 1/2 TBS Cornstarch divided
  • 3 TBS Oil to fry the chicken

Bourbon Sauce

  • 1 Cup Chicken Broth I make my own with Better Then Bouillon
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1/4 Cup Bourbon
  • 2/3 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • 1/3 Cup Ketchup
  • 2 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 Cup Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 1/2 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Power
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Ginger

Instructions
 

  • Cut chicken breasts or thighs into 1 inch pieces. Transfer to a big bowl. Add 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and 2 TBS Cornstarch. Mix well.
  • Add all the Bourbon sauce ingredients into a big bowl and mix well. Set it aside.
  • Heat 3 TBS oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Fry the chicken pieces in batches, until the chicken is cooked through until well done and golden on the outside. I cooked it in 4 batches. Have a plate lined with paper towels to put cooked chicken into, to absorb the extra oil.
  • Once the chicken is all cooked, wipe off the skillet with paper towels, no need to wash it. Add the bourbon sauce and bring to a boil then add in the cooked chicken.
  • Reduce to low heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally for 10-15 minutes until the sauce reduces a bit.
  • In a small glass, add 1 TBS water and 1.5 TBS cornstarch and mix well until it becomes a white slurry. Add the cornstarch slurry mixture to the bourbon chicken. Let it simmer a few minutes so the sauce thickens up.

Notes

Serve with white rice (we love pouring the extra Bourbon sauce over it)! This dish reheats well the next day in a skillet on low heat. 
Keyword 30 minutes, chicken, Chinese, easy

Creamy Cajun Rigatoni Shrimp Pasta

This pasta is delicious and super easy to whip up in 30 minutes. It is definitely one of our family favorite pasta recipes. Even my picky boys eat it (and ask for seconds)! I got the inspiration for this recipe from a restaurant called “Nothing But Noodles” here in Charlotte. It’s one of my favorite pastas on their menu so I decided to recreate it at home (with the addition of a lot of shrimp of course) and I am so glad I did!

Creamy Cajun Rigatoni Shrimp Pasta

sofiyababinov
This pasta is delicious and super easy to whip up in 30 minutes. It is definitely one of our family favorite pasta recipes. Even my picky boys eat it (and ask for seconds too)! I got the inspiration for this recipe from a restaurant called "Nothing But Noodles" here in Charlotte. It's one of my favorite pastas on their menu so I decided to recreate it at home (with the addition of a lot of shrimp of course) and I am so glad I did!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 8
Calories 655 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 LB Rigatoni Pasta or pasta or choice
  • 2 LB Shrimp peeled, deveined
  • 3 Cups Heavy Cream
  • 2 Cups Parmesan Cheese finely shredded
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 2 TBS Cajun Seasoning divided (1 TBS for shrimp, 1 TBS for sauce)
  • 1 Cup Baby Tomatoes diced
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper diced, optional
  • 8 TBS Butter divided (4 TBS for shrimp, 4 TBS pasta/sauce)
  • 1 TBS Parsley finely chopped for garnish, optional
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Wash, peel, devein shrimp and put it in a large baking dish with 4 TBS butter (cut into slices). Sprinkle with 1 TBS Cajun seasoning, a sprinkle of salt and mix. Bake for 15-25 minutes until shrimp is cooked through, mixing twice. Meanwhile move on to steps 2 and 3. 
  • Cook Rigatoni pasta (or any pasta of choice) in a pot of salted water until al dente, according to package instructions. When the shrimp in the oven is well cooked through, take it out of the oven and set aside, covered to keep it hot. 
  • Heat 2 TBS Butter in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the minced garlic cloves, diced baby tomatoes, and diced bell pepper (optional). Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  • Add 3 cups heavy cream and 2 cups finely shredded parmesan cheese. Mix well and bring to a light boil, then reduce to low heat and let it simmer, stirring occasionally. 
  • Once the pasta is cooked through, drain water from the pot and add 2 TBS butter to the pasta. Add cooked pasta and cooked shrimp to the skillet with sauce and combine.

