Teriyaki Chicken, Veggie, and Rice Bowls

January 19, 2024 – 5:40 pm

These have been a dinner staple for many years in our house. The photo and recipe were definitely due for an update. I have an electric wok that I love for cooking stir fries like this, but any large deeper skillet will work just fine.

Teriyaki Chicken, Veggie, and Rice Bowls


For the stir fry:

  • Vegetable oil
  • 1 lb Zucchini (about 2 medium large squash), quartered lengthwise and cut into 0.5 inch chunks
  • 3 small sweet bell peppers, cut into 0.5 inch chunks (I used one red, one orange, and one yellow)
  • 1 lb white button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 lb skinless boneless chicken thighs, cut into 0.5 inch chunks (kitchen shears and slightly frozen chicken makes this super fast)

For the teriyaki sauce:

  • 0.5 cup soy sauce
  • 0.5 cup sake
  • 0.25 cup mirin
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch


  1. If serving with rice, cook per your preferred method. We love our little Zojirushi rice cooker. It makes just the right amount for our little family. When the rice is done, proceed with the stir fry.
  2. Whisk together the teriyaki sauce ingredients in a 2 cup liquid measuring cup until the cornstarch is completely suspended in solution. Set aside.
  3. Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large skillet or wok over medium high heat.
  4. When the oil shimmers and you see a wisp or two of smoke, add the zucchini to the pan in as close to a single layer as possible. Let the zucchini start to brown and cook through for a minute or two before starting to stir and toss. Cook for about 5 minutes total, when the squash is tender and lightly browned on all sides.
  5. Remove the zucchini to a bowl or platter with a slotted spoon, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
  6. Next, add the peppers to the pan, and stir fry in a similar manner to the zucchini, allowing the peppers time undisturbed to develop some browning. When the peppers are just crisp tender and lightly browned, remove them to a bowl as well, again leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
  7. If needed, add a little more oil to the pan and let it heat up just to the smoke point again. Add the mushrooms and stir fry as with the zucchini and peppers. Remove the mushrooms to a bowl.
  8. Add a little more oil to the pan and heat again. Add the chicken, and allow to cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes, then stir to turn over the pieces. Continue to cook, allowing time for browning to develop, for another 4-5 minutes, until cooked through.
  9. Whisk the teriyaki sauce in the measuring cup to re-suspend all the cornstarch, then pour it into the pan.
  10. Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring gently. When the sauce no longer has the look of the opaque raw cornstarch, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer for a couple minutes.
  11. Serve bowl with rice, chicken, and veggies in your preferred proportions.

Sous Vide Pork Loin

January 9, 2024 – 8:00 am
A slice of pork loin on a dinner plate, served with roasted potatoes and sweet peppers and a tossed green salad.

Sous vide is a method of cooking where the food is cooked by being sealed in a plastic bag and submerged in a precisely temperature controlled water bath. It makes cooking things to the exact preferred level of doneness very easy, and while it can take awhile, it’s all passive cooking, so you can wander off and do other things while your food cooks to perfection. We often do pork loin and steaks sous vide, with a sear at the end in a very hot cast iron skillet to get the tasty crust. Sous vide also works fantastically for things that need a gentle hand like custards and delicate fish.

There is a bit of an investment to start getting one, but we’ve found it worthwhile. We have a Joule and a compatible covered container that reduces evaporation. They go on sale fairly regularly, so watch for a price drop and snag one when the it hits your preferred price point.

For a larger cut of meat, like the pork loin here, I do a dry brine for a few hours before starting the cooking process, which adds great flavor and even more assures a juicy result. The leftovers are also fantastic in many things, including curry, chili, burritos, Cuban sandwiches, and more.