Notes

This recipe reheats well the next day. Just warm up on a skillet with some butter on low heat.
Keyword 30 minutes, pasta, seafood, shrimp

Crab and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

These Crab and Cheese stuffed mushrooms were on our Christmas menu. I came up with the idea for these because I was craving my crab salad and stuffed mushrooms. So I thought hmmm, what if I put the two together and add some cheese?…Needless to say, these turned out absolutely amazing! Another idea is you can double the stuffing and spread it out on slices of a fresh French baguette and bake it in the oven on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. I experimented that recipe with some extra filling I had and ended up with delicious appetizer and breakfast sandwiches! So this recipe can easily be doubled to make another easy appetizer.

Crab and Cheese Stuffed Mushrooms

Crab and cheese stuffed mushrooms baked to golden gooey, cheesy, perfection! Super easy to make and the perfect Holiday appetizer.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12

Ingredients
  

  • 2 24 oz. White Mushrooms stems removed and finely chopped
  • 8 oz. Imitation Crab Meat finely chopped
  • 1 8 oz. Block Monterey Jack Cheese shredded
  • 1 8 oz. Block Mozzarella Cheese shredded
  • 4 Scallions green part only, finely chopped
  • 2 TBS Mayonnaise
  • 1 Garlic Clove minced
  • 2 TBS Olive Oil for frying mushroom stems and for baking tray
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Wash the mushrooms thoroughly. Carefully take out stems from the mushrooms and finely chop the stems.
  • In a small skillet, heat 1 TBS olive oil on medium heat and cook the chopped up mushroom stems. When the mushroom stems are cooked through, add 1 minced garlic clove and stir to combine. Set cooked mushroom stems/garlic mixture aside.
  • Finely chop the imitation crab meat and put it in a large bowl. Finely chop the scallions and add to the bowl. Shred the Mozzarella and Monterey Jack cheeses and add to the bowl.
  • Add the cooked mushroom stem/garlic mixture to the bowl with crab meat, scallions, and cheese. Add 2 TBS Mayonnaise. Add a sprinkle of salt. Mix well to combine.
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking dish with some oil (so the mushrooms don't stick). Stuff each mushroom cap with the stuffing mixture. Pack each mushroom cap in with a lot of stuffing!
  • Bake stuffed mushrooms for 20-30 minutes until slightly golden brown on top and the cheese has all melted. These are best served hot!

Notes

To reheat, bake in the oven on 250 degrees for 5-10 minutes until warmed up.
If you made double the filling for the sandwiches, spread the filling out on top of fresh thinly sliced French baguette bread and bake on 350 degrees for about 10 minutes. The sandwiches should be slightly golden and the cheese should be super melty on top.
Keyword appetizers, mushrooms, seafood

Layered Smoked Salmon Salad (Shuba)

This Layered Smoked Salmon Salad is our family Holiday must have! Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving just wouldn’t be the same without this dish! This tradition Russian salad is usually made with herring fish but we prefer to use smoked salmon (just a taste preference). I love how simple this salad is and that it is made in advance which saves so much time, especially when I have a lot of other things to cook for the Holiday menu.

Layered Smoked Salmon Salad (Shuba)

This Layered Smoked Salmon Salad is a traditional Russian salad side dish. It's usually made with herring fish but we prefer to use smoked salmon (taste preference). I love how simple this salad is and that it's made in advance which saves so much time, especially when cooking for Holidays.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr 20 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Russian
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Grater

Ingredients
  

  • 12-16 oz. Smoked Salmon cut into small pieces
  • 3-4 Medium Gold Potatoes cooked, peeled, grated
  • 1 Small Sweet Onion finely chopped
  • 3-4 Beets cooked, peeled, grated
  • 2-3 Carrots cooked, peeled, grated
  • 5 Eggs cooked, peeled, finely grated
  • 1-1.5 Cups Hellman's Mayonnaise divided
  • Salt to taste

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add the potatoes (whole, unpeeled), carrots (whole or cut in half, unpeeled) and cook on med-high heat until potatoes and carrots are cooked through, about 45 minutes. You can poke the potatoes/carrots with a fork to see if they're soft and cooked through. Once cooked drain out water from the pot and set potatoes/carrots aside to cool. Meanwhile move on to steps 2 and 3.
  • Bring a medium pot of water to boil, add the beets (Whole or cut in half if they're large, unpeeled) and cook on med-high heat until cooked through and soft, about 45-55 minutes. Once cooked, drain out water from the pot and set beets aside to cool.
  • Put eggs into a small pot, cover eggs with water and bring to a boil. Cook until eggs are hard boiled, about 10-15 minutes, then drain water out of the pot. Peel the eggs once cooled down and set aside. (I've found that the longer you wait to peel the eggs, the harder they will be to peel).
  • Cut the smoked salmon into small pieces. In a (16×3) casserole dish (or any dish you prefer) layer the smoked salmon in a single layer around the bottom of the casserole dish.
  • Once your potatoes have cooled down, peel the skin off, then grate them with a grater and sprinkle over the smoked salmon pieces. Sprinkle a little bit of salt on the grated potato layer. If using herring instead of smoked salmon then no salt is needed as herring is usually already very salty.
  • Sprinkle the finely chopped sweet onion over the layer of potatoes. Then add about 3/4 cup mayonnaise over the potato/onion layer and carefully spread it around to cover the entire layer evenly.
  • Peel and grate the beets (some people prefer to use kitchen gloves for this step because beets will stain your hands bright red for a few hours). Gently sprinkle the grated beets over the layer of mayonnaise.
  • Peel and grate the carrots. Gently sprinkle the carrots over the layer of grated beets. Add another about 3/4 cup mayonnaise over the beet/carrot layer and carefully spread it around to cover the entire layer evenly.
  • Grate the peeled eggs and gently sprinkle them over the top of the last mayonnaise layer to completely cover the entire salad. Cover the Layered Salad tightly with foil or a lid and refrigerate overnight or for at least 8 hours. Best served cold, right out of the fridge!

Notes

This salad tastes best if you let it stand overnight (or for at least 8 hours) in the refrigerator before eating, so the flavors blend.
Keep the finished salad tightly covered when you store it in the refrigerator so it doesn’t dry out.
This salad can stay fresh for several days, tightly covered and refrigerated.
Keyword Russian, salad, Salmon, Shuba

Ground Beef Bulgogi Plate

This ground beef Bulgogi plate is a super easy and quick meal yet looks and tastes like a dish from an upscale Korean restaurant! You can use ground beef or cut up pieces of beef (steak) for this recipe. I prefer to use ground beef because it’s easier. I got this amazing recipe from our friend Dre and it’s frequently on our weeknight menu. I hope you love this recipe just as much as we do!

Ground Beef Bulgogi Plate

This ground beef Bulgogi plate is a super easy and quick meal yet looks and tastes like a dish from a restaurant! You can use ground beef or cut up pieces of beef (steak) for this recipe. I love how versatile this dish is, everyone gets to build their own perfect plate.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Korean
Servings 4

Ingredients
  

  • 1 LB Ground Beef
  • 4-5 Carrots peeled, cut into thick matchsticks
  • 1/2 Cup Korean BBQ Bulgogi Sauce from the Asian market
  • 1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp Sesame Oil
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro finely chopped
  • 1 Bunch Scallions finely chopped
  • 2 Cups Jasmine Rice cooked according to package instructions
  • 4 TBS Olive Oil divided, for cooking
  • Korean Gochujang Brown Rice Red Pepper Paste from the Asian Market, optional, for serving

Instructions
 

  • Chop up the carrots into large matchstick pieces, toss on a baking sheet with 3 TBS olive oil and salt to taste. Bake on 400 degrees for 20-30 mins, until carrots are soft. Meanwhile move on to next steps!
  • Cook 2 Cups Jasmine rice according to package instructions. Cover and set aside.
  • In a large frying pan, on medium heat, add 1 TBS olive oil then add the ground beef. When the ground beef is almost done cooking, add Korean BBQ Bulgogi sauce, Soy sauce, and Sesame oil. Cook until the ground beef is well cooked through. Cover with lid and set aside.
  • Finely chop 1 bunch cilantro and 1 bunch scallions. Put both into a plate. These will be served on the side as garnishes to serve the Bulgogi with.
  • Serve everything on the table and everyone can build their own perfect Bulgogi plate! This is not only a fun way to serve Bulgogi but makes storing leftovers easy too. I add 1 tsp of the Gochujang paste (for a spicy kick, totally optional) and mix everything together for the perfect Bulgogi plate!
Keyword 30 minutes, beef, easy, Korean