Sous Vide Pork Loin


  • Pork Loin, about 4 pounds (look for a nice even fat cap)
  • For the dry brine:
    • 1/4 cup kosher salt
    • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • For the seasoning mix:
    • 2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1 tsp black pepper
    • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
    • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    • 1/4 tsp onion powder
    • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • Vegetable Oil


  1. Mix together the dry brine salt and sugar and rub it all over the pork loin.
  2. Seal the meat in a gallon size zip top bag and let the meat brine for 2-4 hours in the fridge.
  3. Add water to a large cooking container and clip the sous vide machine to the side. Start the heating process. We like 137 degrees F for pork loin, slightly pink and very juicy.
  4. Remove the pork loin from the brining bag, pat it dry, and season generously with the seasoning mix.
  5. Seal the meat in a clean gallon size zip top bag, using water displacement in your cooking vessel to push out the last bits of air from the bag, or, if you have one, use a vacuum sealer to seal the pork loin in a sous vide cooking bag.
  6. Cook the pork loin for 4 hours at temperature.
  7. When the cooking time is done or nearly so, pour vegetable oil to coat the bottom of a large cast iron skillet and place it in an oven that is pre-heating to 500 degrees F.
  8. When the sous vide cooking time is done and the skillet is hot, remove the bag from the water, remove the pork loin from the bag, and use tongs to transfer the meat to the skillet, fat cap side down. Sear for about 5 minutes, then rotate and sear the other sides for 3-5 minutes until the loin is nicely browned.
  9. Place the meat on a cutting board or platter, slice, and serve.

Hoppin’ John

January 2, 2024 – 1:09 pm

Hoppin’ John is black eyed peas cooked with pork, served over rice and often accompanied by some sort of greens. It’s traditional, especially in the southern United States to serve on New Year’s day. Filling, delicious, and easy to make, we started making this a couple years ago. I often make it with leftover plain pulled pork shoulder, but we did ham hocks this time around. I served it with some quick sauteed spinach – a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and a bag of fresh spinach cooked until just wilted. The spinach adds a nice punch of green. I make this in an Instant Pot, but the recipe can be adapted to a slow cooker or stovetop as desired.

Hoppin’ John


  • 1 pound dried black eyed peas
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 tbsp chicken Better Than Bouillon
  • 1 tbsp ham Better Than Bouillon
  • 0.5 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 0.25 tsp onion powder
  • 4 large cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 pound plain pulled pork shoulder, or about 2 pounds ham hocks


  1. Rinse the black eyed peas and add them to the Instant Pot liner.
  2. Add the water, Better Than Bouillon, liquid smoke, pepper, paprika, thyme, onion powder, and garlic and stir until combined.
  3. Add the pork or ham hocks on top of the bean and broth mixture.
  4. Seal the Instant Pot and set the time to 17 minutes at high pressure.
  5. When the cooking time is done, allow the Instant Pot to release pressure naturally, usually about 15 minutes.
  6. If using ham hocks, remove the ham hocks and shred the meat off the bones, returning it to the pot and discarding the bones. Stir the meat into the beans.
  7. Serve warm, over steamed rice if desired.

Japanese Curry – Kare Raisu

October 6, 2023 – 12:07 pm

We fell even more in love with Japanese cuisine when Shaun did a tour of duty over in Yokosuka several years ago. Japanese curry is a common comfort food over there, easy to make with just about whatever you have on hand, tasty, filling, and decently well balanced nutritionally. If you aren’t up for making it over there, walking to the closest CoCo Curry will also satisfy the craving.

Potatoes and carrots are the most common vegetables simmered in the stew, but other root vegetables, summer or winter squash, mushrooms, and many other things work fantastically as well. The picture above is a curry made with leftover sous vide pork loin, potatoes, and carrots, served with steamed Calrose rice and stir fried snow peas. Curry is also often served with ramen or udon or on a roll, not just with rice, though rice is perhaps most common.