Chinese Crab Rangoon’s

AE9DA459-EC22-4AD5-8B87-2D62E91655D9Another popular Chinese food item that I have been craving during Quarantine 2020 is Crab Rangoon’s so we decided to make them at home and I’m so glad we did! These are super easy to make and taste so much better then any Chinese restaurant we’ve tried them at. These make a great appetizer for homemade Chinese night and are the ultimate party appetizer!

Chinese Crab Rangoon’s

sofiyababinov
Better than Chinese restaurant Crab Rangoon's. Easy and simple recipe. The ultimate party appetizer! Great side for homemade Chinese night.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Stuffing the Rangoon’s with filling 20 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Chinese

Ingredients
  

  • 1 12 oz. Pack Nasoya Brand Won Ton Wraps found in refrigerator section in most grocery stores, near vegetables
  • Oil for frying Rangoon's
  • 3 TBS Water

For the Filling:

  • 1 8 oz. Cream Cheese softened
  • 1 8 oz. Pack Imitation Crab Meat Sticks finely chopped
  • 3-4 Scallions green part only, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Soy Sauce
  • 2 tsp Sugar

Optional for dipping Rangoon's:

  • Chili Sauce optional, to serve as a dipping sauce

Instructions
 

  • Mix together all the ingredients for the filling in a big bowl.
  • Set up a Rangoon making station. I lay out a piece of foil, a small container with water and cooking brush, the won ton wraps, and the bowl with filling. Lay out the wonton wrap and put a teaspoon of filling in the middle.
  • Wet the edges of the won ton wrapper all around with water, using a cooking brush.
  • Fold the won ton wrapper over diagonally to form a triangle shape and press to seal tightly so the filling doesn’t come out during the frying process.
  • Once all Crab Rangoon's are filled and sealed, fill a pot with 1-2 inches of cooking oil and heat on low-medium heat.
  • Throw in a few Rangoon's at a time and fry them until golden, about 2 minutes per side (flip them from one side to the other as you fry).
  • Transfer fried Rangoon's to a plate lined with paper towels to drain excess oil.
  • Serve hot, optionally with a side of Chili sauce for dipping.

Notes

These reheat easily! Just stick them in the oven on 350 degrees for 5-10 minutes, flipping from one side to the other. These can definitely be made ahead of time and heated up in the oven right before serving!
Keyword appetizers, Chinese, crab, seafood

Tom Yum Soup With Shrimp

381719F1-D313-4B75-92B7-C300DAFBCD79I came up with this Shrimp Tom Yum Soup recipe last night, courtesy of quarantine 2020 lol. One of our favorite Thai restaurants has been closed and I have been dreaming of Tom Yum soup so I decided to try making my own. To my surprise, it turned out perfect from the very first attempt and tastes exactly like it does at the restaurant! Michael found this Tom Yum paste at an Asian grocery market (I’ve also seen it at International stores) and it makes this recipe so simple because you have all the great flavors of Tom Yum soup, without having to buy a bunch of ingredients that are difficult to find. I am so excited to share this super easy and fast recipe with you all!

Tom Yum Soup With Shrimp

sofiyababinov
This recipe is a courtesy of quarantine 2020 lol. Michael found this Tom Yum paste at an Asian grocery market and it makes this recipe so simple because you have all the great flavors of Tom Yum soup without having to buy a bunch of ingredients that are difficult to find.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Thai
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 LB Raw Shrimp peeled, deveined
  • 8 Cups Filtered Water
  • 4 tsp Vegetable Flavor "Better Than Bouillon" Paste
  • 1-3 TBS Tom Yum Paste found in the Asian market, according to your spiciness preference
  • 1 12oz. Can Organic Evaporated Milk
  • 2 15oz. Cans Straw Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Lime to juice
  • 2 TBS Cilantro optional, for garnish

Instructions
 

  • In a large pot, bring 8 cups filtered water to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, add 4 tsp of the vegetable flavor "Better Than Bouillon" paste. Then add 1-3 TBS of the Tom Yum paste, to taste, according to how spicy you prefer your soup.
  • Add the can of evaporated milk and lower the heat to a light boil (low-medium).
  • Add the 2 cans of straw mushrooms (drained and patted dry with a paper towel). Then add the 1 LB raw shrimp. Cook 10-15 minutes until the mushrooms and shrimp completely cook through.
  • Squeeze juice of 1/2 lime into the pot and mix thoroughly. Ladle into bowls and serve hot, with chopped cilantro garnished on top, optionally.

Notes

This soup tastes great the next day, just heat up the amount you need in a small pot. 
Keyword 30 minutes, easy, soup, Thai

Easy Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho

4B3115C4-1A78-4D12-869F-38548C5A38D6I got the recipe for this Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho from my friend and next door neighbor, Trang. We were over their house for Pho one day and it was the best, most Authentic Vietnamese Pho I have ever eaten so I knew I had to get her recipe!  This recipe is very simple to make although it does require a trip to your local Asian Market for some of the ingredients. I am so exited to share it with everyone that has been waiting for me to post it! This recipe can be made with beef if you would prefer Beef Pho, you would just use 6 LB beef (any kind, we use brisket and chuck) and a few beef bones (optional but adds so much savory beef flavor) to make Beef Pho and it takes more time to cook. We are definitely Pho lovers and went out to eat Pho frequently, so I was very happy when my hubby and son said that this Pho tastes better then any restaurant we’ve ever eaten it at. Homemade definitely tastes best and saves a lot of money too. I hope you all love it just as much as we do!

Easy Authentic Vietnamese Chicken Pho

Easy, simple recipe for Authentic Vietnamese Beef Pho! We are definitely Pho lovers in my family and went out to eat Pho very frequently, so I was very happy when my hubby and son said that this Pho tastes better then any restaurant we've ever eaten it at. I hope you all love it as much as we did!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Baking Onion/Ginger for soup 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Soup
Cuisine Vietnamese
Servings 12

Equipment

  • Big Pot (at least 14 quarts)

Ingredients
  

  • 3 Large Onions peeled, cut in halves
  • 1 6 in. Ginger peeled, thinly sliced
  • 6 LB Organic Whole Chicken
  • 32 Cups Water
  • 4 tsp Sugar
  • 2 tsp Salt to taste
  • 1 TBS Oil for cooking the rice noodles

Special Pho Ingredients from the Asian Market (pictured below in the notes section)

  • 1 Package Pho Rice Noodles thin or wide noodles both work
  • 5 Oz. Cot Pho Bo brand Beef Flavored Pho Soup Base
  • Hoisin Sauce optional, to add flavor

Pho Soup Toppings/Garnish

  • 4 Limes quartered, to squeeze out lime juice
  • 1 Bunch Cilantro finely chopped
  • 2 Jalapeño Peppers thinly sliced
  • Bean Sprouts
  • 1 Bunch Scallions finely chopped
  • Thai Basil
  • Hot Sauce optional, to add flavor