The two keys to making this quickly are using whatever handy leftover protein you have, and using the Japanese curry roux blocks, which are becoming more and more available, even in regular grocery stores, though not the variety that you’d find in an Asian grocery, or over in Japan, of course. Our favorite variety is the House Foods Java Curry, Medium Hot, but we also quite like their Vermont Curry. We’re less fans of the S&B brand, but they are more widely available, and they definitely still work, though I’ll add more seasonings to help pep it up. It is also possible to make your own curry roux (I highly recommend everything on Just One Cookbook, by the way. She has fantastic Japanese recipes with an eye to the home cook here in the US).

You can of course start with raw meat. Just brown it up before adding the carrots and potatoes to the pot.

Pork Japanese Curry


  • Vegetable Oil, 2 tbsp
  • Carrots, 3 large, about 12 oz, peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
  • Yukon Gold Potatoes, 3 medium, about 1 lb, cut into bite sized chunks
  • Garlic, 2 large cloves, pressed
  • Water, 5 cups
  • Better Than Bouillon Roasted Chicken Base, 2 tbsp
  • Soy sauce, 1 tbsp
  • Leftover pork loin (or other cooked protein of your choice), about 1 lb, cut into bite sized chunks
  • 1 box curry roux (about 8 oz)


  1. Heat the oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the carrots and potatoes. Saute until the vegetables are starting to soften and brown.
  3. Add the garlic and stir to combine. Cook for 30 seconds to 1 minute, until the garlic turns fragrant.
  4. Add the water, Better Than Bouillon, soy sauce, and pork.
  5. Turn the heat to medium high and bring the water to a boil, making sure to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate into the stew.
  6. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
  7. Turn the heat off and skim off any foam that has formed on the surface using a small fine mesh strainer.
  8. Break apart the curry roux blocks and add them to the pot, stirring gently until they are fully dissolved.
  9. Turn the heat back to medium. Bring just to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 5-10 minutes, until the curry has thickened.
  10. Serve warm.

It’s been awhile

September 7, 2023 – 6:11 am

It’s been a long while since I’ve posted! I’m still enjoying cooking, and over the next few weeks I’ll post some of the recipes that have become new standbys over the past few years.

(edited) 20220210_171223

Baked Cinnamon Doughnuts with Maple Vanilla Frosting

October 12, 2017 – 1:54 pm

These are based off of Ina Garten’s recipe. They are an easy and delicious breakfast. My little guy had to add rainbow sprinkles to his mini sized ones!

Baked Cinnamon Doughnuts with Maple Vanilla Frosting
Makes 18 regular doughnuts or 36 mini doughnuts

For the doughnuts:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1.25 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
0.5 tsp ground nutmeg
0.5 tsp kosher salt
1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten
1.25 cups whole buttermilk
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp vanilla extract

For the frosting:
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp maple syrup
1 pinch kosher salt

For the doughnuts:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spray 3 doughnut pans with non-stick spray.

Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a medium mixing bowl. Add the egg, buttermilk, butter, and vanilla, and stir until just combined. There should be no dry clumps of flour, but lumps are okay.

Spoon batter into each of the doughnut pan cavities, filling them three fourths full.

Bake the doughnuts for 15-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into a doughnut comes out clean.

Remove the doughnuts, invert onto a cooling rack, and let cool.

For the frosting:
Whisk together the ingredients to make a smooth buttercream frosting.

Dip the doughnuts into the frosting to coat well on one side. Set frosting side up and let the frosting set for a minute or two before serving.

Whiskey Glazed Apple Cake

October 1, 2017 – 5:19 pm

For my birthday this year, we made a version of Peabody’s excellent Fireball Glazed Apple Cake. It turned out wonderfully! Using multiple types of apples, applesauce, and apple whiskey made for a deep apple flavor that using just one type of apple just can’t quite touch.

Whiskey Glazed Apple Cake
For the cake:
0.75 cups canola oil
0.75 cups applesauce
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1.5 tsp. vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
0.5 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 honeycrisp apple, 1 gala apple, and 1 granny smith apple, each peeled and shredded

For the whiskey glaze:
4 oz unsalted butter
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
0.25 cup apple whiskey (I used Leopold’s)
0.25 cup heavy whipping cream

For the cake:
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

Cream the oil, applesauce, sugar and eggs with an electric mixer until the mixture becomes light yellow and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and beat for another 30 seconds to combine. Add the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With the mixer on low, stir until the ingredients just come together to form a batter. Add the shredded apples and mix until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Pour batter into a bundt pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes, or until the cake turns a dark golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted comes out clean.

Let the cake cool completely on a wire rack. Turn the cake out onto a plate. When the cake is cool, proceed with the glaze.

For the glaze:
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar, vanilla extract, heavy cream, and whiskey, and increase the heat to medium high. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil, then turn the heat off.

Final assembly:
Using a wooden skewer, poke holes in the cake for the glaze to sink in. Pour the glaze slowly and evenly over the cake.

Let the cake cool again completely, spooning extra glaze over the cake once or twice. When the glaze cools completely, it will form a delicious crust.

Caprese Pasta

September 7, 2017 – 2:56 pm

This is a great late summer meal. Sometimes, we’ll add some sliced grilled chicken or garlicky shrimp or langostino tails for a bit more hearty meal, but this is great all on its own.

 photo 20170904_172019_zpseibfgonz.jpg

Caprese Pasta
Serves 4

8 oz dry linguine pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 small zucchini, quartered lengthwise then cut into chunks
2 cups cherry tomatoes, stems removed, cut in half
kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup basil leaves, cut into a chiffonade
2 tbsp fresh oregano leaves
4 oz fresh mozzarella, cut into chunks

Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box, or your preferred method.

While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the garlic and the red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds, or until the garlic just starts to sizzle and turn fragrant. Add the zucchini and cook for another 2-3 minutes, when the zucchini is just starting to get tender. Add the cherry tomatoes and toss to combine. Cook for another 4-5 minutes, until the cherry tomatoes start to blister a bit and the zucchini is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pasta and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Add the basil, oregano, and mozzarella, and toss to combine again. Serve warm.


June 4, 2017 – 6:26 pm

This German street food is one of our favorites. A bit time intensive, but worth the effort at least a few times a year!

Makes 15 bierocks, 6 dinner servings

2 tbsp canola oil
4 cloves garlic, pressed
3 lb ground beef (I use 15% fat)
3 teaspoon kosher salt
3 teaspoon black pepper
1 tsp onion powder
1/8 cup Worcestershire sauce
1 large green cabbage, cored and shredded
30 frozen dinner rolls, thawed and allowed to rise per package directions (I use Rhodes)
All purpose flour (about 1/2 cup)

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 15-20 seconds, until it just starts to turn golden brown. Add the ground beef, season it with salt, pepper, and onion powder.and brown it well. Turn the heat down to medium. Add the cabbage, and sauté until the cabbage is wilted down completely. Add the Worcestershire sauce and stir to combine. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool for 5-10 minutes.

While the mixture is cooking and then cooling, pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Flour a board or pastry mat, form a ball with two of the rolls, and roll out each larger ball into a round approximately 6 inches in diameter. Fill with 4 tablespoons of the filling and pinch closed, sealing completely. Place the bierock seam side down on a rimmed baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. Space the bierocks with at least 1 inch between each one to avoid sticking. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake bierocks for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot.

Mini Banana Bundt Cake

April 12, 2017 – 4:30 pm

This is just my favorite banana bread recipe, with half white sugar and half light brown sugar, baked in a little 6 cup bundt pan. It only took about 35 minutes rather than an hour. Winning all around!

Mini Banana Bundt Cake
Makes 1 small cake

3-4 small to medium very ripe bananas, peeled
1/3 cup melted butter
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1/2 cup of light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

Preheat the oven to 350°F, and spray a 6 cup bundt pan with non-stick spray.

In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until mostly smooth. Stir in the melted butter.

Add the baking soda and salt and stir to combine. Next, stir in the sugars, egg, and vanilla extract.

Lastly, add the flour and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool. Slice and serve.