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Peel the onions and cut them in halves. Peel the ginger and cut it into quarter sized, thin slices. Put foil on a baking sheet, spray the baking sheet with oil, and put onion and ginger on it.
  • Put the baking sheet with onion and ginger into the over on 350 Degrees and bake for 25-30 minutes until the onion is yellow/golden in color. This baking process is important for the onion to have a sweet taste!
  • Fill a big pot with 3/4 water. Bring the pot of water to a boil, this will not be your Pho soup yet! Add the chicken into the pot (no giblets). Let it boil for 3-5 minutes. (If using beef with beef bone instead of chicken, let it boil 5-7 minutes.) This process cleans the meat of any impurities. Take the chicken out of the pot, discard the water in the pot and clean the pot. I use another, bigger, 16 quart pot to make the Pho.
  • Boil a big pot of water, as much water as you need for your Pho Soup (I did 32 cups water in a 16 quart pot). Add the whole chicken into the pot. Then add 5 Oz. Pho seasoning paste. I use half a jar of the Pho seasoning paste and 1 filter packet of spices. The spices stay in the packet (it’s like a tea bag) when you throw it into the soup! (The seasoning paste comes with 2 packets of spices included in the jar.) Add Salt to taste, I add 2 tsp. Add Sugar to taste, I add 4 tsp. Add in the baked onion and ginger.
  • Let it cook on a light boil (low-medium heat) for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of your chicken. I had a 6 LB chicken and I cooked it for 45 minutes. If you are using beef, it will take 3-4 hrs to cook until the meat is tender.
  • In the last 15 minutes of cook time, soak the Pho noodles in a bowl of water for 10-15 minutes. Boil a separate pot of water for the Pho rice noodles. When the water comes to a boil, throw in the rice noodles and a TBS of oil (this is my trick for the rice noodles not to stick together) and cook until just tender. Then run cooked noodles under cold water, mixing them, in a strainer to stop the cooking process and so the rice noodles don’t stick together. Be careful not to overcook your rice noodles or they will be too soft and fall apart in your Pho soup!
  • When the chicken is cooked through and soft, take the whole chicken out and turn off the burner. Discard the spice filter packet. Some people discard the onion and ginger but I like to keep it in the pot (for flavor only, but don’t serve it). Although some people like the onion, thinly cut, added to their bowl of Pho. Cut the chicken up into small strips.
  • To serve, put rice noodles and cut chicken pieces into bowls. Pour the Pho broth over the noodles/chicken.
  • Serve with sauces and a plate of the toppings (limes cut into quarters, finely chopped scallions and cilantro, sliced jalapeno pepper, washed bean sprouts and Thai basil leaves).
  • Everyone can add toppings of choice to their Pho soup according to their preferences!

Notes

This it the jar of Cot Pho Bo brand Beef Flavored Pho Soup Base (even for chicken Pho I used this beef soup base, per my friend’s suggestion. It makes Pho more flavorful then the chicken soup base).
This is the package of Rice Noodles that we use. You can use wide or thin rice noodles, just make sure the package say’s Pho rice noodles on it!
Keyword chicken, Pho, Vietnamese

Easy Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

4E59D2D5-04A8-46D9-AA38-D1E2D01C8CD2These super easy and fast Cheesy Chicken quesadillas have been a life saver for me during quarantine 2020. Everyone needs a fast, easy, budget friendly recipe for feeding their family on a time crunch. These literally take 5 to 10 minutes to prepare/cook and have on the table. My hubby came up with this recipe several years ago and I’m so excited to share it with you all!

Easy Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas

Easy Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas. This fast, easy, budget friendly recipe was definitely needed for when I need to feed my family on a time crunch. These literally take 5 to 10 minutes to prepare/cook and have on the table. My hubby came up with this recipe several years ago and I’m so excited to share it with you all!
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 1 Quesadilla

Ingredients
  

  • 1-2 TBS Canned Premium Chunk Chicken Breast
  • 2-3 TBS Cheddar Jack Cheese OR Mexican Blend Cheese shredded
  • 1 Raw Flour Tortilla
  • 3 TBS Salsa optional, on the side, to dip
  • 2 TBS Sour Cream optional, on the side, to dip

Instructions
 

  • Put raw tortilla in a pan and set it on low heat. Cook 1 side of the tortilla until it is just cooked through on that side but not yet golden. Flip it over to the other side to fill (step 2).
  • Add 1-2 TBS canned chicken breast to the tortilla, spreading it evenly with a fork.
  • Then add 2-3 TBS shredded Cheddar Jack or Mexican blend cheese on top of the chicken on the tortilla, spreading it evenly with a fork.
  • Fold the tortilla over to close, using a spatula. Cook for a few minutes and then flip to the other side and cook for an additional few minutes until the tortilla is slightly golden on both sides.
  • These taste best served immediately when the cheese is warm and melty inside. Serve with salsa and sour cream on the side for dipping, optionally.
Keyword appetizers, easy, Mexican, under 15 minutes